San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg
The San Antonio City Council is supposed to be a deliberative body, but lately it seems to be deliberately avoiding deliberation – or trying to disguise it as something else.
Ask Mayor Ron Nirenberg and members of the council if they've decided to forgo bidding to be the host site for the 2020 Republican National Convention and you'll hear hemming and hawing like you've never heard before.
You'll also find yourself wondering if this is the same Ron Nirenberg who as a councilman was a vocal advocate for transparency.
As the San Antonio Express-News recently noted, then-Councilman Nirenberg objected to a closed-door meeting in 2014 and claimed that he was “trying to move the conversation . . . into the living rooms of San Antonians.”
After another by-invitation-only meeting in 2016, he accused then-Mayor Ivy Taylor of having “an allergy to dispute.”
That was then and this is now.
As mayor, Nirenberg has developed a keen appreciation for the advantages of a closed-door meeting, which is what he conducted last week with the council to “discuss” the opportunity to host a convention that would likely add more than $200 million to the city's economy.
But it's a Republican convention, one likely to feature the renomination of their current, hysterically abhorred standard-bearer. Our Democrat mayor and the Democrat members of the council want nothing to do with that anti-progressive extravaganza – no matter how much money it might bring in for local businesses.
“The council as a whole decided (emphasis added) it was not worth it to move forward with a bid,” Nirenberg told the Express-News.
“Decided” may not have been the right word.
Apparently, when the mayor and the council decided not to pursue the bid, they simultaneously decided that they weren't making a decision. In fact, they were decidedly undecided. Maybe it depends on what the definition of “decision” is.
In the meantime, thanks to their closeted fit of pique, San Antonio misses out on a grand old party.