This story has been updated.

Months after the winter storm cut power and water for residents across San Antonio and brought more scrutiny to local utilities, Mayor Ron Nirenberg has created a City Council committee to provide additional oversight of the area’s water and electricity providers.

In a separate move, the mayor tapped former District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales to chair the San Antonio Housing Commission. Her appointment as chair had been rumored and sparked protests from housing advocates earlier in July.

In a document obtained by the San Antonio Report, Nirenberg wrote to City Council members informing them of the new Municipal Utilities committee as well as the charges of the other committees. The utilities committee will “oversee the implementation of programs and policies at San Antonio Water System and CPS Energy, including the recommendations from the Emergency Preparedness Committee.” Certain items such as rate adjustments and board appointments will still be heard by the full City Council.

The committee on emergency preparedness, which Nirenberg formed soon after the February freeze, spent four months investigating the city’s winter storm response. The seven-person committee ultimately deemed the Texas power market’s regulatory structure as the main cause of the crisis but also included recommendations for SAWS and CPS Energy to avoid future crises in its final report.

Councilman John Courage (D9) will chair the utilities committee, composed of council members Mario Bravo (D1), Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4), Melissa Cabello Havrda (D6), and Ana Sandoval (D7).

Nirenberg also eliminated two previous committees and included their scope of responsibility within other committees. The former Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee oversaw the “unique artistic, cultural, and historic heritage in addition to issues that serve to preserve the integrity of our city’s neighborhoods” as well as library and senior center facility policies. It will be folded into the Community Health, Environment, and Culture Committee, formerly known as the Community Health and Equity Committee.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Workforce Development Committee will incorporate the Innovation and Technology Committee’s former charge to “consider emerging trends and technologies and assess their potential impacts on the community.” 

Sandoval will continue to chair the Community Health, Environment, and Culture Committee, while Councilman Manny Pelaez (D8) will lead the Economic and Workforce Development Committee.

Outside of council committees, Nirenberg tapped CEO and founder of Javilud Amanda Lee Keammerer, Merced Housing Texas President and Executive Director Kristin Davila, and Gonzales to serve on the Housing Commission. He said Friday that he hopes to create a “sustainable housing ecosystem” where all residents can access high-quality housing affordable to them. He also touted commission chair Gonzales’ housing work from the past.

“Former Councilmember Shirley Gonzales has a strong track record of tireless advocacy for the equitable distribution of resources and has long championed innovative housing policies, including the program that evolved into Minor Repair and Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “Most recently, Gonzales garnered the support of her Council colleagues to fund a District 5 Shotgun House Preservation Pilot. In her position as chair, she will be positioned to continue advocating for the equitable distribution of the City’s investments.”

Nirenberg also appointed council members Jalen McKee Rodriguez (D2), Phyllis Viagran (D3), and Teri Castillo (D5) as new members of the San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility Corporation (PFC). Rocha Garcia and Courage will continue to serve on the PFC.

Find the full list of council committees and their members below (* denotes chair).

Audit and Accountability Committee

• Clayton Perry, District 10*
• Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, District 2
• Manny Pelaez, District 8

Community Health, Environment, and Culture Committee

• Ana Sandoval, District 7*
• Mario Bravo, District 1
• Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, District 2
• Phyllis Viagran, District 3
• Teri Castillo, District 5

Economic and Workforce Development Committee

• Manny Pelaez, District 8*
• Phyllis Viagran, District 3
• Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4
• Teri Castillo, District 5
• John Courage, District 9

Municipal Utilities Committee

• John Courage, District 9*
• Mario Bravo, District 1
• Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4
• Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6
• Ana Sandoval, District 7

Governance Committee

• Mayor Ron Nirenberg*
• Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4
• Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6
• Manny Pelaez, District 8
• John Courage, District 9

Intergovernmental Relations Committee

• Manny Pelaez, District 8*
• Justin Rodriguez, County Commissioner Pct. 2*
• Trish DeBerry, County Commissioner Pct. 3
• Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, District 2
• Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4
• Clayton Perry, District 10

Planning and Community Development Committee

• Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4*
• Mario Bravo, District 1
• Phyllis Viagran, District 3
• Teri Castillo, District 5
• John Courage, District 9

Public Safety Committee

• Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6*
• Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, District 2
• Phyllis Viagran, District 3
• Ana Sandoval, District 7
• Clayton Perry, District 10

Transportation and Mobility Committee

• Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6*
• Mario Bravo, District 1
• Teri Castillo, District 5
• Ana Sandoval, District 7
• Clayton Perry, District 10

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.