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Your District 7 Newsletter
VOLUME 28 | Feb. 16, 2018
Dear Neighbor,
At our recent town halls, I heard from residents loud and clear about how burdensome property taxes have become. Many of our residents are struggling to keep up.

This week, the head of the Bexar County Appraisal District presented to City Council on the appraisal process and property taxation. It gave my colleagues and I the opportunity to begin discussing property tax relief.

Over the past 25 years, the City has lowered the property tax rate seven times. Nonetheless, our residents are still struggling.

My colleagues are I are currently considering options for tax relief, including a change to the property tax rate or a homestead exemption. However, any property tax relief would come at the expense of City services and programs, so we must proceed carefully.

We must also consider local tax relief in light of Governor Abbott's recent tax proposal. According to city staff, capping the local property tax rate, as proposed, would reduce the City's revenue by $81 million a year. That is equivalent to the cost of hiring 810 police officers, greater than the Parks and Recreation budget of $51 million, and more than the budgets of Library, Code Compliance, and Human Services Departments combined ($78 million).

This is a complicated issue, but I believe we have the will to do something about it in 2018.

In the meantime, my team and I are planning to host a workshop on how to protest your tax appraisal ahead of the May 15 deadline for fighting your appraisal. We will provide the details in the newsletter as soon as we have them.

Thank you.
Yours in public service,
Ask Ana Anything
One of the ways Councilwoman Sandoval wants to give you the answers you need about city government is through "Ask Ana Anything", a recurring part of the weekly District 7 newsletter. Have a question for Ana? Email it to district7@sanantonio.gov with the subject line "Ask Ana Anything".
Councilwoman Sandoval,

Why is Solid Waste trying to increase the fine for placing diapers in the recycling bin? It seems a bit steep.

Thanks,
Skeptical
Hi Skeptical,

This past week, I welcomed the head of Solid Waste Management to the Community Health and Equity Committee to talk about a major challenge his department is facing: dirty diapers.

When a dirty diaper is thrown in with the recycling, a few things happen: the sanitation workers face an unnecessary health risk, the value of hauled recyclable collection drops, and the processing fees for the collection increase.
Dirty diapers alone have cost the City $1.2 million.

Previously, if somebody was found to have placed a dirty diaper in their recycling bin, they received a warning. If they did it again, they were fee $25. Now, they will still receive a warning, but the fee is $50. The fee is charged because Solid Waste must send out a second truck to pick up the bin.

I understand that $50 is a lot of money. However, before anybody receives a fee, they are warned. These warnings have been enough to get nearly all residents who have received them to change their recycling practices.

Thank you for the question.

Sincerely,

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval
Happy Valentine's Day!
Councilwoman in the News
"'Whatever happens on Bandera Road we want it to address congestion but we also want it to address quality of life issues.' Sandoval said."

"Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7), chair of the Community Health and Equity Committee, said the problem is citywide and not confined to certain neighborhoods. Both adult and child diapers are winding up in recycling, she said, adding that people would get a warning before a fine."

Small Business Town Hall
Small businesses are the backbone of San Antonio’s economy. Most of us work for small companies, and they account for a large share of the jobs created across our city.

In District 7, we want to work with these businesses, and help them any way we can. One of our challenges in District 7 is attracting new jobs and investment.

To start the conversation, we’re hosting the first-ever District 7 Small Business Town Hall on Friday, March 9th. Here are some of the details:

  • The Town Hall will be at St. Mary’s University’s AT&T Center.
  • The doors will open at 8 a.m. for breakfast and networking, and the event will run from 8:30-9:30.
  • The event is free and open to all small-business owners in District 7.

If you own your own business, please RSVP and plan to attend! We want to get to know you and your company.
Construction Project Updates
Ongoing Projects
Share Your Thoughts
Announcements
Ongoing
Date: February 21
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: VIA Metropolitan Transit, 1021 San Pedro
The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization wants your input! Attend one of our public meetings to give us your thoughts on transportation projects competing for funding in our region.

Can't attend in person? Participate online February 19-28 at www.alamoareampo.org/YourMove
The number of traffic fatalities in San Antonio was down 26 percent in 2017, according to a memo by Vision Zero San Antonio. This is in contrast to Texas Department of Transportation figures that show fatalities in the state were up 10 percent last year. The memo prepared by The City of San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements (TCI) Department, and shared with Mayor Ron Nirenberg, City Manager Cheryl Sculley and City Council shows that in 2017 there were 143 fatalities, down from 193 fatalities in 2016. The information in the memo came from an analysis of TxDOT’s Crash Report Information System and SAPD data. 

Fatalities from automobile crashes were down 16 percent, for people on motorcycles down 33 percent, pedestrians down 32 percent, and fatalities for people on bicycles had the greatest drop, down 60 percent. 

“I do believe the efforts of Vision Zero are making an impact,” says Art Reinhardt, Assistant Director of Transportation and Planning & Operations at TCI. “Our goal is to achieve zero fatalities on San Antonio roadways. We still have much work to do, but with engineering, education and our residents engaging in safer behavior, we can continue to see improved results.” 

While the report for 2017 is positive, Vision Zero cautions that 2018 didn’t get off to a stellar start. In January of 2018, there were 20 fatalities compared to 12 fatalities in January 2017. 

