Office of the Mayor – FAQs

How are we doing financially?
What is our current tax rate—and is it going up or down?
How much do we pay our city councilmembers and the mayor?
What is the unemployment rate in Schertz?
What quality of life projects are going on in Schertz?
What is our water situation?
What are we doing to bring jobs to Schertz?
How can I get involved?
When does the City Council meet?
Am I allowed to address the City Council?

 

How are we doing financially?

We are financially solid, to the point that in June of 2014 Standard & Poor and Moody’s both upgraded our bond rating to AA+ and AA2, respectively, marking the highest ratings in the history of our city. Simply stated, we are setting the pace for other Texas cities to follow.

 

We passed a balanced budget again this year (one of our great strengths is that we don’t deficit spend in Schertz!) that includes continuing to return funds to our reserves. By continuing to add to our reserves while we grow, we have ensured that if there are fluctuations in sales tax revenue or a natural disaster in our city that requires emergency funds to be expended, we are financially prepared.

 

Very importantly, we continue to maintain five-year rolling budgets (formerly, we budgeted only one year at a time). Looking five years ahead – modeling potential micro- and macro-economic and service demand outcomes – we are able to mitigate our risk of funding shortfalls and anticipate potential problems in time to correct them. Doing so ensures we can sustain passing balanced budgets with continued investment in our reserve position into the foreseeable future.

 

We also have won the top award (the Gold Circle Award) for our 2015 fiscal year from the Texas State Comptroller’s Office for government transparency. Indeed, if you have some time and interest, our entire city budget for our fiscal year (and previous fiscal years if you’d like to see how we have managed your tax contributions over time) can be found right here: http://schertz.com/?page_id=884.

 

If you have questions about our finances, please contact the city manager’s office, our finance department or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

What is our current tax rate—and is it going up or down?

Our current tax rate remains at 49.74 cents per $100 of valuation of our property.

 

Fiscal year 2014 featured a reduction in our tax rate for the first time in 6 years, moving from .4999 to .4974.

 

Fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016 both held that tax rate without increase while adding services.

 

Collaborative, inter-departmental development of spending priorities continue to allow us to maintain our tax rate position in leaner sales tax years (a function of both macro- and micro-economic conditions), and continue to reduce our tax rate, in responsible increments, in stronger years.

 

In simplest terms, our goal is to continuously bring jobs and business investment to Schertz, pursue every quality of life avenue that we choose to pursue, improve and increase city services and maintain or reduce our property tax rate for decades to come.

 

If you have questions about our tax rate and finances, please contact the city manager’s office, our finance department or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

How much do we pay our city councilmembers and the mayor?

In short, each councilmember is provided an expense stipend of $275 per month, before taxes.

 

The mayor is provided an expense stipend of $475 per month, before taxes.

 

All of us on the city council earn our daily living outside of our work for the city.

 

If you have questions about city council expense stipends, please contact the City Secretary’s Office, our finance department or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

What is the unemployment rate in Schertz?

The most recent numbers we have are from May of 2016.

 

In May, our unemployment rate was 3.2% – essentially full employment.

 

For more information about job growth, unemployment rates and economic development activity in Schertz, check out the Schertz Economic Development Corporation Website at www.schertzedc.com.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

What quality of life projects are going on in Schertz?

There are many projects underway, many of which are focused on our children.

 

Our indoor aquatic facility is well underway and will be completed in the November/December 2016 timeframe.

 

We have completed our 40 acre soccer complex on Maske Road that includes paved parking, restrooms, concession facilities, and lighted fields.

 

We completed three new baseball fields in 2014 at the Schertz Ballpark behind the Civic Center and Clemens High School.

 

Construction is complete on phase one of our new Schertz skate park, located next door to our new animal adoption facility.

 

Our Parks and Recreation Board has completed their update to their comprehensive plan – additional facilities are in the planning stages.

 

If you have questions about our parks and quality of life initiatives, please contact the city manager’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

What is our water situation? Are we currently under watering restrictions?

Here in Schertz, we have an exceptional water system that is expected to provide us clean, soft water for the next 50 to 75 years. We do have mandatory, year-round water use conservation measures in place – we are not to water between the hours of 10AM and 8PM all days of the year. That’s it – we very rarely further restrict water use in Schertz.

 

We have partnered with our friends in Seguin, forming the Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation, to bring water to our two cities from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer system from land and water rights we purchased in Gonzalez County.

 

We are constantly looking ahead, searching for and securing new sources of water for our city so our outlook moves from 50 to 75 years to the century mark and beyond.

