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San Antonio City Council District 9 Race 2021

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Note: Names are listed in order of appearance on the ballot according to the city clerks' office. Answers from candidates have not been edited or fact-checked.

For TPR's full Voter Guide, click here.


Cory W. Dennington

Dropped out and endorsed Patrick Von Dohlen.


Erika Moe

Did not respond.*


Patrick Von Dohlen

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I have been a community advocate for over twenty years and, during that time, have led many community efforts to stop taxpayer waste and to increase transparency at city hall including countless hours spent helping pass ordinances that protect residential neighborhoods.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: As an investment adviser, I believe the city’s $6.4B debt is one of the most unsettling issues facing residents. This debt limits our city’s ability to provide core services to residents citywide and in D9, especially when it comes to police protection and infrastructure. Consequently, when I am elected, I will work to encourage the city to do the following:

A. Avoid accumulating unnecessary debt --- look for efficiency opportunities

B. Avoid spending more revenue than it receives from taxpayers

C. Create additional revenue streams without new government mandates or taxes

D. Work toward property owner tax relief to assist people with escalating property values instead of creating social welfare mitigation funds

E. Use this time of growth to minimize the city debt placed on the backs of taxpayers

F. Avoid putting all of our “eggs in one basket” by going “carbon neutral” for vehicles or for buildings. (We need to keep our energy sources diversified.)

G. Utilize and encourage technological development to promote more efficient and cleaner systems.

H. Promote economic development and job growth by encouraging traditional energy sectors and energy industries to prosper. San Antonio is a great place to live, work and flourish because we value the contributions of a thriving economy.

Q: If you are challenging an incumbent, why do you feel there needs to be a change in leadership and why are you the right person for that change?

A: I believe D9 residents lack a councilman who consistently works in favor of common-sense strategies. Quality of life issues like small business development, infrastructure and public safety have all taken a back seat to the current councilman’s progressive agenda. In fact, I believe the city council has become progressively agenda-driven and are pushing many issues they have no business addressing. D9 is not getting its equal portion of district proceeds. These distractions are leading our city away from core services and are adding an exorbitant tax burden on residents. We cannot sustain this experiment in our local government and need to work toward smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I fully support all our brave first responders and have been actively campaigning against Prop B. I will vote AGAINST Prop B on the May ballot because police officers have the right to freely associate and collectively bargain in good faith. This proposition, if passed, would be a terrible blow to our officers who seek to serve our community. Our goal should be to continue to recruit, train and retain quality officers so they may protect and serve us with the best equipment available.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: The San Antonio Police Department is one of the finest departments in the country. In fact, they have been recognized as such as recently as 2015. The groups trying to discredit this department are doing so under the guise of reform and are primarily interested in defunding police. Am I for accountability in this department? Absolutely, no police department is perfect and we should strive toward a record that adequately recruits, trains and retains quality officers. Police officers need collective bargaining however in order to do so.

I am also for accountability of City Council and will vote AGAINST Prop A.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: No, I don’t feel this was the right approach to job losses. I would have voted against this initiative. We need to re-open and keep open the free market.

The city’s main objective should be to do two things very well: providing core services and protecting our residents. This means the city should strive to streamline a process that collects our trash, ensures our sewage is properly collected and efficiently runs recycling programs. The city should encourage our residents to be proactive in helping them do these tasks.

Our city should NOT be involved in massive government projects like job training and support services. That is the job of other entities including the thousands of worthy non-profit organizations and faith-based communities in our city. They can do this job much more efficiently and prudently than the city can, under the US and Texas constitutions, not the city charter.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: CPS Energy and SAWS are currently owned and managed by the City of San Antonio. I believe this places an overwhelming amount of power and influence in the hands of the Mayor and City Council. The Boards of these two entities are also full of unelected members who have no accountability to the rate payers and citizens of San Antonio. Their only job is to abide by the rules set by City Council. This needs to change.

These entities need to be audited. Board members who failed to be prepared for the Winter Storm should be held accountable. Residents should insist these entities are committed fully to service with accountability and transparency.

We need to repeal the Paris Climate Accord resolution and the CAAP. During the Winter Storm, people were freezing and some froze to death because the Deely Coal Plant wasn’t online as it should have been. Moreover, no power to SAWS pumps meant no water to people either. This is unacceptable.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: I would introduce a CCR to amend the referendum initiative under the City Charter that would allow citizens to reasonably respond to a bad vote by city council. Currently, if city council makes a bad or an unpopular vote, residents would only have 40 days to gather over 105,000 signatures in order to have the issue placed on a ballot. This is unreasonable requirement that is unfair to ordinary citizens.

My CCR would propose that any bad vote of the last regular city election by city council could be challenged by residents who could gather 10% of the electorate or 20,000 signatures, whichever is greater, in 90 days. This is far more reasonable and would increase the accountability and transparency of our local government.


Antonio Salinas

Did not respond.*


John Courage

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: Previously served on the San Antonio Literacy Commission, Elected as District 9 City Councilman 2017, re-elected 2019. I currently Chair or serve on 7 City Commissions, Committees and Boards.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: I have been overseeing many City 2017 Bond Projects being constructed in District 9. I want to insure the D9 Senior Center project, the new Classen-Steubing Park project and the new Encino Park Library Playground project as well as other D9 projects are all completed efficiently, on time and under budget.

Q: If you are the incumbent, what are you most proud of during your time in office so far?

A: I authored the 2019 Homestead Tax Exemption Ordinance that has saved SA tax payers over $8 million dollars. My objective is to increase that tax exemption in this next city budget cycle, saving San Antonio homeowners millions more.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: We must honor our current police contract, by this contract we are obligated to negotiate in good faith, so I have chosen not to comment on the police contract negotiations, nor the ballot initiative brought by the public. The council did not initiate the Proposition, local citizens did, and I believe the voters should make their own decisions about proposition B, and not be influenced by council or SAPOA political rhetoric.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I do not support defunding the Police. There are reforms that the City Council has agreed are priorities for our on-going negotiations with the police union. We must honor our current police contract, by this contract we are obligated to negotiate in good faith, so I have chosen not to comment on the police contract negotiations, nor the ballot initiative brought by the public.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: I believe this may be the most significant decision that the Council asked the citizens to consider, as I believe this program will lift the future economy of this city and many of the participants to more prosperity. The voters overwhelmingly approved the program in November of 2019. 50,000 San Antonio workers will be trained for high end jobs and upgrade their skills and educational opportunities that should help fill tens of thousands of well paying jobs in San Antonio over the next 5 years. A well trained, well educated workforce should attract more good employers to San Antonio as a result of this program.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: I think the City Council needs to hold both SAWS and CPS Energy accountable for their failure to be fully prepared to provide their critical services during Winter Storm URI. Their failure to be weatherized and not communicating effectively with each other and with the general public are unacceptable.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: Many of our neighborhood streets remain unsafe for walkers, runners, cyclists and children at play. I will propose a CCR establishing a citywide a safer speed limit for our residential neighborhood streets of 25mph.


* denotes candidates who did not respond to survey requests sent via email and/or phone calls by time of publication.

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