Vision Zero has also released the results of a comprehensive five-year study identifying Severe Pedestrian Injury Areas (SPIAs) in the city. The study analyzed crash data from 2011 through 2015 to identify locations where two or more crashes – within a half mile - resulted in a death or incapacitating injury. Seventy-six SPIAs were identified in San Antonio. The study also revealed the following: 

  • One-third (33%) of all fatal and incapacitating pedestrian crashes occurred on 1 percent of San Antonio roadways, demonstrating that a significant portion of all severe pedestrian crashes are not happening randomly but rather occurring in concentrated areas.
  • Nearly half (49%) of the severe pedestrian crashes occurred over a six-hour period from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., with the greatest number of crashes happening in the 6 pm hour.
  • The majority (59%) of the severe pedestrian crashes took place during the fall and winter months (September through February). While more than a third (35%) percent occurred in October, November, and December.
The City of San Antonio is seeking applicants to serve as alternates on the Zoning Board of Adjustment (BOA). This board hears and decides appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the Unified Development Code (UDC), Chapter 35 of the San Antonio, Texas Code of Ordinances.  
 
The board may also authorize variances from the provisions of the UDC, where evidence presented supports findings that literal enforcement would result in an unnecessary hardship, and the spirit of the ordinance will be observed. The board functions as a quasi-judicial board and its members are prohibited from discussions about pending cases outside of the formal meeting. The Board requires a quorum of at least nine to convene.  
 
Meetings are generally held on the first and third Mondays at 1 p.m. and typically last four hours. Members are compensated $20 for each seated meeting.
 
Positions will remain open until Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Applications are available here. Interested applicants may obtain more information about the Board of Adjustment here.
 
For additional information, call the City of San Antonio Board of Adjustment staff at (210) 207-8208 or (210) 207-7720. For assistance with the application, please contact Brandon Smith, Boards & Commissions Coordinator, at 207-7253.
Applications are being accepted for the City of San Antonio’s Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) for nine positions. Those interested in applying may do so online using the City’s web-based application for boards and commissions here.

The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
 
The primary purpose of the AAC is to advise the City’s Aviation Director regarding policies affecting the San Antonio International and Stinson Municipal Airports. In addition, Commissioners act as advocates for the San Antonio Airport System to the public, airlines, regulatory agencies, and other beneficiaries of air transportation. The City is seeking applicants for stakeholders in the following categories: Aviation Industry, Business and General Community Organizations, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Taxicab Industry, and Travel & Tourism Industry. Representatives from neighborhood associations in areas located near the City’s airports are also encouraged to apply. 
 
Meetings are held every third Tuesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. at the San Antonio International Airport and members of the commission receive no compensation. For assistance with the application please contact Brandon Smith, Boards & Commissions Coordinator, at 210-207-7253.
Each year, as part of its celebration and focus on youth and education, the MLK, Jr. Commission administers a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program. These scholarships help to fund a portion of the college tuition of several deserving students, regardless of race or ethnicity. Each year, the MLK, Jr. Commission gives thousands of dollars in scholarships, thanks to the support of its many partners. This ceremony will be held in Spring 2018 . 

To be eligible an applicant must:

  • Be a graduating senior from a school in Bexar County
  • Be a Bexar County resident for one year and a U.S. Citizen
  • Have a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or equivalent

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 23, 2018 at 4 p.m. Incomplete applications will be disqualified. Click here for more info.
Councilwoman Ana Sandoval values your input (and coffee). That's why we're inviting you to: Coffee with Ana.

District 7 residents have the opportunity to have a 15-minute, one-on-one conversation with Councilwoman Sandoval. These conversations are by appointment.

The February 17 coffee will be held from 9 AM to 11 AM at the District 7 Field Office at 4414 Centerview Dr., Suite 160. The March 10 coffee will be held from 10 AM to 12 PM.

To make an appointment, call 210-207-0872 or send an email with the subject line "Coffee with Ana" to district7@sanantonio.gov.
Volunteers Needed
Are you interested in becoming more active in your community? Help us beautify District 7 by donating your time and efforts.

Annual Graffiti Wipeout Volunteer Day
Saturday, March 3, 2018
8:30 am - 12 PM

Questions? Contact Melissa Escamilla at 210-207-8178 or Lisa McKenzie at 210-207-5430.

To register, click here.
Upcoming Events
To view more events, visit the calendar on the Your District 7 website here.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Wednesdays: 12:00 - 7:00 PM
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Forest Hills Libary, 5245 Ingram Rd

VITA staff and volunteers will be available to assist with filing your tax returns. This is for people with $60,000 or less in taxable income. This will occur weekly until April 14th.
Basura Bash
Date: February 17
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: O.P. Schnabel Park

Over 200 will be cleaning up an estuary at OP Schnabel Park tomorrow!
All San Antonio Public Library Locations Closed for Staff Training
Date: February 19

All San Antonio Public Library locations will be closed on Monday, February 19 for staff training. Library book drops will remain open for patrons with items due. Access to digital materials, account information, and more will be available at mysapl.org. All library locations will reopen for normal business hours on Tuesday, February 20.
Date: February 20
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: Municipal Plaza B Room

Future public working meeting dates: March 6, March 20
Future public input meeting dates: March 24
Parks Dept's Spring Break Camp
Date: March 12-16
Location: Gilbert Garza Park, 1450 Mira Vista; other locations available.

Registration is now open for the Parks and Recreation Department's Spring Break Camp for children ages 6 to 14. Register here.

Activities will include sports, fitness, active games, and crafts. Lunch and snack included. The camp is $3 per child per day.
Our Office Staff





  • Joseph Bravo
  • Chief of Constituent Services & Administration
  • 210.207.2727


Office Hours
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr #160

Monday - Friday:
9am - 5pm
Maury Maverick Library
8700 Mystic Park

By appointment only.
Please call 210-207-2727.
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