While our local elected representatives are returning from their holidays to resume the work of the citizens, 2022 promises to be a busy year for them and for the voters. Below, we take a look at four critical dates for local government in the New Year.
CPS Ãnergie tariff increase: City Council will vote on January 13 to allow CPS Energy to increase its residential rate by 3.85%. The council will have to decide whether the utility owned by the municipality has made its point. The utility’s own tariff advisory committee approved the hike, and the board approved $ 20 million in federal coronavirus funds to help residents hard hit by the pandemic pay their overdue bills.
Will this be enough? It has been a terrible year for the public service. Rating agencies gave him a negative outlook in October and warned that without a rate hike, his good credit rating could erode further. CEO Paula Gold-Williams steps down after defending the utility’s poor performance and lack of communication during winter storm failures, a flood of executive resignations and lavish expense reports. A Bexar Facts poll which found that more than half of residents disapprove of the performance of the public service. The way the board votes could also affect the utility’s ability to attract a strong CEO.
Primary election: On March 1, Democrats, Republicans and Independents will go to the polls to choose their candidates in the November election for Congress, the governor of Texas and, locally, for the judge of Bexar County. Nelson Wolff, who has held the seat for the past two decades, announced in October that he would not run for a sixth term.
In the Democratic primary for the nomination of county judges, three candidates will compete. Ivalis Meza Gonzalez, daughter of the late Democratic organizer Choco Meza, was recently Chief of Staff to Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Peter Sakai, former judge of the 225th District Court, stakes his campaign on his judicial work dedicated to the well-being of children and families. Representative Ina Minjarez, who was the first to testify, said she believes she can do more in Bexar County than in Austin.
Republicans will choose between Ward 3 County Commissioner Trish DeBerry, who resigned from the seat she has only held since January to run, and Gerard Ponce, a standing candidate who recently tried to run for the precinct 4 commissioner but was expelled from the poll for living outside the precinct.
Election of municipal bonds: If history is any guide, a small fraction of eligible San Antonio voters will decide on May 7 whether the city should borrow $ 1.2 billion to meet urgent municipal needs in six areas: streets and sidewalks, drainage, parks and open spaces, municipal facilities, public safety and, for the first time in San Antonio, affordable housing.
City council had the first chance to vote on staff recommendations for each category, pushing for more street and drainage repairs – and more time to weigh in. Residents also volunteered their time to review projects and offer their input through the committees. The drainage committee voted to divert public art funding for other drainage projects; The Texas Biomedical Research Institute withdrew its funding request after objections to its animal research – a reminder that not all bond funding goes to city projects. The parks committee voted to further reduce spending on the linear greenway, while the housing obligations committee voted unanimously on the proposed spending program of $ 150 million.
The board will finalize each bond package based on all feedback.
General election: Voters in Bexar County will have the opportunity to go to the polls for the third time in 2022 on November 8. In addition to the congressional midterm elections and the Texas gubernatorial race, local voters will choose between the Democratic and Republican primary winners for county judge. . A subset of those voters, who live in Ward 3 of the county, will also choose a new commissioner.
Because DeBerry opted at the last minute to run for county judge, the vacancy in the Ward 3 seat came too late for candidates to compete in the March primaries; instead, according to the state electoral code, party executive committees choose their candidates. We don’t know when the parties will decide; Wolff has announced that he will appoint DeBerry’s temporary replacement by the end of January.