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August 2018 San Antonio Chamber Board of Directors Meeting Report

Harland Clarke Holdings, members of your Chamber for 65 years, hosted the August Board of Directors meeting at its headquarters near La Cantera.  Victor Nichols, CEO, welcomed the packed room and outlined the evolution of the company from payroll products to marketing and promotional products, to the acquisitions of Valassis, RetailMeNot Inc, and Scantron. The company employs more 1,200 locally, has hired 415 people in the last 12 months and intends to hire another 300 here in the next year.

During the meeting, the Board approved a position statement supporting the Alamo Plaza Redesign’s interpretive plan. Dr. Sandi Wolff, chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Council, presented the statement noting the lengthy conversations with citizens, businesses and local organizations throughout the process.  Wolff noted the community has tried to propose a redesign for the Plaza for the past 20 years. For the full text of the statement click HERE.

Chamber president, Richard Perez, updated the Board on the recent City Council vote on paid sick leave stating that there is high confidence the State Legislature will pick up this issue next session.  Read the Chamber’s policy statement regarding employer salary and benefits HERE.

Perez also addressed the remaining threat of the Fire Union’s charter amendments and the organizing efforts of the Secure San Antonio’s Future (SSAF) political action committee’s campaign to defeat the measures. SSAF is in full-force raising funds and pursuing legal action related to possible misuse of funds by the Fire Union in gathering the signatures. Perez reiterated the devastating impact the amendments will have on San Antonio’s economic prosperity.  For facts about the amendments and information about the campaign visit: www.govoteno.com and see the article below.

The Board heard from County Commissioner Kevin Wolff, chair of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), about updates related to transportation infrastructure. He provided high-level information on the expansion of I-35 referred to as the San Antonio-Austin corridor, the expansion of 1604 at Bandera and I-35, and new interchanges planned between I-10 and 1604. Wolff called on the Board to be vigilant with legislators about the need to invest in infrastructure for the sake of supporting long-term business needs. For more information, visit www.alamoareampo.org.

The final action of the morning was the presentation of the 2018 SA to DC report. Juan Antonio Flores, chair of the Public Policy Council, thanked all who were part of the 175 person delegation.  Flores noted the significant presence of representation among the group, which included eight council members, City of San Antonio officials, business and local organizations and schools.  The report identified $70 billion in funding obtained through the FY18 Omnibus Appropriates Act, including $10 million for Kelly Field. “The trip does make and impact,” Flores stated.  Registration for SA to DC 2019 is now open.  For details visit: https://www.sachamber.org/events/sa-dc-2019/

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