With the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, District 1 Councilman Diego M. Bernal would like to thank San Antonio residents who gave input and participated in the multiple Budget Public Meetings held throughout the city. Facing funding shortfalls, Councilman Bernal listened to the public and worked diligently to ensure vital City services and programs remained in place, while working to reduce and balance the budget.
“We heard a lot of concern about reduced library hours, reduced pool hours, and other proposals that would burden many of our residents who rely on these important public services. We had to make necessary, and sometimes painful, decisions on how we could best balance the budget, keep those services and move the city forward. The community said they were willing to invest a small amount to accomplish this. I believe that, together, we’ve done that,” Councilman Bernal said.
The District 1 councilman recommended no reductions in Parks and Recreation swimming pool hours, the elimination of proposed swim pass and community center membership fees, that San Antonio Public Libraries to remain open seven days a week, no reductions to the SAPD domestic violence Crisis Response Team (CRT), and no reductions in senior center services and food programs.
Additionally, Councilman Bernal has been a strong advocate for increases in sidewalk construction. In this budget, his Sidewalks to Schools proposal has resulted in the addition of $4.5 million in and around 21 schools in ten council districts, totaling $8.5 million for citywide sidewalk projects in 2014. “From day one, we’ve pushed for more sidewalk funding,” the councilman said. “Since coming into office, we’ve been able to increase funding for sidewalks by millions of dollars. In the voter approved 2012 Bond, District 1 received $6 million dedicated to residential sidewalks, which was completely unheard of in any other Bond proposals. Sidewalks to Schools is a tremendous addition to that effort.”
“I will continue to advocate for quality of life, not only for District 1 residents, but for all San Antonians,” Councilman Bernal said. “We all deserve to enjoy the benefits our city has to offer and to feel safe in our own neighborhoods and community gathering places.”