SAN ANTONIO – Ron Nirenberg, who upset incumbent Ivy Taylor in Saturday’s runoff election, says there’s no time to rest before he gets sworn in as Mayor on June 21.
"We gave ourselves maybe 45 minutes to feel really excited, and now we've gotten back to work,” says Mayor-Elect Nirenberg. “We're going to address the concerns that neighbors have brought to us throughout this campaign.”
A concern that impacts absolutely everyone is traffic. In the short term, he promises small fixes like synchronization and lane striping. Longer term, he plans to pave the way for a modern mass transit system.
"I'm not talking about streetcar. Light rail is one possibility. None of this will happen without a voter-approved plan, though,” Nirenberg says.
He also plans to tackle crime, saying we have to put more officers on the streets.
"We have one of the lowest officers-per-capita of big cities in the country and that's going to be a challenge that we have to address,” says Nirenberg.
He cautions we also have to maintain programs like neighborhood crime prevention.
And speaking of neighborhoods: in the face of gentrification, he promises to push to keep home prices affordable.
"A comprehensive and compassionate housing policy that allows us with confidence to invest in our communities, invest in our neighborhoods,” Nirenberg says.
In the meantime, he has to work with six new council members as they adjust to new roles.
"We have to be leaders for our constituents who elected us and that's what they should expect from me,” says Nirenberg.
By EMILY BAUCUM