Frustration Over Annexation Shows at Council

By Bill O’Neil

Could it be a sign of things to come from the new San Antonio City Council when it comes to the often hot topic of annexation?

The Council struggled with a vote on annexing a Southside neighborhood near Pleasanton Road–north of Loop 1604 during its first regular Thursday Meeting.

“It appears to me from what we’ve heard that 60 days is an extremely short period of time for people who’ve lived in an area for many many years to face what they consider to be a real disruption to their lifestyle and quality of life” Councilman John Courage said after hearing a number of people who live in that area voice their frustrations over the annexation as well as the process in general.

Courage’s request for a delay was defeated and Council ultimately voted to annex the area–though Council did voice a number of frustrations of their own–from how the process was carried out–to who was notified of the planned annexation vote.

“That doesn’t apply to renters. If someone’s renting a piece of property, they won’t necessarily get that notice” Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw asked.

Staffers told Shaw the notices went out to property owners–who were identified through the Bexar Appraisal District.

Others voiced their frustration over what they saw as a lacking community outreach effort.

“The best we can do is deal with the facts that are at hand and make sure the community comes on board with it” Councilman Greg Brockhouse said, adding “It’s less than 100 doors… I don’t understand how we don’t increase contact rates. I mean… one person knocks 100 doors in one day.”

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