Press + Media

Go Vote No Releases More Secretly Recorded Audio Of Fire Union President

October 30, 2018 – The Go Vote No campaign has released over seven minutes of secretly recorded audio it claims is of San Antonio Professional Firefighter’s Association President Chris Steele.

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Here’s what you need to know about Propositions A, B and C

October 30, 2018 – Election Day is rapidly approaching, and political yard signs are getting more and more prominent.

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Go Vote No Campaign Shares More Recordings of San Antonio Fire Union Chief Chris Steele

October 30, 2018 – The Go Vote No campaign on Tuesday continued trickling out secret recordings of fire union president Chris Steele bragging about his political clout.

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Charter Amendments Would Diminish Power of Already-Marginalized Groups

October 30, 2018 – Much of the discussion about the city charter amendment propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot has highlighted the adverse economic impact they would create.

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Steele Talks of Scare Tactics in Newly Released Fire Union Recordings

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GoVoteNo, Fire Union President Trade Barbs Over Latest Released Recordings

October 30, 2018 – The GoVote No campaign, which opposes the fire union-backed charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot, released new, leaked recordings on Tuesday of fire union president Chris Steele speaking with firefighters.

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Six San Antonio Mayors Unite to Oppose Props A, B and C

October 29, 2018 – Six San Antonio mayors announced a “united” effort Monday to defeat Propositions A, B and C in the upcoming election.

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Five San Antonio Mayors Urge ‘No’ Vote on Ballot Propositions

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Former SA Mayors Join Nirenberg in ‘Vote No’ Campaign

October 29, 2018 – The “Vote No” Campaign is getting some mayors from the past to talk about the future of the city.

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Fire Union President Boasts of Power in Secret Recordings

October 29, 2018 – In a new batch of recordings set to be released today by the Go Vote No campaign, firefighters union President Chris Steele is heard boasting about how he will place pressure on the city council and Mayor Ron Nirenberg to secure a good contract for firefighters.

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Nirenberg, Former Mayors Make Final Push Against Proposed Charter Amendments

October 29, 2018  – Mayor Ron Nirenberg, four former mayors and a bipartisan group of elected and community leaders on Monday called on local citizens to vote against three proposed charter amendments backed by the city’s fire union that they said would cause tremendous harm to the city.

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Five San Antonio Mayors Line Up to Blow Holes in the Fire Union’s Charter Amendments

October 29, 2018 – At an afternoon press conference, five San Antonio mayors lobbed salvos at a trio of charter amendments the city’s fire union placed on the November ballot.

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Finding the facts: Propositions A, B and C in San Antonio

October 29, 2018 – Allegations of lies and dirty tricks are flying as people pour into the polls to cast early votes.

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Props B, C Threaten San Antonio’s Financial Sustainability, Says Former Austin City Manager

October 28, 2018 – The last few choices San Antonio voters will make on their November ballots will be whether or not to approve three proposed changes to the city charter.

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Fire union TV ad makes false claim

October 27, 2018 – In the midst of a heated battle to push its three controversial city charter amendments across the finish line, the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association began airing a 30-second spot this week that claims City Hall increased taxes annually over the past six years.

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Charter Amendments — Been There, Done That

October 27, 2018 – Proposed San Antonio charter amendments are a hot debate topic.

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To Vote Yes or No: Two Sides Weigh In

October 22, 2018 – Ahead of the November midterm elections, the Rivard Report invited invested parties to provide commentaries and share their points of view with voters.

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Mayor Urges Voters to Turn Down Amendments at Hot Potato Lecture

October 22, 2018 – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg told an audience of 35 students and faculty Oct. 9 at the Wesley Foundation of San Antonio that voters should not approve a charter amendment to limit the pay of the city manager.

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Propositions A, B, C Would Negatively Impact San Antonio’s Economy, Report Shows

October 22, 2018 – It’s the first day of early voting and San Antonio voters will be choosing to vote “Yes” or “No” on three proposed amendments to the city charter.

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A Debate on the Pros and Cons of Propositions A, B and C

October 20, 2018 – We asked the sides for and against the San Antonio charter amendments to answer some questions about the measures.

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SA Could Have Tough Time Finding Next City Manager if Charter Amendment Passes, Expert Says

October 18, 2018 – If San Antonio voters approve a charter amendment putting salary and term limit caps on the city manager, hiring the next person for that job would likely be challenging, one expert said.

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Go Vote No Campaign Reports 10,000+ Participated in Tele-Town Hall

October 17, 2018 – More than 10,000 San Antonians listened via telephone to the citywide “tele-town hall” on three proposed City charter amendments Wednesday evening, according to organizers with the Go Vote No campaign.

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Propositions A, B, and C: A Drama in 3 Acts

October 16, 2018 – Early voting starts Monday – yes, already and also, at last – so I want to take one last opportunity to address the issue of the three City charter amendments proposed by firefighters union chief Chris Steele and his allies.

