My first month in office has certainly been a busy one. Right off the bat, Cherise and I met with Councilman Diego Bernal regarding several neighborhood issues, primarily parking, traffic and First Friday. Councilman Bernal immediately took action on the parking and transportation issue, and that brought some promising results. This led to a meeting with Trish Wallace, Transportation Planning Manager at the Department of Transportation & Capital Improvements. The DoTCI had never done a neighborhood traffic study before. Consequently, TCI, in coordination with City Center Development Office (CCDO) and SAPD, will be conducting a preliminary parking needs and assessment for King William and Lavaca. This will be used to develop a plan and a model for other neighborhood studies. In the short run, we hope to get some resolution with local businesses regarding commercial parking, and, in the long run, perhaps a parking garage in the neighborhood. Rose Kanusky will chair the KWA Transportation and Parking Committee, which will work with the DoTCI to develop a plan for our neighborhoods.

Patricia Duarte and Joe and Mary Helen Mansbach organized the successful National Night Out eve

When approached to be president of the KWA, my first reaction was to pass up the candidacy because of a heavy workload. After talking it over with my wife Molly and KWA staff, however, I decided to accept the opportunity to preside over the KWA Board and operations. I approach the position with no preconceived agenda, but look to assist in meeting the challenges that will occur and to help guide the association forward with regards to neighborhood needs. I am a past Board member and served on the Executive Committee under president Brad Shaw, and have been on the Finance Committee for six years. I also bring the experience of serving on the CoSA Historic Design and Review Committee for the past five years. Presiding over a non-profit is not a new experience for me, so I feel qualified to meet the challenges.

Challenges will continue to face our neighborhood in the near and long term as development continues to change the character of properties within our boundaries and in our surrounding area. At our May general membership meeting you heard our member’s displeasure with the proposed installation of generic VIA bus stops within our association’s boundaries. The proposed bus stops have no historical identity with our neighborhood and degrade the integrity of our preservation efforts. The City has also planned for installation of pedestrian lights that many of our members questioned. Changes such as these are recommended for approval through the Office of Historical Preservation (OHP), then reviewed and approved by the Historical Design & Review Committee (HDRC) and then perhaps the Board of Adjustments (BoA). Unfortunately these plans were approved even after the KWA Architectural Advisory Committee raised valid issues why these installations should not be allowed. The KWA position, as echoed in our membership input meetings, is to keep our neighborhood historic by following simple historic preservation concepts. Allowing non-historically based modifications and installations means that the character of this valued asset in the City of San Antonio is rapidly being depreciated.

One of the major challenges facing the Association this past year was to develop a better understanding of the role, purpose and direction of the Association. Therefore, the board secured the services of a consultant to help develop the KWA strategic plan. The board has adopted the plan, and it provides a definitive set of goals that point the path forward for the organization and what needs to be addressed in the near-term and short-term. Many of the suggestions that were voiced during the membership input meetings are embedded in the goals that have been documented. Many of the goals documented in the plan are already being addressed. The plan is a living document and will certainly be tweaked as new challenges arise. I invite you to carefully review this document, embrace it, and identify areas of interest where you can contribute to helping the King William Association meet the challenges facing our neighborhood.

Another King William Fair has put many smiles on youngsters’ faces and brought much enjoyment to many of our friends and neighbors. As you know, our Fair is our principle fundraiser. And while most of us experience the Fair for only one day, there are countless volunteers and volunteer hours required to bring it together. I take this opportunity to thank Fair Chair Jeremy Nelson and the rest of the staff and many volunteers who made this event a reality. And, when we talk about the Fair, we need to recognize that without the support of our many sponsors this fun-filled event would not be possible.