Doing the Right Thing for Bexar County
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
January 5, 2006

Today I am writing a wrap-up column for 2005. It is appropriate to sum up some of the things of significance I believe were accomplished during this time. As you may know, Precinct Four has 350,000 citizens. Some of the smallest requests for help along with the most intractable problems of the day have been tackled.

I am very proud of the leadership and team effort of Commissioner's Court in building the SBC Center for the NBA World Championship San Antonio Spurs and the planned development of the Community Arena Complex within the Eastside of San Antonio. I am equally proud of the landing of Toyota and 21 on-site suppliers providing a combined total of over 4,000 high-quality jobs in the Southern Sector. These initiatives for which I have proudly fought stand however in contrast with an initiative against which I will continue to fight against: the toll road plans presently being proposed for Bexar County.

With respect to the Office of Commissioner in Precinct Four, I would be remiss if I did not mention my first-class staff, Mario Llano and Monica Martinez who serve the constituents of Precinct Four. As a team, we address the day-to-day requests for assistance from citizens to help on a variety of fronts. I have done everything possible to demonstrate transparency in helping provide information to my constituents with the best website on Commissioner's Court.

Building a healthy community is fundamental. To this end, I have worked with the University Health System (the County Hospital) to develop a revolutionary "Smartcard" which would enable our trauma teams to immediately determine the health condition of persons conscious and unconscious as they attempt to treat them. It is estimated that over 500,000 people in the U.S. die annually from misdiagnoses. This is presently in the development stages to be achieved with a driver's license magnetic strip or even a thumbprint.

Prevention is another key characteristic of a healthy community. A community with a 6% incidence of any particular disease is considered to have an epidemic for that particular disease. In Bexar County, we have a 9% incidence of diabetes! Diet and exercise must become a much greater part of our community's culture! This must be done through continuous education working with strategic partners in Bexar County such as the American Diabetes Association and other organizations. I have worked with and will continue to work with the University Health System to catalyze the strategic partners into action for the advancement of our entire community!

I have worked with Bexar County to develop a more functional justice system and one that emphasizes safety while not fleecing the taxpayer with needless expense. To this end, we will continue to monitor our jail population to see to it that there is plenty of room for those who are dangerous to our society while not providing a single space for those who have no place in our jail---the homeless, the nonviolent drug-dependent who need treatment not recurrent, wasted stays and the mentally ill who should be treated in a mental health model instead of clogging our maximum security jail. To this end, Bexar County through the University Health System has opened the Crisis Care Center at the old Robert B. Green.

I will continue to work to see that all able-bodied inmates work where ever possible and if and when returned to society, become contributing members of our community.

I have worked and will continue to work with neighborhoods and their dedicated association leaders to maintain vitality and dignity in all aspects of our neighborhood life. Working with them, I will fight slumlords that assault the vitality of our neighborhoods as I have with the San Antonio and Bexar County Housing Authorities. I will also work with leaders to prevent other indicators of neighborhood decline and to promote a renaissance in key neighborhoods long overlooked and neglected!

Building on my track record of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and permanently through energy conservation, efficiency and use of clean, renewable sources of energy, I will continue to drive down energy prices for all areas of County Government. I will promote renewable energy to replace or supplement those that currently jeopardize our physical and economic health. The EPA will not find us noncompliant without a rigorous fight for clean air!

I will continue to support an enlightened implementation of the Advanced Transportation District Projects approved over a year ago by voters. With this initiative, I will emphasize proper support for an expanded VIA outreach through transit centers strategically placed with express (rapid) service and matching funds for TxDOT to accelerate attention to traffic management! As the Bexar County Representative to the Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail District, I will work to accelerate its timeline to alleviate traffic congestion on I-35 and its reliever route, U.S. 281 North!

I will continue to proactively plan and prevent flooding in our urban watershed (including regionally through collaborations).

I will continue to encourage education about resource recovery by reducing, reusing and recycling individually and governmentally to reduce the need for landfills in Bexar County.

Bottom line, every effort made by this office has been and will always be to the best of my ability, to do the right thing for Bexar County.

May you and your family have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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