KLRN graciously hosted our October Board of Directors meeting this morning, with 1999 Chamber Chairman of the Board and President and CEO of KLRN Arthur Emerson providing a welcome. The board also heard from KLRN Board Chairman Luis de la Torre, Clear Channel Outdoor, and KLRN Programming Director Andrea Sosa, who showed segments of The Facebook Dilemma, Native America: New World Rising, and On the Record.
During his President’s Report, Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez discussed the Go Vote No Campaign, which has been organized to defeat the three proposed charter amendments that are on the November ballot. The campaign is continuing to run commercials, including one with several of San Antonio’s former mayors, a social media campaign, block walking initiatives, and more. Chamber Chairman Shaun Kennedy mentioned the Sunday issue of the San Antonio Express News, who recently endorsed voting no on all three propositions, that included a Q and A from both sides for and against the charter amendments, a column by Michael Taylor, which provides an outside perspective on Prop A, B, and C, and the Notice of Charter Amendment Election, that included the ballot verbiage and the impact each of the propositions would have on our community.
Richard also discussed the Chamber’s upcoming Annual Gala which will celebrate the contributions and leadership of current Chairman of the Board Shaun Kennedy and welcome our 2019 Chairman of the Board Paula Gold-Williams. Richard thanked Shaun for his involvement and influence in many of the Chamber’s accomplishments this year, including defeating the Labor Peace Agreement, which was proposed for airport concessionaires. The Gala will be on December 13 from 6 – 9:30 p.m. at the Hemisfair ballroom in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
The Chamber’s Executive Vice President Dave Petersen briefed the Board on the 2019 proposed balanced budget. The two biggest components of revenue every year are membership and special event revenues, which is true for 2019 as well. Meeting the goals set for next year will require a team effort and the staff appreciates the Board’s and current membership’s support to meet these goals. There is no membership campaign planned for 2019, but the staff is developing creative ways to continue to build enduring membership, especially during the Chamber’s 125th Anniversary year. On the expense side, the biggest drivers are personnel costs, special event expenses and facility expenses. The chamber staff is continuing to focus on managing these and all expenses to find savings where possible while still delivering the quality advocacy and support the Chamber is known for. Shaun Kennedy stressed the importance of Board and membership support of the Chamber to allow it to conduct activities like the engagement in the Go Vote No campaign. The Board unanimously approved the budget.
Public Policy Council Chair Juan Antonio Flores, Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations for Port San Antonio, presented the Chamber’s State Legislative Agenda, and focused on the issues that the Public Policy committee identified as top priorities:
- Support the statutory authority of compensation and wages remains at the state and federal levels.
- Reauthorizing of Chapter 312 of the Tax Code
- Increasing funding for air quality programs
- Increasing state funding for public education
- Preserving Proposition 1 funding
- Property Tax Reform
Following that presentation, Richard Perez discussed the issue of Tuition Revenue Bonds that universities use to address their building needs and asked the board to approve adding the issue to the Chamber’s state agenda and to the Metro 8 (the eight largest Chambers of Commerce in Texas) agenda. To date, the state has not given universities permission to use tuition revenue bonds. The board unanimously approved adding the issue to the agendas.
Finally, the Board also heard from Vic Gregovits, President of the San Antonio Commanders, the city’s new Alliance of American Football (AAF)team. Vic shared information about the team’s 10-week schedule that kicks off the Sunday after the Superbowl. Because all eight teams in the AAF will be training in San Antonio, there will be a positive effect on our community. Season tickets to the team’s five home games are on sale now.