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Councilman Ron Nirenberg Will Leave Job To Focus On City Duties

Ryan Loyd
Texas Public Radio
Councilman Ron Nirenberg will leave his job as General Manager of KRTU to focus on his duties with the city.

In five short months, District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg has found juggling the demands of his job at Trinity University's jazz station, KRTU, and the constituents of his Northwest Side area, divided his focus a bit more than he'd like on each.

Not to mention his wife and his young son.

That's why the newly-elected councilman said he is stepping down as the General Manager of KRTU, a role he assumed recently after serving as the station's Assistant General Manager.

"The decision for me to focus on my responsibilities as District 8 councilman comes with a great deal of thought and also consideration for me being the best husband and father I can possibly be as well," he said.

Of the two jobs he'd rather do, Nirenberg quickly responded that he'd rather be serving the people of his district, noting that vacating his executive-level position is not disappointing or that he was forced out. Typically, Nirenberg found himself conducting business at the station at the beginning and end of each week, with focus on city council meetings and projects in the middle of the week.

Nirenberg said in the four and a half years at KRTU, he has been most proud of increasing the station's cultural presence in San Antonio.

"It has been a privilege to work at Trinity University and to build a cultural asset through KRTU in San Antonio," he said.

Trinity is like home for Nirenberg, who graduated from the university in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. He received a Master's degree in communication from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School. For the next decade, he would work at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, where he researched and analyzed local governments and their civic issues. That included a study in the early 2000s, he said, of issues that San Antonio faced.

"We were focused mainly on policy research at the municipal level, local government level, so we got to observe and analyze and communicate policy from many different cities with many different constituencies and issues at the municipal level," Nirenberg said. "It certainly gives me a deep appreciation for what cities and counties and local governments can accomplish."

Nirenberg will be able to make ends meet with a consulting business he and his wife operate. But he pointed out the fact that the city council does not earn a living wage - they get just $20 per meeting - makes it difficult for a traditional job-dependent person (who may be qualified) to run for a spot on the dais.