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District 9 Councilman Joe Krier Aims To Fill Unexpired Term Permanently

Ryan Loyd
TPR News

Among the list of candidates on the ballot for the May 10th joint, special and bond election is Joe Krier. The District 9 councilman hopes to lock in the seat for the next year.

It's been nearly six months since the San Antonio City Council picked Krier to fill the vacated seat of Elisa Chan's unexpired term.

And in that time, Krier said he's learned just how important basic city services are but that it does take quite a bit of time to do it all. He's a self-professed conservative who represents a rather conservative North Side district.

He gets along with the rest of the council, who, aside from District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher, is largely less conservative.

But Krier said there are still differences.

"I think I have a working relationship with the council, which at the end of the day we need," he said." But the mayor and I disagree on the streetcar project. He believes in it. I think we need a vote. The mayor and I agree to disagree on partisan politics. He's a very partisan Democrat. I've told him I'm a Republican. And we've agreed to disagree in an agreeable way."

Krier is also a transportation advocate. But he wants San Antonians to decide whether the city goes forward with a streetcar, he's said. He was pleased with an opinion rendered by City Attorney Robbie Greenblum at Krier's request. Greenblum said that there is no city money obligated to the project just yet.

"The city council will have to vote at least twice before city money is obligated, and I'm planning on working with my colleagues to urge a no vote, unless we get a public vote," he said.

He also said toll lanes are another tool in the toolbox for Texas drivers and favors them only if specific requirements are met.

"If we can assure and make sure legally as we have that we are meeting those three requirements; no tolling of existing roads, free alternative, and no financial risk to the state," he said.

But toll road opponents are after Krier, claiming he's wrong for the seat due to several conflicts of interest.

Terri Hall, the director and founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, disagrees that Krier can be a reputable candidate in District 9.

She said his past relationship with the toll road companies is concerning. One example she cited was Krier's 2013 appointment to chair of the State Highway 130 board.

"That is a huge red flag and it should be for San Antonio voters," said Hall. "This would give someone who's literally cozy with and even paid by these toll road special interests way too close of a tie to city hall and to decision makers," she said.

Hall also said with Krier being a former president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, that he's too well connected to big companies and special interests create a problem.

She said he's been an attorney with Bracewell and Giuliani, whose client is 130's builder, Cintra. But Krier said he hasn't worked with the law firm for more than five years.

"They don't communicate with me; I don't know what they're involved with, said Krier.

While Hall can't believe he can completely separated himself from the firm and the issue, Krier doesn't think there's any conflict of interest.

Krier faces Corey Clark, Weston Martinez, Bert Cecconi and Donald Oroian for the District 9 seat.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.