Last Wednesday, more than 400 business and community leaders gathered in the Stars at Night Ballroom for the Chamber’s 2019 State of the County with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. The theme for this year’s speech – “Building Bexar County & Empowering Families.” Wolff’s opening remarks began with him touting Bexar County’s commitment to keeping taxes low and taking steps to create good paying jobs which drive our economy.
Wolff told business leaders in the room, “We are on the cusp of becoming a center for a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing hub.” He acknowledged that the major announcements from FGF LLC, Toyota, Aisin, and Navistar are a result of collaboration between the County, City and many other valuable partners. To help support the future workforce of an advanced manufacturing hub, Wolff announced that Bexar County has partnered with the private sector to create Texas Fame, a consortium of nine manufacturers that work together to solve their common skills gaps. In addition to the growth in the manufacturing sector, he acknowledged that Bexar County has two growth areas, cybersecurity and emerging tech entrepreneurs. He applauded the work being done at Port San Antonio, UTSA, and the downtown tech district to foster growth in both areas.
In addition to the economy and jobs, Wolff highlighted investments the county has made in Hot Wells Resort, Alameda Theater, and San Pedro Creek. Wolff believes each project is critical to preserving our historic culture and improves the quality of life for San Antonio residents.
Wolff applauded his son, Pct. 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff, for meeting with Chairman Bruce Bugg to secure an additional $1 billion in funding from the 2020 TxDOT UTP, but acknowledged the need to invest in public transit. He expressed his support for ConnectSA, a framework he believes will create mobility, innovation, efficiency, and decongestion.
“A state-of-the-art public transit system would reduce vehicle traffic which contributes about 40% of air pollution,” Wolff said. He acknowledged that VIA has only a one-half dedicated cent sales tax and in order to increase that the 1/8th cent tax that is used for Edwards Aquifer Protection must be reallocated to public transit.
You can click here to watch Judge Wolff’s full address.
To view pictures from the event, click here.