PUT SAN ANTONIO FIRST
Petitions turned in at City Hall
San Antonio First
San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association Launches
“San Antonio First” Campaign
Asks Voters to Support Three Petition Issues to Amend the Charter
San Antonio—Chris Steele, President of the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association, announced a campaign to provide transparency and accountability at City Hall, more voter involvement in City issues, and a plan to require a neutral 3rd party to resolve issues rather than lawsuits. The group is circulating three petitions calling for changes to the City Charter. State law requires the group to gather at least 20,000 signatures of San Antonio registered voters on each petition to have the issues on the November general election ballot.
“San Antonions have expressed our city manager's pay is out of touch with our working population. When you have a City Manager that makes the same money per year as the President of the United States and the Governor of Texas—combined, we think that is out of touch,” noted Steele. “We think voters should have the choice to continue the status quo or set realistic limits.”
Proposition A: Voter Access
This petition would allow voters easier access to the ballot box. Currently to change a city charter, citizens must submit a petition containing 20,000 signatures of City voters in 180 days. However, to change a city ordinance, voters must secure more than 75,000 signatures in 40 days. The number of signatures required for Charter Amendments is set by state law, whereas the signatures to change an ordinance is set by the Charter.
If voters approve the new language, the number of signatures to change an ordinance will now be the same as changing the Charter—a maximum of 20,000 signatures in 180 days.
“The deck is stacked against citizens who want to change city ordinances,” stated George Rodriguez former President of the San Antonio Tea Party. “Why should voters be forced to gather nearly 4 times as many signatures in a fourth of the time, than what state law requires to change the Charter? City ordinance or Charter, the rules should be the same.”
Proposition B: City Manager Charter Changes
If approved by voters, the Charter Amendment would place new limits on the salary level, length of employment and increase the number of votes by Council to approve the contract. Specific changes include:
City Manager Salary and Bonus Cap: Salary and bonuses would be capped to no more than 10 times the lowest paid full-time city employee
City Manager Service Term Limit: May not serve more than 8 years (same term limit as City Council members and the Mayor)
City Manager Contract Approval: Increases the number of votes to approve the City Manager contract to a supermajority, or 8 votes of the City Council and Mayor.
Proposition C: Firefighters “Good Faith” Contract Arbitration
The law in the State of Texas says “denying firefighters and police officers the right to organize and bargain collectively would lead to strife and unrest, consequently injuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public.” The City has spent millions of dollars in litigation against its own first responders.
That is a waste of taxpayer money and the city’s fight against its first responders has injured the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens.
To maintain the high morale of the firefighters and police officers and the efficient operation of the departments in which they serve, adopting this ordinance would require the city to negotiate in “good faith” and if both sides cannot reach an agreement, the issues are decided by a neutral 3rd party.
“The taxpayers should not have to fund a lawsuit because City leaders refuse to act in good faith. By changing this law, everyone stays out of the courthouse and we let an independent third party decide the issue,” noted Steele. "This will save the taxpayers millions of dollars".
Let the People Decide
Yes on Proposition A: Let The People Decide
Ensure the city follows our Texas Constitution and allows San Antonio residents a reasonable amount of time to gather a reasonable amount of signatures to let us have a say with a public vote on more issues that impact our lives.
(We should have a voice and a vote on Sheryl Sculley's bonuses, taxes, utility rates, $191,380 toilets and fair funding for all neighborhoods.)
Yes on Proposition B: City Manager Accountability
Will ensure that the city manager has to be approved by 8 council members, can only serve 8 years, and can't make more than 10x the least-paid city employee.
(Sheryl Sculley currently makes more than our Governor and the President of the United States combined, $150,000 and $400,000 dollars, respectively.)
Yes on Proposition C: Stop Frivolous Lawsuits
Will ensure that the city goes to arbitration and negotiates instead of endlessly paying lawyers to file endless frivolous lawsuits to preserve the power of bureaucrats at city hall.
(Sheryl Sculley and her lawyers have wasted $1.2 million dollars suing San Antonio firefighters and police officers. They lost in court 4 times and the Texas Supreme Court wouldn't even hear Sculley's case. That's a waste of our hard-earned tax dollars.)