Nineteen San Antonians are running for mayor and the District 8 City Council seat in the May 1 election.
Fair Oaks Ranch voters, too, have a busy election in store with the mayor’s office and three council seats up for grabs.
In the Northside Independent School District, one school board member has a challenger while four aspiring trustees are jockeying for an open board seat.
Two-term San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and former District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse, whom Nirenberg beat in a 2019 runoff election, stand out in a 14-mayoral candidate field.
Nirenberg’s priorities include affordable housing and workforce development, and ensuring the community’s COVID-19 response and recovery is equitable.
“As national leaders call for unity, in San Antonio we’re looking out for one another, lifting each other up, and working together to come back stronger than ever,” said Nirenberg, a former District 8 councilman.
Brockhouse, a mortgage banker, is focusing on job creation, post-pandemic economic recovery, and strengthening police and other first-responders.
“We’re bringing new energy, bold ideas and real urgency to make San Antonio the jobs capital of Texas for all of our families,” he said.
Other hopefuls are Gary Allen, Tim Atwood, Ray Basaldua, Antonio “Tony” Diaz, Joshua James Galvan, Denise Gutierrez-Homer, Michael “Commander” Idrogo, Justin Macaluso, Dan Martinez, Jacq’ue Laurel “J.” Miller, Frank Adam Muniz and John Velasquez.
Councilman Manny Peláez’s bid for a third term in District 8 drew opposition from audio/visual technician Cesario Garcia, real estate broker Rob Rodriguez, Valero Energy Corp. pricing specialist Suzanne McCarty and registered nurse Tammy K. Orta.
Peláez is campaigning for more pandemic-recovery relief, modernizing infrastructure, and expanding green spaces.
“We’ve been through a lot in our city over the past year and it’s time to focus on recovery efforts and look ahead to a more resilient future,” he said.
Rodriguez chaired the city’s Planning Commission, and served on other city panels, plus real estate industry and civic group boards.
“San Antonio is facing some trying times, and I feel that elected office is where I can best utilize my experience in job creation, public service and leadership,” he said.
San Antonio also proposes two city charter amendments. One would repeal police officers’ collective bargaining rights, a goal for police reformers.
The second proposal would let the city issue bonds for permanent public improvements, such as building affordable housing, or others not prohibited by the Texas Constitution.
FAIR OAKS RANCH
Mayor Garry Manitzas is not seeking reelection, and two council members — Place 5 representative Snehal Patel and Place 6 representative Greg Maxton — are running for the top job.
Originally appointed to the council in 2016, Patel said fostering collaboration and engagement, and addressing infrastructure and transportation issues and strategic initiatives, are her top priorities.
“As my track record shows, I will be a tireless advocate for the city. Every step of the way, I will be listening to residents with an open mind and an open heart,” Patel said.
Maxton is a small-business owner and retired in 2016 from the Army as a colonel.
He spent nearly four years on the council. He is vice-president of the Rotary Club of Fair Oaks Ranch, and sat with the Home Rule Charter Commission. He pledged to help maintain the town’s quality of life and city services, including public safety.
“I will work to manage growth responsibly to preserve and protect our semirural environment,” he said.
Maxton and Patel’s now-vacant council seats will be filled in a special May 1 election.
Under election rules, a sitting council member serving with more than two-year terms and who has more than one year and 30 days left must automatically resign the current council seat when filing for another office.
Scott Parker, J.C. Taylor and 2020 council election candidate Tim Corley filed for Place 5.
Corley is a retired Marine and combat engineer who wants to keep city government small and taxes low, and maintain the town’s rural nature. He also said it’s important to listen to residents about issues, initiatives and problems.
“I pledge to serve you as you deserve today and tomorrow with leadership, integrity and honor,” Corley said.
Parker retired from the Air Force and Air National Guard, and also has worked as a federal agent with the Department of Defense, specializing in large financial fraud investigations.
The Parker family has been involved in animal rescue since moving to town. Open, honest discussion on the issues, government transparency and community engagement are his top issues.
“These are some of the issues that I believe we need to focus immediate attention on as part of our move for more transparency for the citizens of FOR and its relationship with local government,” he said.
