Rivard Report: Brackenridge Park: The Public Interest vs. UIW Expansion

By: Robert Rivard

Posted on: January 11, 2016

A major test of open government, the public interest, and the future of Brackenridge Park is on the near horizon in San Antonio, but don’t blame yourself if the story is unfolding beyond your view. This drama is playing out in meetings closed to the public and the media, the kind of meetings where deals are cut, money is discussed, and commitments are made. Too often in such cases, a public hearing is held, a preordained vote is taken, and a decision is made that benefits a private entity at the public’s expense.

Some stakeholders fear that’s about to happen again. This story is based on interviews with parties on all sides of the matter, although most spoke only on background.

There are a number of powerful players and institutions with a stake in the outcome, but above all, this be a test for Mayor Ivy Taylor and City Council and the San Antonio Independent School District leadership and board. How the City and the school district proceed in the coming weeks could affect public confidence for better or worse.

At the heart of the matter is a battle to win control of two acres of district-owned land near Brackenridge Park that a City-funded master plan for the park, still in the works, identifies as the best location for a 600-space public parking garage. Now the University of Incarnate Word is seeking to buy the same land for its own parking garage and student dormitory before the master plan and public garage can be approved by City Council.

Learn more by clicking here for an article from the The Rivard Report.


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