August Word from the Chairman

Turner_Annie-Chairmans-photo-PRAdvocacy Alert: Storm Water Fee “Postponed Indefinitely” by Mayor, City Manager
Your North San Antonio Chamber has been hard at work for you as we attended stakeholder meetings for the proposed City of San Antonio Storm Water Fee changes. Over the last several weeks, we reviewed and provided comments on the proposed Storm Water Fee rate and methodology restructuring. While we recognize the need to fund critical drainage programs across the City, we did not agree with the proposed methodology and rates that were proposed to take effect in FY15 and FY16, respectively. We took the issue to the North SA Chamber board, which voted at the July board meeting to oppose the fee changes. After an advocacy campaign that included a letter to City staff and elected officials, an email alert to members, media interviews and social media posts, we were pleased to learn from Mayor Ivy R. Taylor at this month’s sold-out Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio event that she was recommending to the City Manager that the proposed Storm Water Fee changes be “postponed indefinitely.”

We couldn’t be happier with Mayor Taylor’s decision and Manager Sheryl Sculley’s willingness to revisit the Storm Water Fee methodology, while also removing it from the FY15 budget. We will continue to work in partnership with City staff and officials to identify a reasonable methodology and rate structure that will not impede business expansion, retention or recruitment, while still allowing the City to secure the funding it requires for the important drainage infrastructure maintenance and capital improvement projects our districts need.

You can read and watch coverage from Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio here:

Rivard Report, WOAI 4, KENS 5, KSAT 12, KABB 29

Advocacy Alert: Support for Constitutional Amendment for Increased Funding for Transportation
A strong transportation infrastructure is fundamental to Texas’ quality of life and economic vitality, attracting new businesses and generating new jobs. According to the latest report of the 2030 Commission, approximately $6.1 billion per year in construction funding is needed to achieve “worst possible” transportation conditions and $9.5 billion per year is need to achieve “minimally competitive” transportation conditions. The current State budget results in a $1.1 billion shortfall in transportation construction funding and that shortfall will increase to $3.5 billion in the next biennium based on current revenue projections.

Thus, the North San Antonio Chamber board of directors supports the proposed constitutional amendment to provide for the transfer of certain general revenue to the economic stabilization and state highway funds, and for the dedication of the revenue transferred to the state highway fund to be used only for developing public road rolls (not toll roads) and that those dedicated funds be allocated by the Texas Department of Transportation in a manner consistent with existing formulas to ensure that the entire state benefits from this additional funding. The proposed amendment will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot and we encourage you to vote in favor of the amendment that increases funding for transportation. Help to keep Texas moving!

Announcing – North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife

We’re proud to announce that we have teamed up with MetLife to present the North SA Chamber Member Benefit Solutions program that offers members with 2 to 999 employees competitive group rates for life, dental, disability and vision coverage. The program features a product suite including:

  • Basic Term Life Insurance including Supplemental Term Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Group Dental Benefits that include Pediatric Dental Essential Health Benefits (EHB), where appropriate
  • Employer-Sponsored Short- & Long-term Disability
  • Voluntary Short-term Disability (VSTD)
  • VisionAccess Program*

*   The MetLife VisionAccess program is a discount program and not an insured benefit. It is provided through Vision Service Plan (VSP), Rancho Cordova, CA. VSP is not affiliated with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company or its affiliates.

Learn more about Member Benefit Solutions program by MetLife

To learn more about how MetLife can benefit you, we encourage you to contact your agent or broker or search the FIND A MEMBER online directory to find a North SA Chamber member agent or broker.

Like most group insurance policies, MetLife group policies contain certain exclusions, exceptions, waiting periods, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. Eligibility varies by product based on the number of eligible versus participating employees. Ask your MetLife group representative for costs and complete details.

 

 

Advocacy Alert: North SA Chamber Opposes Proposed Storm Water Fee Changes

North Chamber logo 4c stackedThe City of San Antonio (CoSA) Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI) proposed a project to “migrate the existing Storm Water Utility Fee from one based upon land use and parcel size to one based upon impervious cover,” and completed a study to determine revenues needed to be recovered by the fee over the next five years. TCI has communicated the proposed changes in rate methodology to various stakeholders including governmental agencies, chambers of commerce, professional and other organizations, as well as school districts. Learn more about the Storm Water Utility Fee

As the process has progressed, the North SA Chamber, as a stakeholder, has determined the proposed Storm Water Fee changes will penalize property owners for building activity that occurred before the adoption of the proposed methodology and rates. The Storm Water Fee restructuring will affect both residential and commercial customers.

The North SA Chamber board of directors met Tuesday, July 22, 2014 and voted in opposition of the proposed Storm Water Fee as it is currently presented. We have seen example commercial Storm Water Fee calculations using the proposed methodology showing in most cases, increases of several hundred percent, and in some cases, increases of more than 1000% or even 2000%. This is unreasonable. Click here to read the letter your North SA Chamber sent to city staff and officials

The Storm Water Fee restructuring will result in increases in commercial fees that will be burdensome to absorb by public schools, colleges, universities and existing businesses with large campuses including corporate headquarters, manufacturing facilities, hotels/resorts, attractions, multi-family housing, commercial office complexes, auto dealerships, retail establishments and others. Additionally, the new methodology and rates would be unattractive to an existing business considering expansion or a new business considering relocation within the city limits of San Antonio, thus will result in a negative impact on business retention, expansion and recruitment.

North SA Chamber Position:
The North SA Chamber is opposed to an increase in Storm Water Fees to any individual user of more than 10% in any given fiscal year. The North SA Chamber respectfully requests that the proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring not be adopted in the 2015 CoSA budget, and that the process be permitted to continue further until the City, stakeholders and the public can address issues including the definition of impervious cover, methodology, rate structure and appeals. Click here to obtain the Advocacy Alert flyer

Call to Action:

  • Contact the Mayor and your City Council Representative.
  • Tell them September 2014 is too early to adopt the flawed, proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring.
  • Tell them you are opposed to the Storm Water Fee proposed methodology and rates.
  • Ask them to continue to revise the proposed Storm Water Fee methodology and rates with stakeholder and public input.

City Elected Officials Contact Information:

Mayor Ivy R. Taylor
210.207.7060
Mayor.IvyTaylor@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Diego Bernal, District 1
210.207.7279
district1@sanantonio.gov

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 3
210.207.7064
district3@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Rey Saldana, District 4
210.207.7281
district4@sanantonio.gov

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 5
210.207.7043
Shirley.Gonzales@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Ray Lopez, District 6
210.207.7065
district6@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Cris Medina, District 7
210.207.7044
district7@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Ron Nirenberg, District 8
210.207.7086
district8@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Joe Krier, District 9
210.207.7325
district9@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Mike Gallagher, District 10
210.207.7276
district10@sanantonio.gov

City of San Antonio Mayor & City Council

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

Physical Address
City Hall, 4th Floor
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205

Advocacy Alert SWF Flyer