San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh announced Thursday the reorganization of the City’s Transportation and Capital Improvements (TCI) Department into two new departments: Transportation and Public Works.
The Transportation Department will focus on “improving mobility for all modes of transportation,” Walsh said, adding that the City will launch a nationwide search for a director. The Public Works Department, which will be led by TCI Interim Director Razi Hosseini, will oversee capital construction and maintenance of streets, traffic, and drainage infrastructure.
“The Mayor and City Council have made clear they want to see transformational change when it comes to mobility in San Antonio,” Walsh said in a news release. “The Transportation Department … will serve as the lead for carrying out the ConnectSA vision.”
ConnectSA, an initiative of the same name launched by Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, aims to create and implement a comprehensive multimodal transportation plan for the San Antonio area.
“I’m glad that Erik is modeling the organization around what has become a critical need for our city,” Nirenberg told the Rivard Report. “No one needs additional evidence to see how a failure to evolve in our transportation system is causing breakdowns not just on the road but in internal governance.”
The reorganization process is slated to conclude this summer, according to the news release, with a new Transportation Department director expected to be in place by then.
“The objective of this reorganization is to improve customer service and focus on project delivery,” City officials wrote in the release. Contract procurement processes previously overseen by TCI will shift to the Finance Department and transportation design reviews will move to the Development Services Department. Meanwhile, the Public Works Department will focus on the actual delivery of projects.
TCI was formed in 2014 by combining a previous iteration of Public Works and Capital Improvement Management Services to more efficiently implement bond and other capital projects.
“As the last five years have unfolded, those efficiencies have turned into what I view as some degree of bureaucratic breakdown in terms of taking into consideration a broader vision for better multimodal systems,” Nirenberg said.
Walsh also announced the promotion of David McCary, who has served as the director of Solid Waste Management for 12 years, to assistant city manager, a job that replaces a vacant deputy city manager position.
“David McCary is a dedicated public servant and a leader in every sense of the word,” Walsh stated. “His accomplishments within Solid Waste have impacted all San Antonians, and I’m excited to see what he can do in other areas of the City organization.”
McCary oversaw the implementation of the department’s automated cart collection services and developed the city’s first Recycling and Resource Recovery Plan that aims for zero waste.
McCary will oversee Solid Waste, the Office of Sustainability, 311, Animal Care Services, and Building and Equipment Services.
Deputy Director David Newman will take McCary’s place as director of Solid Waste.
Walsh also removed the “interim” tag from Homer Garcia’s title as director of the Parks and Recreation Department. Garcia has worked for the City for 18 years, including assignments in Animal Care Services and Human Services.