San Antonio/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 22, 2024
San Antonio City Council in Turmoil Amid Accusations Against Mayor and Disrupted Meetings by ActivistsSource: Facebook/Mayor Ron Nirenberg

San Antonio's City Hall was rocked by protests and political contention as council members accused Mayor Ron Nirenberg of quietly pulling the strings to sideline their policy efforts. The furor came hot on the heels of a disrupted council meeting by pro-Palestinian activists, throwing the government body into a state of upheaval, as reported by the San Antonio Report.

Amidst the political drama, City Council members have expressed frustration over their proposals being stalled, suspecting a lack of transparency from the mayor's end. Councilman Marc Whyte stated, "The problem is, our council consideration requests weren’t moving." This sentiment was echoed by other members like Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, who lamented the delay of his proposal to end horse-drawn carriages downtown since November of previous year. In response, Nirenberg highlighted the need for "collective accountability" and open communicationq, as per San Antonio Report.

The council, looking to assert its autonomy, is working on new deadlines to ensure action on policy proposals within 60 days or by the second scheduled committee meeting. Furthermore, new guidelines intend to provide guardrails on the handling of public admonishments of council members and clarify the process surrounding three-signature memos, as outlined by San Antonio Report. Tensions reached a boil as council members cast doubt on how Nirenberg and City Manager Erik Walsh were handling policy submissions. Walsh denied acting as a "gate," stating, "Nothing comes off this list unless there’s a document that documents why."

The political tumult was paralleled by direct action from pro-Palestinian activists who brought Thursday's council session to a sudden halt, chanting "Cease-fire now!" following an invocation aimed at showcasing a united front against hate. Nirenberg reportedly bypassed a planned meeting on a cease-fire resolution between Israel and Hamas after Councilman Manny Pelaez retracted his support, prompting protesters to chant accusatory slogans against him. Councilman McKee-Rodriguez, a fervent supporter of the resolution, exited the scene with a raised fist, as reported by the San Antonio Report.