Government

Mayor's Message

 
LION’S ROAR – JUNE-JULY, 2018

By:  Mayor Chris Riley 

MEET YOUR CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
Thank you for re-electing me to another term as your Mayor.  I am deeply honored and will continue working hard for you.  My door is open to listen to any concerns or great suggestions for our community!  I return calls and emails in a timely fashion and will do my best to resolve any issue you have. If you would like to meet, please call Angela Trejo, administrative assistant, at (210) 684-1391, Ext. 210 to schedule a convenient time. 

Returning for another two year term is Councilor Benny Martinez, Place 4.  Mr. Martinez owns QualTel Communications, based in Leon Valley and also serves as a board member of the Leon Valley Chamber of Commerce.  One of his main interests has been an emphasis on attracting & retaining businesses to our community.   

Welcome to newly-elected Councilor Catherine Rodriguez, Place 2, who won in an open spot when Councilor Ealy decided not to run.  In 2017, Dr. Rodriguez obtained her Ph.D in Transformation Leadership from Concordia University in Oregon.  Catherine works at UTSA in the Interdisciplinary department as a Teacher’s Coach.  She founded the Leon Valley Ballet Folklorico (2004).  She is the proud mother of her son Tristan, a sophomore at Our Lady of the Lake University.

Returning for the second year of their two-year terms are:  Councilors Dr. David Edwards, Place 1, Monica Alcocer, Place 3 and David Jordan, Place 5.  We would like to extend our appreciation to Councilor Belinda Ealy for her service on the council. We wish her all the best.

WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION FOR RELIEVING CONGESTION ON BANDERA ROAD?
On April 24, 2018, I and other Leon Valley representatives met with San Antonio City Councilor Ana Sandoval, State Representative Justin Rodriguez, and TXDOT to begin the process for developing an engineered solution for Bandera Road from 410 to 1604.  Bandera Road is # 62 on Texas’s most congested highways.   The solution will need to address how to efficiently move cars and people (transit, walking, biking)), address the east-west access across Bandera Road, consider economic development impacts, and obtain the necessary funds to complete the project.    

TXDOT originally vetted 6 options for Bandera Road in 2016. Here is a summary of these options:

  1. Super Street configuration – no left turns onto Bandera road from side streets;
  2. Add one lane on each side of Bandera Road in the median;
  3. Add elevated turn lanes at Grissom and Eckert roads;
  4. Extend elevated flyover from 410 to 1604;
  5. Expand Bandera Road into a major highway with frontage roads.
  6. Do nothing.

 TXDOT will now add the Boulevard or “complete street” concept to the above options for complete vetting and engineering.   This was presented at the annual Town Hall meeting in January as an idea developed from UTSA Center for Urban & Regional Planning. TXDOT will hire an engineering firm in the Fall  of 2018 to begin traffic analysis and destination studies for all options.  Tentatively, in the Spring of 2019, TXDOT, with its consultant, should be ready to present the results of the engineering studies.  A series of public meetings will be held to obtain citizen and business input to determine the preferred option.   Once this preferred option is agreed upon, which will take approximately two years, it is anticipated that it will still be another five years to build out the preferred option.

Meanwhile, Councilor Sandoval and I, who both serve on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), will work on obtaining an additional grant for a Bandera corridor study.  State Representative Justin Rodriguez has agreed to work at the legislature to obtain additional funding. Among ourselves, we have committed to meeting on a monthly basis to keep focused on what needs to be done to move this project forward.  I’m hopeful that the determination and synergy of this working group of elected officials will pay off as we move forward.  I will keep you informed as things progress.

 CITIZENS’ CONCERNS
As I walked various neighborhoods during the campaign, our citizens were most gracious to open their doors and talk about their concerns and what was right about Leon Valley.  The most consistent comment was that the main reason people live in Leon Valley is the sense of safety derived from the excellent police, fire and EMS service.  I was also amazed at how many extended families live in Leon Valley. For example, parents may live in Linkwood and their son’s family live in Old Mill.  This was repeated everywhere I walked.

Here is a sampling of what I heard going door to door:

  • Citizens want more enforcement against speeding on Evers Road and in the neighborhoods.
  • Most citizens were satisfied with the change to one recycling and one garbage pickup a week.  Concerns about Tiger Sanitation service included not closing lids when it rains and picking up only four bags at the curb.

Tiger has agreed to close lids when it is raining.  Tiger will also help seniors handle heavy containers.  Extra bags of leaves can be taken to the Public Works front gate area for mulching.

  • What to do about feral cats was another topic.  We have a trap, neuter and release policy.  Call Animal Control at (210) 684-1391, Ext. 229.
  • Difficulty getting through to dispatch (non-emergency) after hours was a concern shared by a number of citizens.  City staff will research this issue (how long on hold, etc) and will report back to the council.
  •  Oak Wilt, Red Light Cameras, Evers Road bridge construction, and closed businesses on Bandera Road were some of the other topics discussed.

I have turned in all concerns to the city manager so staff, as well as the city council, can communicate how these issues are being addressed. Thanks to everyone who opened their door for me – I greatly appreciate the time you gave.

See you at the 4th of July Festivities in Rimkus Park! This year’s activities will start at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K Run/Walk, then our annual Parade, followed by the 1st annual Soap Box Derby.  Pool activities will take place in the afternoon.  Food booths, carnival rides and musical entertainment begin at 5:00 p,m  in Rimkus Park, ending with fireworks at dusk.  The Evers Road bridge will still be closed due to construction (due to open completely by late July, weather permitting), so please plan appropriately.

Sincerely, Chris