Patrick Von Dohlen

Category: Uncategorized

Straus censured in home county over ‘abuse,’ ‘obstruction’

Straus censured in home county over ‘abuse,’ ‘obstruction’

Republican leaders in Joe Straus’ home county voted to censure the retiring Texas House speaker, saying he “abused the power of his office and usurped the power of the people’s duly elected representatives.”

On a 77-21 vote Monday night, the Bexar County Executive Committee called out the San Antonio Republican under state party Rule 44. The rule applies to a party office holder who takes three or more actions during the biennium in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party and its platform.

The Bexar censure resolution accused Straus of:

  • Disregarding Texas House rules and unilaterally adjourning the House early on Aug. 15.
  • Repeatedly refusing to recognize proper motions and amendments.
  • Opposing a core party principle by obstructing legislation designed to protect the right to life.
  • Obstructing legislation designed to promote school choice.
  • Improperly blocking the so-called “Bathroom Bill,” designed to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of Texas women and children.

To read more from the Texas Monitor, click here.

Educator-student sex allegations that shocked San Antonio in 2017

Educator-student sex allegations that shocked San Antonio in 2017

This is a manifestation of a movement away from abstinence-based sex education curriculum. Cecile Richards, ppACT and the TX Freedom Network have taken over many ISD SHACs, and the result of changing Sex Ed from risk avoidance to risk reduction education that condoned sexual activity before marriage. The change towards contraceptive-based risk reduction sex ed began about almost twenty years ago, and the teachers of today were some of the first students of the non-abstinence based sex ed curricula. They learned as students that sex was to be explored for pleasure and was OK before marriage and “safe” as long as a condom or other form of contraceptive was used. This has led to the use and abuse of other people to satisfy selfish and disordered passions.

To read more from San Antonio Express-News, click here.

SAWS Rate Increase deliberation and vote

SAWS Rate Increase deliberation and vote

Watch the SAWS Rate Increase deliberation and vote here:

Meeting of City Council A Session on 2017-12-07 for City of San Antonio

1. Report on SAWS Rate Adjustments for 2018 and 2019.pdf, 2. DRAFT ORDINANCE.pdf, 3. Updated DRAFT ORDINANCE, 4. Presentation, 5. Ordinance 2017-12-07-0928

This is a win for SAWS and SAWS External Consultants but not for San Antonio Water System rate payers. It plans for another $1M Increase to the Affordability Program, in which people apply for a partial rate reduction or even full water bill subsidy.

The rate increase enhances a socialized program to subsidize SAWS customers. Water access is a right and people should have access to clean water and a reliable septic system. But why are we increasing rates and promoting an expensive subsidy? Fewer rate payers mean that the actual rate payers will be paying for the ones who can’t. This becomes another covert, indirect tax.

Proof is that taxpayer money will be used for City Council to promote the Affordability Program and the Project Aqua big government social programs in addition to the SAWS rate payers subsidizing water costs for those who can’t afford it via the two aforementioned SAWS programs.

Has anyone calculated the ratio of new customers to the number of existing customers who will no longer be able to afford the higher rates and will go on the socialized program?

Does anyone realize that as these rate increases continue, more and more people will be getting in the socialized programs putting ever increasing pressure on the remaining rate payers? With this current course, what is going to stop the almost perennial rate increases?

There used to be an understanding that many hands lessen the burden. It seems we’ve forgotten this philosophy.

Hold on to your wallets as taxes are increases in water, septic, real estate, etc. How bad does it have to get before we say enough. Government bureaucracies either need mandated accountability of efficiency and transparency or more competition to allow the market to clean up the irresponsible bureaucracy.

To read more from News 4 SA, click here.

City should have a penalty for candidates misrepresenting residency  

City should have a penalty for candidates misrepresenting residency  

Last week, the San Antonio City Council voted to amend the City Code regarding residency verification
requirements for candidates for municipal election. The new amendment increases the residency documentation requirements of filing for city elective office.