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Three Proposed Charter Amendments Tackled in Town Hall

October 16, 2018 – Big changes for the city are on the line, depending on how voters mark their ballots next month.

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San Antonio’s Choice: Thriving City or Government by Union Petition

October 14, 2018 – Some of the best years in a 37-year marriage were when our two sons decided to return to San Antonio as young professionals drawn home by the forward trajectory of the city.

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What Do These Charter Propositions Really Say?

October 14, 2018 – San Antonio voters will see three propositions at the end of their midterm election ballots after various state leaders, local judges, and school district board members – depending on where you live.

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Reject City Charter Change Propositions

October 13, 2018 – The fire union’s proposed changes to the city of San Antonio’s charter will be found toward the end of the ballot, but they are of the highest importance and arguably carry the greatest local impact for voters.

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Latina Leaders Organize Against Fire Union

October 12, 2018 – San Antonio Latinas have organized to campaign against the firefighter union’s proposed City charter amendments, saying they would undermine the City government’s effectiveness if passed.

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San Antonio’s Anti-Charter Amendment Campaign to Host Tele-Town Hall

October 12, 2018 – Next Wednesday, the Go Vote No campaign will host a tele-town hall to try to knock down support for the fire union’s proposed city charter amendments.

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San Antonio Fire Chief Says Department Won’t Tolerate Intimidation, Retribution

October 11, 2018 – Fire Chief Charles Hood told employees in a daily bulletin posted Thursday that they should report any fire union efforts to seek out and intimidate the person behind two leaked audio recordings of union President Chris Steele.

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Councilman Courage: If Ballot Props Pass, ‘Entire City Loses’

October 11, 2018 – City Councilman John Courage (D9) at a Thursday town hall told constituents why they should vote down three City charter amendments proposed by the local firefighters union.

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City, Tech Leaders Denounce Ballot Props at Tech Bloc Rally

October 11, 2018 – Defeating a trio of City charter amendments is critical to realizing San Antonio’s hope of becoming a world-class city with a thriving tech sector, City and business leaders told a crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at the Pearl Thursday.

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Council Members Respond to Secret Recording Detailing Fire Union’s Motives for Charter

October 9, 2018  – San Antonio councilmembers disputed the firefighter union chief’s remarks Tuesday detailed in a secret recording that alleged he control votes of several members.

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Polémica Por supuestas grabaciones de la asociación de bomberos de San Antonio

October 9, 2018 -En dicha grabación el presidente de la asociación de bomberos de San Antonio asegura que ya tiene los votos de los concejales Greg Brackhouse, Ana Sandoval, Manny Pelaez y Shirley Gonzalez, situación que fue negada hoy en conferencia de prensa.

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Three San Antonio City Council Members Named in Secret Steele Recording Say He Doesn’t Control Them

October 9, 2018 – Another secret recording of fire association President Chris Steele was released Tuesday by the Go Vote No campaign, this time capturing the embattled union leader telling on-duty firefighters that he had five council members on his side.

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Councilmembers Respond to Secret Recording Detailing Fire Union’s Motives for Charter

October 9, 2018 – San Antonio councilmembers disputed the firefighter union chief’s remarks Tuesday detailed in a secret recording that alleged he control votes of several members.

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San Antonio Firefighter’s Union President Claims Support For Union Backed Charter Amendments From 5 City Council Members

October 9, 2018 – Another audio leak of the city’s Firefighter’s Union President talking about City Council support for union backed amendments to the City Charter.

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Fire Starter: Union Chief Chris Steele is the Latest Political Outsider Looking to Harness San Antonio Voters’ Resentment

October 09, 2018 – First, there was the fake firefighter’s uniform, then the last-minute debate cancellation and last week’s chaotic news conference where he tried to abdicate his position as chief spokesman for the union’s three proposed city charter amendments.

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Chris Steele: Reckless and Resentful or Devoted and Determined?

October 6, 2018 – Two political campaigns are painting two very different pictures of Chris Steele, the San Antonio Professional Firefighter Association president who successfully led the charge to get three City Charter amendment proposals on the November ballot.

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Chris Steele Refuses to Answer Questions at His Own News Conference

October 04, 2018 – The head of the San Antonio fire union stood silently in his own union hall Thursday, refusing to answer reporters’ questions as his own news conference devolved into a shouting match.

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That Mayor Ron Nirenberg-Chris Steele Debate on KSAT? Never Mind.

October 4, 2018 – Remember that debate on KSAT between Mayor Ron Nirenberg and fire union President Chris Steele, planned for October 10?

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Fire Union’s Chris Steele Names Surrogates at Combative Press Conference

October 4, 2018 – The San Antonio fire union’s Thursday afternoon press conference felt like a piece of performance art.

