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San Antonio Tricentennial CEO Resigns

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
A Tricentennial balloon in the Fiesta Battle of Flowers Parade from 2016

The CEO of San Antonio’s Tricentennial Commission, Edward Benavides, has resigned effective immediately, according to a statement from the commission.

Benavides’ departure comes a few weeks after WOAI-TV officials questioned the bidding process for a media partnership, which was awarded to KSAT-TV. WOAI claims KSAT had multiple meetings with Tricentennial officials before official bidding by the city began.  The city countered in a facebook video that WOAI did not respond to an initial request for proposals. 

Edward Benavides is the brother of Brandon Benavides, who is an executive producer at KSAT.

In a statement, Benavides said he wanted to step aside to limit distractions.

“The Tricentennial is an important historic milestone, to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors alike,” he said. “Our 300th anniversary should imbue joy, aspiration and legacy, not the negativity that currently surrounds the community wide planning. For these reasons I have resigned as CEO of the commission.”

The Tricentennial is a non-profit local government corporation formed by vote of the San Antonio City Council in 2015 to fundraise and coordinate events surrounding the 300th anniversary of San Antonio’s founding.

Credit San Antonio 300 Website
San Antonio 300 Website
San Antonio Tricentennial CEO resigns.

Commission members thanked Benavides for his commitment.

"We appreciate Edward's steadfast commitment to the Tricentennial planning effort," Commission President Robert Thrailkill said. "Edward worked extremely hard to prepare for the official celebration of San Antonio's 300th birthday. We respect his decision to do what he believes is in the best interest of the city.”

Others focused on the continuing effort to organize the dozens of events.

"The Tricentennial Commission remains focused on a successful 300th birthday celebration that highlights the city's history, culture and arts,"Commission Co-chairman Lionel Sosa said. "Our full concentration is on the commemoration of San Antonio's important milestone and the 700 community events to be held next year.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he applauded Benavides’ willingness to step aside to “minimize distractions as San Antonio commemorates its 300th birthday.”

Benavides joined the Tricentennial in 2015. San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley said Benavides would be reassigned into the city organization.  

“I’m grateful for the passion and commitment he gave to the Tricentennial effort, and there is no question that the year-long celebration will be a great success and source of pride for our community,” she said.

Until a replacement is selected, Assistant City Manager Carlos Contreras will serve as interim CEO.

Tricentennial events will last throughout 2018 and scheduled to begin Dec. 31.

Joey Palacios can be reached at joey@tpr.org or on Twitter @joeycules