 

If you have questions about our water, please contact the public works director’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

What are we doing to bring jobs to Schertz?

We attack job growth from multiple fronts and with multiple teams here in Schertz. Job growth and job diversity (that is to say, the growth of many different kinds of jobs to suit many different kinds of people) are paramount to our continued success as a city.

 

We have an economic development corporation made up of citizen volunteers that manages our economic development funds and provides assistance and direction to our economic development department at the city.

 

Over the last six years, we have seen huge wins in our economic development work, including the arrival of Sysco Foods (distribution center), G.E. Oil and Gas (manufacturing facility), Caterpillar (manufacturing facility), Amazon.com (distribution facility) and Federal Express (under construction).

 

In rounded numbers, we have brought over 2400 new jobs to Schertz in the last 36 months, including over 1100 full-time jobs with benefits, and over 1300 part-time jobs (excellent jobs for retirees, college students, recent graduates, etc.).

 

Most importantly, we are not slowing our efforts. We intend to make further investment in our economic development activities, both to ensure we have jobs for our people and a robust, energized business community that drives the economic engine that can allow us to continue to reduce residential property tax rates over the long-term.

 

If you have questions about our economic development initiatives, please contact the city manager’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

How can I get involved?

One of my favorite subjects!

 

We have many boards, committees and commissions that advise the city council and that perform myriad functions for the city – and we need volunteers!

 

The truth is, the city council can’t see everything, know everything and execute on everything the city needs – we’ve gotten too big for that, and so citizen-led boards, committees and commissions are critical to our long-term success.

 

Perhaps even more importantly, it is the various citizen-led teams that communicate to the council and the city staff what the community is really seeing, feeling and needing.

 

We shape our community together – it isn’t the mayor or the city council or the city staff acting in a vacuum that makes cities succeed! Only when we all act together, as a team, do we achieve our long-term goals and wildest dreams as a city!

 

In short, we have to do this thing called building our community TOGETHER.

 

We need your help – please volunteer!

 

If you would like to volunteer somewhere in the city, please contact the city secretary’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

 

When does the City Council meet?

We meet the first four Tuesdays of every month at 6PM at the city council chambers at the Hal Baldwin Municipal Complex.

 

We generally do not meet when there is a fifth Tuesday or if a Tuesday falls on a holiday.

 

Occasionally we will hold a city council meeting elsewhere – at the Schertz Senior Center as an example – in the city. We are open to adding more dates where we meet at facilities other than council chambers.

 

Sometimes we post our meeting to be a “roving” one, such as on National Night Out. In fact, if you would like to have the city council visit your homeowner’s association meeting or event, I’d love to hear from you. We do some of our best work when we get out in the community.

 

All of our meetings are recorded digitally and are available on DVD from the City Secretary’s office.

 

If you have questions about when the city council meets or attending a city council meeting, please contact the City Secretary’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

Am I allowed to address the City Council?

Absolutely – In fact, if you live inside the city limits of Schertz, our City Charter commands that you be allowed to speak.

 

To ensure that we comply with the requirements set forth in the City Charter, we set aside a time for hearing of residents at every meeting of the city council.

 

All residents wishing to speak need to sign the “Residents to be Heard” signup sheet located in the vestibule of the council chambers prior to the start of the meeting. All those signing up are allotted three minutes to speak on any subject they wish, whether it is currently before the council or not.

 

By the way, state law does not let the council get into a “back-and-forth” discussion with you on any subject not on the agenda. The Texas Open Meetings Act compels us to put on the agenda anything we are going to discuss or take action upon.

 

Of course, there are rules about who can address the council (technically this time is reserved for residents only) and for maintaining proper decorum, but the charter and the rules of procedure for the council allow for some leeway in these areas.

 

Naturally, preference is given to our residents during this time.

 

Some people have told me they are nervous about addressing the city council at meetings. I understand this, as I was quite nervous the first time I stood up before the city council and spoke – but let me assure you, we are also tax-paying residents; and, frankly, regular people with jobs, kids and mortgages. We live here, too. Your concerns are likely our concerns, and we appreciate hearing from you.

 

If you are a little concerned about addressing council in an open council meeting that is being recorded, please call me, or call any of the councilmembers. We want to hear from you – we are your neighbors.

 

If you have questions about addressing the city council, when the city council meets or attending a city council meeting, please contact the City Secretary’s office or call me directly.

 

You can reach any city department by talking to our customer service team at 210-619-1000.

 

And as always, you can call me directly at 210-619-1040.

 

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