San Antonio's Rockstar Turned Realtor®: San Antonio, City Council, and the Inaugaration.

San Antonio, City Council, and the Inaugaration.

A shot of the doors to San Antonio City Hall.

photo courtesy of Seth Gaines

Obama's inauguration causing a stir in San Antonio (or at least with me).

While people search, beg, and plead for the hottest ticket in D.C. this month, some San Antonio City Council members are taking flack for their appearance at the inauguration.  Out of the six members reported to be attending the January 20th event in Washington, D.C., two are using San Antonio taxpayer money to fund their trips.  District 6 Councilwoman Delicia Herrera and District 2 Councilwoman Sheila McNeil will each cost San Antonio around $2,500 for the three day event.  Although I value City Council's efforts to attract the attention of the U.S. Government, I'm afraid I have to disagree with the Council's ability to attend the inauguration on our dime.  While I agree that the members could make relationships that would benefit San Antonio, it seems to me that an event like this should be done at one's own expense (especially considering that City Council will be back in D.C. in February for their annual trip to meet with congressional leaders).

Shelia McNeil (District 2 Councilwoman) was quoted as saying, "As a council member representing the city, and chairing all the committees I chair, it's not unusual that the city takes care of us when we go.  We get paid $20 a week, I'm not sure we could really represent the city like we would want to if we had to pay for it out of our own pockets."  Immediately when I heard this, I was taken aback.  If you're going to throw the $20 a week salary back into the taxpayer's faces, you shouldn't be serving our city.  You decided to go for a Council position, if it was a salary you didn't like, you shouldn't have taken the job.  I don't work at McDonald's because the pay is crap.  I would enjoy the easy life of flipping burgers (I did it for many years), but the fact is, it doesn't pay my bills.  Please don't use your choice in job against us.

Two Council members I applaud.

District 1 Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros and District 3 Councilwoman Jennifer Ramos will be heading to Washington, but without the assistance of tax dollars.  Ramos, in a statement to KSAT 12 News, said, "Although I feel this trip is well-warranted, there will be times when city business will not take place and a more political tone ensues. It is for that reason I feel taxpayer funds should not be utilized on my behalf for this trip."  Well put, Councilwoman Ramos, I applaud your decision and reasons for it.

I hope San Antonio's residents thank the two Councilwomen above for thinking of the City, not just themselves.


Comment balloon 6 commentsMatt Stigliano • January 07 2009 04:06PM


Matt, I just saw this on the news before I logged in to AR.  Mary Alice Cisneros is a class act, I think.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 11 years ago

Shirley - I saw it last night before bed and then read about it today.  I'm actually on my way over to KSAT 12 News to read up on what the latest is.  @ksatnews told me it would be up around 6PM.  I like Cisneros now, that's for sure.  I need to learn a bit more about our local politics, something I've never been great at following anywhere I lived.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Matt:  I have to stop and wonder...How would anyone take a City Council position for that kind of money? Do they all have other jobs and do the Council work part time? I know here in Atlanta, I think our City Council members get paid around $60,000 per's a full-time job and then some.

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) over 11 years ago

Hi Matt:

There is definitely a STIR across the country!  This should be interesting... -

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) over 11 years ago

Thom and Ray - Yeah I was a bit confused by that, because I wasn't aware of what they were paid.  Apparently that's what they get.  Weird, huh?

Toula - Two Council members just announced last night that they wouldn't be going at all (they were both planning/expected to attend).  I think they wanted to step out of the fray.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 11 years ago

Blog - Blog - Blog Along tonight - January 8 2009 - Spurs vs L A Clippers, EVERYONE WELCOME  

Hi Matt, You are invited to stop by Carl's Spurs Blog Along tonight if you get a chance.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 11 years ago