LOCAL LEADERS RESPOND TO WINTER STORM
Fair Oaks Ranch, The Dominion, Leon Springs and surrounding communities lost power or water during a crippling winter blast in February delivering snow, ice and subfreezing temperatures.
Garry Manitzas, Fair Oaks Ranch mayor, said more than 20 city employees logged 3,500-plus work hours during the crisis to maintain local water and wastewater systems, plus public-safety needs.
Fair Oaks Ranch’s biggest challenge arose in the Front Gate, Elkhorn Ridge and The Woods subdivisions where residents went without running water for days.
“The proximate cause of these delivery problems is the very long line that must move water uphill for (the San Antonio Water System) to service these areas,” Manitzas said. “SAWS lost electric power in the storm and it is not feasible to have a large enough backup generator to drive the size of pumps that are required to move the water through a major line.”
Another issue, according to the mayor, is SAWS has no nearby elevated storage tank. Early March saw the town sponsoring water-dispensing events at City Hall to aid residents.
In addition, the Leon Springs Volunteer Fire Department provided non-potable water at Van Raub Elementary School.
In San Antonio, District 8 Councilman Manny Peláez numbered among local leaders demanding answers from SAWS and CPS Energy regarding prolonged power outages extending hours — or even days — longer than expected.
Peláez also complimented city staff, including police officers. They did everything from checking on homebound neighbors to directing traffic at intersections without power, he said.
“It’s proof that police do so much more than what you think,” the councilman added.
SAWS’ homeowner customers may visit www.saws.org/cpr to apply for assistance to pay for water-pipe repairs.
Homeowners in Bexar County suburbs and unincorporated areas may request plumbing-repair reimbursement at https://www.bexar.org/3360/Plumbing-Assistance. Those using private wells are also eligible.
FAIR OAKS RANCH, BOERNE ELEMENTARIES GET NOD FOR NATIONAL HONOR
The Flippen Group named Fair Oaks Ranch and Curington elementary schools as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools nominees for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Fair Oaks Ranch and Curington are two of just 339 U.S. campuses to receive recognition, with winners announced in April.
Based in College Station, the group offers education solutions that promote improvements in classroom culture, student performance, attendance rates, discipline and other campus metrics, educators said.
“Having two schools nominated as National Showcase Schools is a great honor, not only for Curington and Fair Oaks Ranch, but for Boerne Independent School District as well,” said Superintendent Thomas Price.
Fair Oaks Ranch has received the accolade two consecutive years.
“Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary has a rich tradition of student and staff success,” said Principal Jessica Shults.
“We are honored to once again be recognized as a National Showcase School nominee. Our students, parents, and staff go above and beyond every single day to ensure we continuously enrich our FORES family and our community. Thank you to everyone involved in helping us achieve this honor.”
Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School recipients are evaluated and selected based on survey and performance data from administrators, teachers, staff and students.
Decreases in discipline referrals, plus a positive campus culture and climate, are commonalities in such institutions, officials said.
CITY COUNCIL UPDATE
FAIR OAKS RANCH — City Council recently announced changing meeting times from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month.
Councilwoman Laura Koerner recommended the shift so council members who work in the morning don’t miss sessions.
In addition, the town’s Branding Committee recently developed mission and vision statements for the municipality.
Mayor Garry Manitzas said he and fellow leaders will be turning their attention to more visual presentations during the project’s next phase.
PELÁEZ SURVEYS RESIDENTS ON POTENTIAL BOND
March 3 was the deadline for District 8 residents to answer an online survey seeking wish-list ideas for a possible San Antonio bond issue in 2022.
Councilman Manny Peláez sponsored the digital questionnaire.
He wanted residents to prioritize proposed capital-improvement projects, such as widening Babcock Road from West Hausman Road to Camp Bullis Road, and widening Camp Bullis Road at Interstate 10 West to add turn lanes.
The councilman also asked constituents to prioritize proposed trail and parks projects, such as extending creekway paths from Dominion Drive to Boerne Stage Road, and from Raymond Russell Park to Dominion Drive.
Peláez also requested neighbors to identify street, drainage, facilities or recreational projects not named in the survey.
According to the councilman, he and his City Hall colleagues will offer many chances for folks to weigh in on proposed bond projects.
FAMILIAR FACES ON MAY 1 BALLOT
There are several familiar faces on the May 1 ballot.
In San Antonio, chasing a third term, Mayor Ron Nirenberg faces multiple challengers, most notably former District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse, whom Nirenberg beat in the 2019 mayoral runoff.
Other mayoral hopefuls are Ray Basaldua, Joshua Jones Galvan, Michael “Commander” Idrogo, J. Miller, Frank Adam Muniz, Tim Atwood, Denise Gutierrez-Homer, Gary Allen, Antonio “Tony” Diaz, Justin Macaluso, Dan Martinez and John M. Velasquez.
Councilman Manny Peláez’s bid for a third term in District 8 drew opposition from Cesario Garcia, real estate broker Rob Rodriguez, Valero Energy Corp. pricing specialist Suzanne McCarty, and registered nurse Tammy K. Orta.
San Antonio voters will also mull two City Charter amendments. One would repeal police officers’ collective bargaining rights, a goal for reformers.
Some council members question the second proposal, which allows the city to issue bonds for permanent public improvements or others not prohibited by the state Constitution.
Fair Oaks Ranch Mayor Garry Manitzas won’t seek reelection, and two council members — Place 5’s Snehal Patel and Place 6’s Greg Maxton — are running for the job.
Maxton’s and Patel’s council seats are now declared vacant and will be filled in a special May 1 election.
Scott Parker, J.C. Taylor, and 2020 council election candidate Tim Corley filed for the Place 5 vacancy.
Chesley Muenchow, Fair Oaks Ranch Homeowners Association board member, and Stephen May applied for Place 6.
In the regularly scheduled May 1 race, Emily Stroup and David Deleranko look to occupy the Place 1 spot after incumbent MaryAnne Havard declined another go-round. Stroup is an attorney, and Deleranko has volunteered with the city and local organizations.
Terms in places 5 and 6 expire in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Fair Oaks Ranch’s elected officials remain on the council for three years, unless filling an unexpired seat.
In the Northside Independent School District, four residents vie to succeed District 5 trustee Katie Reed, who’s retiring after 30-plus years on the school board.
District 5 hopefuls are Irma Iris Duran de Rodriguez, senior housing policy coordinator for San Antonio, educator Jakub Kosiba, and two retired NISD administrators, Sharon Chumley and Corinne Saldaña.
In District 6, Thomas Leger challenges trustee Carol Harle’s bid for a third term.
April 1 is the voter-registration deadline, with early voting April 19-27.