One Great New Year, Coming Right Up!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
January 22, 2004
We hear a lot about vision and about aiming high. With the New Year underway, I look forward to a great new year of vision and of aiming high regarding all of our County's challenges and opportunities. Bexar County is well positioned to deal with both.
Judge Nelson Wolff delivered his view of the accomplishments of the recent past and future direction of the County at the last Commissioner's Court meeting. Naturally he celebrated the landing of Toyota as well as an as yet unnamed supplier Toyota is seeking to attract that will add another 1,000 jobs to the 4,000 Toyota intends to bring to Bexar County. He also celebrated the attraction of Maxim Integrated Products to take over the semiconductor facility formerly run by Philips. As much as I would prefer not to extend tax phase-in's, they were essential to the attraction of both of these major employers.
While we celebrate the successful landing of the U.S. Army South along with its $25 million payroll and 500 good and stable jobs, BRAC 2005 must be one of our highest priorities. Brooks, Fort Sam and Randolph as well as Martindale Air Field are all in Precinct Four. We must fight for these assets in the national defense arsenal to remain here!
The Community Arenas Board, formerly the Coliseum Advisory Board presently chaired by Dan Puckett, will continue to discuss a comprehensive on-site plan that would accommodate future economic expansion of the Freeman Complex. This should help evolve a very meaningful complex from a more limited dynamic existing prior to the SBC Center. We will continue to develop as well, the Arena District Development Plan for the communities surrounding the Freeman Complex.
Improvements north and south of downtown on the San Antonio River will continue. This should give breathing room to locals who may still go to the familiar spots on the River but also have a choice of other possible locations we haven't historically considered visiting. The combination of welcome visitors and gracious locals will continue to make San Antonio and Bexar County the top visitor destination in Texas!
The Decade of Transportation
The next ten years will indeed be the decade of transportation in Bexar County, if not in all of Texas. We are on the grow and I understand that a population about the size of Corpus Christi will call San Antonio home by the year 2025! That's about 277,000 new people!
The Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail District will continue planning for traffic needs on I-35 North from San Antonio to Austin. At the same time, SH 130 from Seguin to Austin will be developed to relieve some portion of the present I-35 traffic conditions. To refuse to do something different from what we have been doing i.e., expanding ad infinitum, I-35, would be unthinkable.
Our metropolitan area has an estimated $5.3 billion shortfall for needed transportation improvements. Of that amount, $1 billion is required to address our immediate needs. An advanced transportation district will be on the November ballot seeking sales tax authority to provide some fiscal relief (revenue) to both VIA and our transportation infrastructure! You will have an opportunity to decide whether to fund these initiatives.
There are many more challenges that this the fourth largest county in Texas has but with more time and space, I will share this with you in the future.
Allow me to take the time to thank the public spiritedness of Prime Time Newspapers, the Southside Reporter, its Publisher/Editor, Paul Davis and the outstanding staff that works to produce the finest Southside Reporter I have seen in my lifetime. At the same time, I want to thank the same high minded spirit of the Northeast Herald and its Publisher/Editor Jeff Flinn and the staff that is producing best Northeast Herald ever. There is much to report that is the public's business and without community newspapers like the Reporter, you could never begin to know much of what we do because it would take being at Commissioner's Court to absorb it all. The Reporter has provided me with yet another conduit for conveying the County's business to its readership. See also, www.bexar.org.