Government Affairs Council Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Rob Killen, Kaufman Killen
Government Affairs Council Chair

The Government Affairs Council is an advocate for North Chamber member businesses, working with local and state elected officials on public policy and legislative issues that impact our economy and quality of life. The Government Affairs Council hosts monthly meetings with local officials, annual lunches with both the Bexar County Judge and San Antonio Mayor, coordinates legislative initiatives and presents North Chamber positions to elected officials. There are a variety of opportunities for members to participate and contribute.

Monthly Meetings
We meet at 8:00 a.m. at the North Chamber offices on the first Tuesday of most months to hear presentations on specific topics from local officials. In February the topic was growth and annexation with guests Councilman Ray Lopez and City Planning Director John Dugan. In March the topic was economic development incentives with guests, David Marquez, Bexar County Economic Development Executive Director, and Rene Dominguez, City Economic Development Director. On April 2, the topic will be transportation, with guests Councilman Reed Williams and Commissioner Kevin Wolff.
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SAWS Rate Increase
On January 22, 2013, the North Chamber Board of Directors adopted a position on the proposed SAWS rate increase based on an extensive review and recommendation by a Government Affairs sub-committee. The sub-committee, composed of a number of technical experts, met with SAWS leadership and analyzed the details of the proposed rate increase and infrastructure needs. The North Chamber Board position was in support of the current proposed rate increase, but only if there is sufficient oversight, transparency and a review of operational efficiencies.

On February 7, 2013 the City Council approved an 8.4% rate increase by a vote of 8 to 3, and incorporated language related to operational efficiencies:

The SAWS Board of Trustees is directed to consider conducting a review for operational efficiencies, preparing an organizational assessment, and developing a program to identify organizational efficiencies and cost saving measures …

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State of the County & Mayor’s Vision
Every year we invite both the County Judge and the San Antonio Mayor to address the North Chamber and give us an update on current and proposed initiatives. On May 24, 2013, County Judge Nelson Wolff will present his annual State of the County Address over lunch at the Omni Hotel. On August 20, 2013, Mayor Julian Castro will share his thoughts with us at the Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio lunch at Oak Hills Country Club. Register Online

If you would like more information on any of our programs, please contact Government Affairs Council Chair Rob Killen at rob@kk-lawfirm.com.