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Gonzales, Nirenberg Win

by Elizabeth Ruiz

Shirley Gonzales has ousted City Councilman David Medina to win the District 5 seat in the runoff election Saturday. 

The 41-year-old pawnshop co-owner is a political newcomer with deep roots in the Prospect Hill neighborhood in the city's West Side.

She lives near Bill's Pawnshop on South Zarzamora, which has been owned by her family for more than 50 years.  She and her mother have been running the business since her father passed away several years ago.  

During the campaign she was falsely accused of living outside the district and a divorce decree several years old was circulated, showing she owns a home in the Northwest side. 

"People got tired of listening to that message.  Unfortunately, it distracted us from talking about the issues," said Gonzales.

She told 550 KTSA News that she did a lot of blockwalking and met with residents and groups.  One of her priorities is to get the community involved in coming up with solutions to the problems.

"I'm looking forward to working with the other council members and getting the community involved," she said.

Gonzales believes District 5 needs are more fundamental than those in other parts of the city.

"We're talking about streets, drainage and sidewalks and what I look forward to working on first are the issues that cause our residents harm and put them in danger, such as very fast-moving traffic in areas that are designed for pedestrians," she said.

Gonzales won with 51 percent of the vote Saturday, beating Medina by 118 votes. 

His campaign told 550 KTSA News he'll meet with his advisers before deciding whether to ask for a recount.

Radio executive Ron Nirenberg won the District 8 runoff,  beating the well-funded Rolando Briones with nearly 54 percent of the vote.

He believes his message resonated with the voters.  

"We need to get back to what San Antonio voters want to see in their government, which is responsiveness to neighbors.  I think that's what government at every level needs," he told 550 KTSA News.

Growth management is his priorities for District 8.

"This district has grown twice as fast as other parts of the city, so there are pressure points in every area of growth-- infrastructure,

public safety and our cost of living.  We need to be cognizant of the decisions we make going forward to maintain quality of life," said Nirenberg.

A budget will be presented to city council in August and, although a shortfall is expected, Nirenberg doesn't believe property taxes should be raised.

"We should not be asking our taxpayers to pay more to balance the budget.  We know there are a lot of things we can do, efficiency wise, with the budget first," said Nirenberg. 

He's the associate general manager  at Trinity University's radio station,  KRTU-FM. 

Filed Under :  
Locations : San Antonio
People : David MedinaRolando BrionesRon NirenbergShirley Gonzales
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