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Thank a tourist today!

Survey Says ...
According to Bexar County tallies, fewer than 7 percent of you could be bothered to turn up at the polls for Saturday's venue-tax election. So it really was more like a poll than an election, and the survey says you're wildly in favor of spending future hotel and car-rental tax money on a handful of major community improvements:

• $110 million for the arts, including $100 million to transform the Municipal Auditorium into the Bexar County Performing Arts Center under the leadership of the Tobin Endowment's Bruce Bugg (according to the terms of the agreement between the City, the County, and the newly formed Bexar County Performing Arts Foundation, the City will transfer ownership of the auditorium to the foundation within 30 days).

• $80 million for a bakers' dozen of amateur-sports facilities, including an aquatics center, a clutch of soccer fields, and baseball, track, and football complexes for underserved neighborhoods

• $100 million for TBD future improvements to the AT&T Center, plus upgrades to the rodeo grounds

And the most popular of the four proposals,

• $125 million for the River Improvements Project, in particular the Mission Reach, which has been hampered to some degree by tight-fistedness at the federal level

Mayor Phil Hardberger told the X-News that he now feels even more emboldened in his quest to extend our mean council term limits (you'll likely be asked to do so this November) -- four two-year terms are now being floated -- which sounds wretched to those of us who prefer a higher work-to-campaigning ratio. How about two three-year terms, or two four-year terms? Or, what the hell, we could just fix the campaign-finance system instead of punishing the electorate for our unwillingness to distinguish between "free speech" and "for-sale politicians."

Founders Day
A champagne toast to Von Ormy, Texas, the newest addition to SA's satellite municipalities, where a little more than a fifth of the eligible voters overwhelmingly approved incorporation in their May 10 special election. Up next: November elections for mayor, aldermen, and a marshal. Better start establishing residency now ...

Posted by Elaine Wolff on 5/11/2008
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