While the change is an improvement, it lacks teeth to prevent a candidates from lying about where they live.

The changes would be much more effective if there were a penalty for ‘misrepresenting’  their residency for City Council elections. The City should request the items for documentation and have a $500-1000 fine for those filing who are found to not be a residents of the district. This way candidates like Manny Paleaz, who lived in District 9 but ran for District 8, and Lylie Wallace, who lived in Austin but ran for District 9, would be fined $500 or $1000 for misrepresenting their residency.

To read more from the Rivard Report, click here.

 

Pagan goddess in San Pedro Creek

Pagan goddess in San Pedro Creek

The pagan goddess statue that’s planned for the San Pedro Creek area, part of the SA River Authority controlled public property, is creating some controversy.

The statue is titled ‘Plethora’ and it is being erected with nearly a million dollars of taxpayer money on county owned land, which violates the Establishment of Religion Clause of both the Texas and U.S Constitution.

The artist has stated the statue is the likeness of a goddess: “the sculpture is an allegorical representation of an archetypal goddess, evoking an image of a maternal, providing protector who is however venerated and powerful.” (The Rivard Report, October 28, 2016)

A spokesperson from the County is claiming that statue is NOT the likeness of any goddess and comments made by the artist who created ‘Plethora’ were taken out of context. The spokesperson says that the statue is actually a representation of everybody, a representation of the many cultures that reside in Bexar County.

Work to put the statue in place is scheduled to start next month and it should be completed before the city’s Tricentennial celebrations get underway next year.

Will you join me in signing a letter like this to oppose Bexar County spending $735,000 to build a pagan goddess statue in San Pedro Park?

More information:

Rivard Report: County Selects Barcelona-Based Artist for San Pedro Creek Installation

Kens5 Eyewitness News: Commissioners approve spending almost $1.5 million for two pieces of art

Texas Public Policy Foundation: PRIORITIES MATTER: A ‘PLETHORA’ OF WASTE IN BEXAR COUNTY 

Watchdog.org: Objections d’art: City, county buy two pieces for $1.735 million

Open Boards and Commissions Seats

Open Boards and Commissions Seats

Transportation Advisory Board
The Transportation Advisory Board is comprised of 11 members appointed by the Mayor and each City Councilmember for two-year terms representing the following categories: three (3) consumers; one (1) member large company taxicab industry; one (1) member co-op taxicab industry; one (1) member small business taxicab industry; one (1) member of tour, charter or shuttle service; one (1) member of horse carriage, limousine or livery service; one (1) member of hotel/motel association; one (1) member of Airport Advisory Commission; and one (1) member of Convention and Visitors Commission. The Board makes recommendations to the Director of the San Antonio Police Department, in reference to City Ordinances, Rules, and Regulations on the licensing and regulatory review process for transportation services licensed by the City. 
Building and Standards Board
The BSB is a citizen-based board and includes 14 members appointed by City Council. BSB membership requirements are prescribed for the following categories: Architect, Engineer, General Contractor, Social Worker, Health Care Professional, Retired person (over the age of 64) and Veteran of the United States Military. A professional property manager may be substituted for one general contractor and/or one social worker. The BSB consists of two panels of seven members. Each panel hears and rules on violations of the San Antonio Property Maintenance Code (SAPMC) and summary abatement appeals. Property owners are allowed to appeal a SAPMC Notice of Violation to the BSB based on issues of interpretation, intent, and application of code requirements. The BSB may issue civil penalties for failure to comply with the SAPMC. The panels also rule on cases related to the repair or demolition of unsafe structures.
Disability Access Advisory Committee
The Disability Access Advisory Committee is comprised of 11 members appointed by the Mayor and each City Councilmember for two-year terms. The Disability Access Advisory Committee was established to work closely with the City of San Antonio Disability Access Office as part of San Antonio’s efforts to provide accessible services and facilities for citizens with disabilities. The Advisory Committee consists of consumers with disabilities, providers of services to people with disabilities and interested San Antonio residents.
Small Business Advocacy Committee (SBAC)
The Small Business Advocacy Committee is a group of citizens appointed by the Mayor and City Council to advise on issues affecting small businesses in the San Antonio area. The committee advises the Mayor, City Council and the City Manager on business issues, goals and related policies concerning small, minority, and women-owned businesses that are ready, willing, and able to do business with the City, under the policies set forth in the SBEDA ordinance. In addition, they make recommendations concerning modifications of programs and procedures established in the SBEDA Program.
If you are interested in applying for one of the above seats, please fill out an application here.
 
