Brockhouse Releases Comprehensive Plan to Clean Up City Hall
Updated: Mar 22
Pledges to End Insider Deals, Improve Transparency, Accountability
SAN ANTONIO, TX — San Antonio mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse today released his 11-point plan to clean up City Hall by ending waste, fraud and abuse and finally stop the insider deals that have flourished under Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
“Average San Antonio residents do not have access to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, only the wealthy and well-connected do,” said Brockhouse. “When I am Mayor, we will end the waste, fraud and abuse at City Hall. We will be responsible stewards of precious taxpayer dollars. We will operate ethically. We will institute transparency. And most importantly we will end the insider deals that are fleecing taxpayers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year. This won’t make me popular with the insiders, who are bankrolling Ron’s campaign and dark money PAC. But it is the right thing to do.”
BROCKHOUSE PLAN: Clean Up City Hall. End Fraud, Waste and Abuse
Objective 1: Initiate City/County merger discussions for key overlapping functions.
1. City/County Merger review on the following key functions:
Metro Health and UHS
Metro Health has clear leadership issues, and this has been a detriment to contact tracing, community response and virus spread
Combine magistration and create a humane and cost-effective justice model
Cleanliness and Trash
Objective 2: Implement the Hire Now, Hire Local contracting program to ensure a fair playing field for small businesses.
1. Completely revamp the City’s contractor selection process to ensure local businesses, founded and built in San Antonio, have the edge to win contracts
Change the scoring methodology to favor local businesses
Ensure bonding and insurance requirements are attainable for small businesses bidding on local contracts
Increase set asides for contracts and increase local participation mandates for prime contractors
2. Set aggressive targets for small, women, minority owned business enterprises
Double SWMBE participation in 2 years
Objective 3: The City owns our utilities. Force transparency and accountability at CPS Energy and SAWS.
1. Implement a complete overhaul of CPS Energy and SAWS Open Records Request processes
Ensure strict adherence to City expectations and turn times
Publicly publish all open records requests and their turn times
2. Demand full spending and budget accountability
Post all spending online in an easy and accessible format for public review
Objective 4: Produce cost calculations for every policy initiative and ensure all spending data is posted for public view.
1. All items presented before City Council for final vote will have a cost analysis present
This includes impact statements to voters, taxation and debt transparency
This will be a Taxpayer Scorecard
2. Demand full spending and budget accountability
Post all spending online and in an easy and accessible format for public review
Objective 5: Study the expansion of the City Council to add council members.
1. Consider expanding the number of seats on the City Council
As population has drastically grown, council member positions have not
Service levels are suffering as a result
Redistricting provides the opportunity to evaluate expansion
Review like sized municipalities, create the model to expand
Determine funding needs for expansion
Solicit public input and debate expansion
Objective 6: Create a Citizen Policy Portal. Engage citizens to recommend policy initiatives on a monthly basis.
1. Portal will be accessible over all social media and website platforms
2. Citizens can submit policy ideas and expect review and analysis
Policy ideas will be reviewed monthly
Portal will increase communication and outreach and promote citizen/government partnership
Objective 7: Address property taxes and property valuations.
1. Partner with the County for a total review of property taxes and their impact on San Antonio families. Begin the process of legislative changes to the Bexar County Appraisal District to make it far more accountable to local government and most importantly, its citizens
Push for property tax freezes post pandemic
Freeze or reduce commercial property taxes to jumpstart job creation
Align with County leadership to change Appraisal District leadership
Ensure property taxes are frozen in potential gentrification zones due to City growth patterns
Wherever the city incents growth, we freeze taxes to ensure homeowners aren’t priced out of their houses
Objective 8: Immediately review all City approved departments and programs for cost savings opportunities.
1. Create the City of San Antonio Sunset Commission
Create a schedule to review all city department funding, effectiveness and necessity over a 2-year period
Eliminate redundant or wasteful spending
Consolidate services where possible
Every major initiative must be evaluated and answer 3 core questions:
Does it create a job, rise a paycheck now or train an employee now?
Does it put a roof, or keep a roof, over someone’s head now?
Does it put food on a table now?
Objective 9: End voting and debate behind closed doors in Executive Sessions.
1. Minimize the amount of executive session discussions and push for on the record comments and debate
Wherever possible, if it involves the community or their tax dollars, debate in public
Revamp all Executive Session rules to drastically reduce available topics
Instruct the City Attorney to draft clear rules of engagement in Executive Sessions and enforce on all members of the Council
2. Record all Executive Sessions and adhere to the most stringent interpretations of total transparency in government action
3.Completely revamp the Open Records Request process to ensure every request is met within 10 business days
Post all Open Records Request for the public to verify turn times and adherence to the law
Move to 100% digital search without delay
Drastically reduce the use of Attorney General opinions to slow down open records request delivery. Disclose everything
Objective 10: Recap all City Council meetings to the community.
1. At a minimum distribute a weekly e-blast highlighting all City Council votes and public policy status
We must deliver City Council updates to all of San Antonio in multiple formats
Weekly eblast from the City Council
Social media marketing blitzes to deliver information
Revamp the SA Speak Up Program for continual resident outreach on a weekly basis. Double participation and public input year over year
All information gathered will be utilized to inform City Council on pending topics for the week
2. Conduct quarterly City Council Roundups to highlight public policy and program status. Be accountable to the community as a whole and justify decisions
We must deliver a community wide dashboard on programs by department
Progress must be measured and delivered to the community
Objective 11: Take City Hall on the road. Expand voter participation.
1. Hold City Council meetings in each Council District, fully accessible to all
One per month, rotating
Invite local leaders in Districts to participate
2. Evaluate all Boards and Commissions appointments
We must focus on the future and determine the right team of leaders to take our community forward and we must reduce service requirements for Boards and Commissions
Goal is full participation, make the Boards and Commissions valuable and community focused. Revamp and reward
We need a City Council led push to engage and draw out leaders
3. Explore expanding City Council candidate election participation and build voter participation goals
Conduct an extensive research project to determine why voters fail to engage municipal races
The main roadblock to running for office money. The main obstacle to supporting a candidate for the average citizen, is money. We must close the gap and draw in participation
Direct city staff to research how we aid in decreasing the financial barriers to elected office
Voting and democracy must be expanded in San Antonio. We need more candidates and ideas, and it must be a Council priority to expand participation
Create a Voter Participation Model to increase San Antonio City Council voter participation in municipal races to 25%
Objective 12: Deliver an exceptional level of service to each constituent 100% of the time.
1. Source and implement a City Hall constituent tracking program for service level tracking
Publicly post all turn times and service levels, by District, for citizen review
2. City Hall will answer every constituent, all of the time. Establish a benchmark for service and invest in community wide tracking programs to follow and grade every Council office in response, publishable to the entire City
3. 24-hour response to all emails and phone calls
Greg Brockhouse was elected to the City Council in 2017 and previously served the city in several senior roles for other members of the City Council. He served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years. He is a graduate of Texas State University.
Learn more about Greg Brockhouse and his campaign by visiting http://www.GregBrockhouse.com.