After a briefing from the City Clerk, City Council officially approved the results of the June 13 runoff election on Wednesday. Few people haven’t heard yet that Mayor Ivy Taylor became the first elected black mayor of San Antonio after a close race against former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte while Councilmember Cris Medina (D7) easily won re-election over challenger Mari Aguirre Rodriguez. Today’s vote canvass and swearing-in ceremony makes both of their positions official.
City Council chambers were respectfully silent – save for the shutters of photographers’ cameras – as City Clerk Leticia Vacek recited the pledge of office for Taylor and Medina to recite. All council members attended and applauded the occasion, save for Shirley Gonzales (D5), who gave birth to her son, Zachary, Tuesday night at Brooke Army Medical Center – a wonderful excuse also applauded when announced.
The real celebration, complete with more pomp and circumstance, will take place Wednesday evening when speeches and hugs will be given by and in honor of Taylor and Medina at 4:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. The event in City Council Chambers is open to the public and will bring together officeholders deeply divided in some cases during the contentious mayoral race. A little awkwardness was evident as Councilmember Alan Warrick II (D2), who vehemently campaigned against Taylor, presented her with the official, framed proclamation of her position as mayor.
City Council will hold a timely, one-day retreat Friday at Phil Hardberger Park, meeting in the Urban Ecology Center, according to the official agenda, which could include legal matters, the police union contract negotiations, economic negotiations, and more. Mayor Taylor said in a post-election victory interview that team building was high on her agenda for the retreat, and discussing the stalled collective bargaining talks and the fiscal year 2016 budget. Police union officials have not yet accepted the Mayor’s request that their negotiating team return to the bargaining table now, or at least latest, by next month.
*Featured/top image: Councilmember Cris Medina (D7) and Mayor Ivy Taylor are sworn into office on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Photo by Iris Dimmick.