Log in


OCTOBER 22, 2018 - NOVEMBER 2, 2018


NOVEMBER 6, 2018

On November 6, 2018, San Antonio will have a significant referendum decision that will affect the city Charter and quality of life for the future. The Firefighters' Union has requested three items be placed on the ballot to change the Charter of the City. You have probably seen media and received materials arguing pro and con on the three items.

The Board of Directors of the SAWCC invited leaders from both sides of the issues to address them in separate Board meetings. On Oct. 1, 2018, during the SAWCC’s regularly scheduled Board meeting where we reviewed the information provided and conducted a vote by individual secret ballot.  We want you to know the action taken and urge that you study the issues carefully before voting on Nov. 6th. 

Action: With a majority vote by the SAWCC Board, we elected NOT to support the three items presented by the Firefighters' Union. The 3 items are as folows: 

  • Item A: The amendment proposes to lower the number of signatures the city requires for an ordinance change from 10% of registered voters (approximately 70,000-75,000) to 20,000 and to increase the time to collect petition signatures from 40 days to 180 days. 

Comment: This item would open the door for referendum elections on appropriations, taxes, utility rates, zoning, and the like. Elections are expensive and would cause decisions by the City Council to be delayed for long periods of time thus paralyzing city operations and creating a cloud of regulatory uncertainty.

  • Item B: The amendment proposes to give the fire union sole right to declare an impasse in contract talks and force binding arbitration.

Comment: This item would take the role of the City Council to negotiate contracts with the unions out of the hands of the elected officials and require acceptance of a decision by a single arbitrator through the arbitration process to be implemented.

  • Item C: The amendment proposes to set an 8-year term limit for the city manager, to require a super majority vote (which is 8 members) to appoint a city manager who shall receive annual compensation not to exceed 10 times the annual salary of the lowest paid full time city employee (currently $29,000)

Comment: By capping the salaries of future city managers, it would be difficult to attract the top level of city administrators. Knowing that your job will end in 8 years, would severely handicap the city manager selection process and drive away potential top candidates.

The bond-rating houses, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, have commented to the city council that the passage of these referendum items could cause a credit downgrade that would cost San Antonio millions of dollars a year in borrowing costs. This would result in pulling dollars from necessary projects around the city such as street repairs, library hours, and other quality of life issues to not be funded because those dollars would need to go for paying higher insurance rates in selling the bonds that have been voted by the citizens.

The Board of Directors urges that you study all the issues that will be part of the Nov. 6th election and be sure to vote!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software