San Antonio citizens have an important decision on Saturday: Will they vote to bring themselves even higher taxes and more discrimination?
On June 8, over a month after the original election, the Alamo City will finally choose a mayor—either city council member Greg Brockhouse or current Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Saturday’s contest is a result of a stalemate in the May 4 election, where none of the original nine candidates won a majority, thus forcing a rematch between the top two.
The race has stirred contention in the community, particularly surrounding the current mayor’s recent discriminatory actions.
Nirenberg, who was elected mayor in 2017, has been tangled in controversy after he voted in March to ban Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport solely due to the restaurant owner’s beliefs on marriage. The popular chicken eatery was originally one of the restaurants set to be included in the terminal, but the council filed an amendment to kick them out.
After the decision drew nationwide backlash and the opening of an investigation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Nirenberg tried to backpedal his rationale for discriminating against the company; the mayor claimed he banned Chick-fil-A because they are not open on Sundays, despite the fact that Chick-fil-A was rated “Best Franchise Brand” in 2018 by Airport Review News.
Soon after the council’s decision, Brockhouse called for a revote of the ban, but Nirenberg used his tie-breaking vote to yet again ban Chick-fil-A from the airport.
The ban became the most controversial issue in the mayoral race and is one that Nirenberg has tried to get away from.
“How much oxygen is this going to take up?” Nirenberg asked recently, dismissing the issue as “the fast food subcontract.”
Not only has Nirenberg voted to ban organizations he disagrees with, but he has also voted to take more money from citizens—choosing to increase taxes ever since taking office on the city council in 2013. The average San Antonio homeowner is now paying the city roughly $400 more per year than they did just four years ago.
On the other hand, Brockhouse, a newcomer to the city council, has voted against tax increases and stated on his campaign site that “a family needs to keep more of their money. City Hall needs to do more with the money they already have and learn to give some of it back by reducing property taxes and fees.”
It is up to San Antonio voters on Saturday to decide whether they will allow Nirenberg to continue discriminating and taking more of their hard-earned cash, or if they will choose a different path for their city and their wallets.