District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse has ended months of speculation; he’s running for mayor.
The first-term councilman said he believes San Antonio is not heading in the right direction and will challenge incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who is in his first term leading the city council. The two often trade barbed words with each other over city driven policies and decisions.
Brockhouse chose Del Bravo Record Shop on Enrique M. Barrera Parkway to announce his decision to a crowd of about 100 people.
On Saturday, Brockhouse criticized the first two years of Nirenberg’s time in office.
“City Hall has not operated with transparency; we have no real leadership at City Hall,” he said. “The simple fact is that our government refuses to tackle the biggest challenges we face and unfortunately it makes it harder for our businesses to grow and thrive. I’ve watched these problems fester over the last two years while Ron Nirenberg marks time and takes up space.”
Before becoming councilman, Brockhouse, 46, previously worked in the offices of former District 1 council member Mary Alice Cisneros and was a former chief of staff for District 4 Councilman Rey Saldana. He worked on Saldana’s first campaign run in 2011. He also worked for the San Antonio Police Officers Association as a marketing consultant from 2014 to 2016.
Brockhouse wants wages to be his priority as mayor.
“I’m going to be the wage mayor; I’m going to be the job mayor,” Brockhouse said. “At the end of the day, I think San Antonians would like to make as much money as they can and keep as much of it as they can.”
He criticized decisions to give incentives to large companies and promised to invest in smaller businesses.
“If we can do it for the USAA’s and Credit Human’s of the world, we can do it for the small business owner on Old Highway 90, right?,” he said. “We’ve got to get back to basics and create the job opportunities for the people who are really doing it.”
Brockhouse said he would focus on job growth and supporting small and medium size businesses, as well as lowering property taxes.
He also spoke directly to the police and fire union members who were present.
“You won’t have to worry about your jobs or anything like that, you won’t have to worry about your paychecks or your retirement,” he said.
Support from the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association was apparent. Two tents with the union’s insignia were set up.
The City of San Antonio has had a rocky relationship with both the police and fire union due to contract negotiations. The police union and the city came to an agreement on a contract in 2015. The fire union began negotiations with the city last week after its contract expired in 2014.
In front of his supporters, Brockhouse touted some of his actions.
“When the city proposed a streetcar boondoggle back in 2014 … I said no and led the fight to defeat it. When the city proposed multiple water rate increases, I fought the rate increase request and voted no on behalf of the citizens of San Antonio.” he said.
Brockhouse assisted the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association in its efforts to bring an amendment to the city charter that proposed blocking city money from being used on light rail projects without future public votes. That amendment passed.
Brockhouse was also union’s strongest proponent on city council when the union brought another set of charter amendments last year known as Props A, B, and C. Voters approved two of those amendments.
Brockhouse may have an uphill battle in trying to obtain the mayor’s seat. A sitting mayor has only been unseated twice since the early 1990s. One of whom was Mayor Ivy Taylor, who lost her reelection just two years ago. She was unseated by the curent mayor, Ron Nirenberg, after a contentious runoff election.
"Councilman Brockhouse has always said he was going to run for Mayor and now he’s made it official," Nirenberg said in a statement. "I am focused on maintaining San Antonio’s momentum, prosperity and bright future. The voters have a clear choice between experience, success and a strong vision for the future versus Councilman Brockhouse and I have faith and confidence in their support of the job I’ve been doing as Mayor."
As of Saturday, Brockhouse is the 7th person to announce a run for the mayor's seat.
Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org or on Twitter at @Joeycules