An executive with a Boerne-based food company, Taylor is a third-generation Fair Oaks Ranch resident. His campaign themes center on maintaining quality infrastructure and public service, and growth management.
“I will put my experience as a businessman and longtime resident to work for the city of Fair Oaks Ranch,” he said.
Chesley Muenchow, Fair Oaks Ranch Homeowners Association treasurer, and Stephen May applied for Place 6.
After retiring from the Air Force as a chief master sergeant, May worked with a major information technology firm, supporting the Defense Department’s medical systems and its networks. His priorities include fiscal restraint and transparency.
Muenchow is a small-business owner who has served with various neighborhood boards. She advocates government transparency, fiscally conservative views, listening to residents, and independently analyzing issues.
“I want to preserve that quality of life for generations to come while managing growth responsibly within the city,” Muenchow said.
In the regularly scheduled May 1 election, Emily Stroup and David Deleranko look to fill the Place 1 position, where MaryAnne Havard is not running for reelection.
Following service in the Army and Air Force, Deleranko was a federal procurement official for the Air Force and the Army Corps of Engineers.
He said he was instrumental in establishing the cities of Fair Oaks Ranch North and South, which were combined to create the existing city. He was the town’s first building director, and served on the Home Rule Charter Commission.
Deleranko is campaigning for responsible development, and extending tax relief to eligible community members. He also opposes both the city’s planned water tower on the far North Side, and the city’s intent to create a stormwater utility.
“I will be just as vocal in speaking for those currently without a voice in our government,” Deleranko said.
Stroup, an attorney, calls for maintaining the town’s Hill Country culture, preserving open spaces, responsible growth and promoting efficient services.
“I will continue to do my homework if I’m elected, and even if I’m not,” she said.
The mayoral and Place 1 positions carry full three-year terms.
The Place 5 term expires 2022; Place 6 expires in 2023.
FORHA has two candidate forums scheduled in April. Residents may click here for details.
The Hill Country Conservative Network will hold a Fair Oaks Ranch candidate forum 4-6 p.m. April 18 at Van Raub Elementary School, 8776 Dietz Elkhorn Road. Visit here for more.
District 5 trustee Katie Reed is retiring after 30-plus years on the school board.
Contenders are Irma Iris Duran de Rodriguez, senior housing policy coordinator for San Antonio; educator Jakub Kosiba; and two retired NISD educators and administrators, Sharon Chumley and Corinne Saldaña.
A Clark High School alumna, Duran de Rodriguez has served with the Northside Educational Improvement Council and NISD PTA Council Arts in Education Committee.
Her campaign themes are ensuring all campuses receive infrastructure improvements, technology and top-tier instructors, and strengthening students’ mental-health services.
She also calls for reinforcing mentorship programs, and promoting “community engagement and uniform messaging across schools to increase transparency and trust.”
A digital marketing director, Kosiba advocates greater participation by faculty, students and residents in the educational process.
“It’s time for everyone to stand up for the future of children,” he said.
Saldaña volunteers at University United Methodist Church.
“I would promote excellence in education, fairness in all aspects of education, and innovation to continue improving our services,” she added.
Thomas Leger opposes District 6 trustee Carol Harle’s third go-round try.
Harle’s educational resumé includes instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, consultant/instructional coach for CAST Schools, and NISD teacher and administrator.
Her goals include targeting students’ learning gaps caused by the pandemic, enhancing social-emotional learning, wraparound services, mental health care and other existing programs, plus improving facilities.
Leger wants on-campus licensed social workers, career and college counselors in high schools, plus enhanced employee pay and representation.
“We place a tremendous amount of responsibility for our students’ well-being in the hands of our employees, and it’s time their compensation matched that level of trust,” he added.
Early voting for Bexar County residents is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 19-23 and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 24 and 26-27 at the University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus (Bexar Room), and Shavano Park City Hall, 900 Saddletree Court.
Early voting for Kendall County residents is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 19-23, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 24, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27 at Van Raub Elementary, 8776 Dietz Elkhorn Road.