Northeast Corridor Steering Committee 
The NEC Steering Committee is a volunteer workgroup of area business and community leaders who provide input on – and support for- implementation of the NEC Revitalization Plan.   Steering Committee members act as ambassadors for the Perrin Beitel – Nacogdoches commercial corridor, working with fellow business operators and the City of San Antonio to promote the corridor’s assets and advocate for the resources needed for change. For a full description of the NEC Steering Committee, membership expectations, and an application, please click here: NEC Steering Committee Information and Application Package.
Imagining the ALAMO CENOTAPH right where it is!

Imagining the ALAMO CENOTAPH right where it is!

“Knowing that the Alamo is the Texas Cradle of Liberty, it boggles the mind as to why the empty tomb memorializing the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo would be moved to an as yet unknown destination. It was the 13 day siege in 1836 that brought about Texas Independence. It is the men who chose to die for Liberty that shaped Texas’ freedom from the dictatorship of Mexico. The Battle for the Alamo is the reason Texas exists! It is the main reason we have so many visitors in San Antonio and Texas. Over 2.5M visitors a year come from all over the world to see where this Battle of Liberty took place. So to even contemplate moving a Texas shrine sits at the edge of betrayal to those that gave their lives. You don’t have to be a descendant just a diehard Texan or a Texan at heart to know that the Alamo Cenotaph must not be moved. And while the members of the committee may all agree….the people of Texas oppose this move. If you look at the Alamo Master Plan, there is plenty of room for the Alamo Cenotaph to stand. No one can deny that the Defenders of the Alamo died on the battlefield. This is precisely why the empty tomb should stand where it is to honor the Alamo Defenders.”

To read more from Conservatives in Action, click here.

Council Vote For Tobacco 21 Ordinance Delayed Until January

Council Vote For Tobacco 21 Ordinance Delayed Until January

“It’s not going to pass next week, but it’s going to pass,”  SA Metro Health Director Colleen Bridger said of the proposed ordinance to raise the age of smoking in Bexar County from 18 to 21.

Obviously smoking is not healthy but at what point should people be allowed to exercise their free will? Government uses tax dollars to promote lifestyle (good and bad) choices regularly. An 18 year old can fight and die for our country but can’t choose to smoke?

SAMHD should focus on being consistent with their messaging. The Department has promoted sexual intercourse for young ages, even 11-13 year olds, as “healthy” as long as they are using a condom, i.e. promotion of Draw The Line, Respect The Line risk reduction based Sex Ed curriculum to the NEISD, and programs like Wrap City. It would be better for SAMHD to promote risk avoidance in all of these lifestyle choices by common sense persuasion, not mandates for truly healthy lifestyles. 

To read more from The Rivard Report, click here.

Bush questioned over ‘convoluted’ Alamo oversight

Bush questioned over ‘convoluted’ Alamo oversight

It seems the Cenotaph will be moved despite the “conflicts-of-interest, opaque transparency, and other ethical problems surrounding the controversial Alamo plan” with “re-imagining” the Alamo. Contact your local and state elected officials and request more transparency and forthright information before the City moves the Cenotaph from its current location whereby it was placed with a federal grant and agreement stipulating it was to never be moved.

To read more from the Texas Monitor, click here.