COUNTY JUDGE NELSON W. WOLFF
STATEMENT BEFORE COMMISSIONERS COURT

January 12, 2005


I believe we are at an historic turning point in our community's economic development.

  1. In the early 20th century the building of five military bases. Skipped industrial age. Lived off services to the bases.
  2. 1968- hemisfair and resulting tourism industry, medical school, UTSA

We now have the opportunity to make a third historic change in our city's economy. To build wealth and increase our per capita income we need to broaden our manufacturing base and become a net exporter of goods instead of a net importer as we are today. Our manufacturing base today is only an anemic 6% of our economy.

Toyota and the 18 small manufacturers that will supply the plant are giving us that opportunity. We need to build on that base that will expand manufacturing opportunities in our medical industries, technology, and construction industry.

We can make that third historic change by developing a community attitude much like Toyota has through their mantra of "continuous improvement" or Kaizen and their attitude reflected in the saying, "We can, we will." Using past and recent success combined with this mantra and attitude we can create building blocks to future economic success for our community.

BUILDING BLOCKS TO FURTHER ECONOMIC SUCCESS

  1. EDUCATED WORK FORCE
    1. Alamo Community College District best opportunity. Need to pass the ACCD bond issue. Nursing school, upgrades to campus. Build on the manufacturing, information technology, and aerospace academies.
    2. Need more public schools excellence such as the Health careers high school. Brooks City base effort for a high tech school. I am meeting with Julian Trevino chair of San Antonio School District Board of Trustees.
    3. Support UTSA- 1st tier research university
    4. University Hospital. Continue to support as a first class teaching hospital.
  2. EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE
    1. We created the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority and funded it. Need to support their efforts to build a 22 mile starter route and to obtain advanced toll equity grant from TXDOT.
    2. I chaired the campaign for the ATD which will provide funds to improve our public transportation, fund street improvements and leverage state and federal funds for our highways. The County needs to take the lead in presenting a bond package to the T.D.T to accelerate the building of priority projects.
    3. We need to continue to support the state in the building of SH 130 that will run parallel to IH 35 down to Seguin. It will include right of way for rail providing the opportunity to relocate Union Pacific off the IH 35 corridor and open up commuter rail between San Antonio and Austin. I am working with a region wide group chaired by Representative Krusee, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
    4. We are participating in a local study to relocate rail lines to enhance safety and provide greater economic development opportunities. It will take local, state, federal and private partnership to make it happen. It will take leadership at the federal level to compliment Governor Perry's state leadership. I have enlisted the help of President Bush.
    5. Continue to support the San Antonio Mobility Coalition. I am chair this year.
  3. QUALITY OF LIFE
    1. HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
      1. Continue to support the Metropolitan Partnership for energy. Have chaired for past two year. Green building program. Reusable energy, solar, wind. Conservation of energy, county and city program. Support region wide clean air plan. Push for cleaner fuels.
      2. Support CPS coal plant that will feature the best pollution controls in the nation.
      3. Continue work on $116 million Mission Reach San Antonio River Improvement Project
      4. Flood control. Develop package in manner to encourage physical activity/sports. Need new mayors support. Time to put on ballot. Develop community support. Will increase taxes. County needs to take the lead through our flood control tax.
      5. Protect the aquifer's recharge zone through project such as the pga. 15% imperious cover.
    2. CULTURAL INITIATIVES
      1. Support the cultural collaborative. Mayor Garza and I headed up.
      2. Bexar county arts fund. Raised $200,000.000, support county employee check off.
      3. First class performing arts center like bass center in Ft. Worth or Wortham in Houston. Revamp Municipal auditorium or build new.
      4. Expand public art. Use in our building projects.
      5. Plan connecting historic civic center to Southtown. Citizen commission.
      6. Hotel motel convince more investment good for their business.
  4. Efficient, Effective, Equitable, Accountable Local Government
    1. City/County Economic Development Efforts
      1. EDF/City/County to focus on manufacturing
      2. SATAI – Co chaired last two years-marrying capital and emerging firm.
      3. Brooks City Base – Emergency Op Center
      4. Kelly USA- cross border trucking/multi modal logistics park
      5. Free Trade Alliance
      6. Continue support for annual small business conference which has grown each year
      7. Fulfill commitment to PGA project
      8. Support new convention center hotel
    2. CITY
      1. New mayor to re-ignite city-county integration.
      2. Four areas- consolidation of parks, social services, housing authorities, health prevention and treatment.
      3. History center- archival and museum components. Good proposal from private sector, Jack Guenther.
      4. Southside Initiative – City South.
      5. Support locating A&M campus on southside
    3. COUNTY GOVERNMENT
      1. Children's Courtroom
      2. Improve technology. Juvenile justice information system, GIS, New Sheriff's Dispatch System, Tax Collection System, Financial Information System
      3. Implement Managing for Results – Allows budget and personnel management flexibility; Provides timely and accurate budget information.
      4. Manage Jail Population. Comprehensive review of system
      5. Implement public defender's office for appeals using Indigent defense grant.
      6. Continue to Implement $99 million bond package
      7. Continue restoring Court House – Judge Mireles
      8. Legislative agenda. Change Prop 13, Land Use, Impact Fees, Filing Fees for House Restoration, No unfunded mandates, full funding CHIP, Medicaid, Improve Child Protective Services, Equalize Mental Health Funding.

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