Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6, 2003

Here’s a minute about the mayor.

Ed Garza has degrees in urban planning and landscape architecture. He was elected by winning 8 of 10 city council districts including the whole North Side. He ran on issues including new jobs and better parks, streets and traffic.

On PGA Village, he was slow in the beginning, then caught up in the stretch and salvaged the huge golf development by preventing a public vote. His mission accomplished. In trying to land the Toyota plant, Garza has been effective in private but, no surprise, too laid back to tell citizens and voters what’s going on.

In the City Hall vote-selling scandal, Garza did the right thing by calling for the resignations of two indicted city councilmen. As usual, he certainly could have been more forceful. Appointing an Ethics Commission probably looks good on paper, so I can't fault him for appearing to give that a chance. You can attend one of four public Ethics hearings this week to make suggestions: they are tomorrow and Wednesday.

One of this year's huge issues will be clean air. If we end up with expensive car inspections with tailpipe tests, it’ll be because the mayor didn’t fight it. The city’s own clean air staff is gaga in love with the junk science of tailpipe tests, so I don’t expect much help on that from Mr. Garza.

I hope this year San Antonio’s mayor decides to stay in touch with the people who gave him his job.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.


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