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Fire Union President Distances Himself From Proposition Fight

October 4, 2018 – San Antonio firefighters union President Chris Steele stood silent and stone-faced Thursday as journalists hurled questions at him about a recently leaked recording that captured him outlining the union’s political plans behind the three propositions voters will see on the November ballot.

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San Antonio Fire Union President Ignores Questions About Secretly Recorded Audio

October 4, 2018 – The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association held a news conference Thursday, one day after the Go Vote No Campaign released audio of what it says is fire union President Chris Steele talking to firefighters about the union’s political plans.

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Steele Lays Out Plans For San Antonio Firefighter Union In Secret Recording

October 4, 2018 – The Go Vote No Campaign, which opposes the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association’s proposed amendments to the San Antonio city charter, has released secretly recorded audio that it says is the fire union president discussing the union’s ultimate goals.

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Recording Lays Out Fire Union Chief Chris Steele’s City Hall Ambitions

October 4, 2018 – In an audio recording that appears to contradict his public statements, fire union president Chris Steele said he’s pushing the union’s three proposed ballot measures to secure a labor contract and make Councilman Greg Brockhouse San Antonio’s next mayor. 

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Fire Union President Silent on Secret Recording Leak

 October 4, 2018 – The first of four secret recordings of firefighter union president Chris Steele talking strategy to take on and take over city hall was released Thursday.

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In Secret Recording, Steele Lays Out San Antonio Firefighter Union’s Plans

October 3, 2018 – In a secret recording, firefighters union President Chris Steele tells a group of on-duty firefighters that the union is pushing to amend the city charter in order to pressure the city for a new contract and to replace Mayor Ron Nirenberg with “our guy,” Councilman Greg Brockhouse, in the 2019 election.

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Head of Firefighters’ Union Fails to Respond to KSAT 12 Debate Request; Event Canceled

October 03, 2018 – A proposed city charter amendment debate between Mayor Ron Nirenberg and San Antonio Professional Firefighter’s Association President Chris Steele will not be happening.

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Fire Union’s Chris Steele Outlines City Hall Power Play in Leaked Recording

October 3, 2018 – In a leaked recording, fire union boss Chris Steele says he wants to “put our own guy in the mayor’s office, which would be Greg Brockhouse.”

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In Secret Recording, Steele Lays Out San Antonio Firefighter Union’s Plans

October 3, 2018 – In the 45-second recording, Firefighter Union President Chris Steele is heard saying the union’s campaign for charter amendments is designed to secure a contract with the city and get “our guy,” Councilman Greg Brockhouse” elected mayor.

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Union advocates have personal reasons for support

October 2, 2018 – In an attempt to lend bipartisan appeal to its charter amendment campaign, the fire union has elevated the voices of two residents in particular: Betty Eckert and David Van Os.

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The Go Vote No Campaign Can Hold a Press Conference with Democrats, Too

October 2, 2018 – Today, the Go Vote No campaign showed off some Democratic friends of its own.

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Fire Union Boss Steele Seeks to Gain Power by Targeting It

OCTOBER 2, 2018 –  I’ll be honest. I don’t know if the three proposed charter changes the firefighters union has put on next month’s ballot will be as bad for San Antonio as the mayor and other leaders say.

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Local Dems Call Foul on Party Endorsement of Props on November Ballot

OCTOBER 2, 2018 – Several local Democratic party precinct chairs and organizers on Tuesday spoke in opposition to the three propositions San Antonio voters will see on the November ballot and said the Bexar County Democratic Party’s endorsement, announced more than a week ago, would be overturned by a forthcoming vote.

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Fake Firefighter Uniform Lands Union President Scathing Reprimand

October 02, 2018 – A fake firefighter uniform landed San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association president Chris Steele a scathing reprimand from San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood.

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Dem Party Chairwoman Wants to Revisit Charter Amendment Endorsement

September 21, 2018The newly elected chairwoman of the Bexar County Democratic Party doused her organization’s endorsement of the fire union’s charter amendments a day after union leader Chris Steele touted it.

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Steele Wears Uniform Resembling Official Fire Department Attire

September 20, 2018 – In his crisp white shirt with its embroidered fire patch and gold badge, fire union president Chris Steele stood Thursday at the Bexar County Democratic Party’s headquarters to announce the group’s month-old City Charter amendment endorsement at a raucous, hastily called news conference.

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Drama, Confusion Ensue After Fire Union President Backs Out of Town Hall Meeting With Mayor

September 20, 2018 – Drama, confusion and anger ensued Thursday night after the president of the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association backed out of a town hall meeting with Mayor Ron Nirenberg at the eleventh hour.

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Charter Amendment Town Hall Canceled After Steele Backs Out at Last Minute

September 20, 2018 – A highly anticipated debate between Mayor Ron Nirenberg and fire union President Chris Steele over three proposed City Charter amendments was set for Thursday night, but less than two hours before its start, the event collapsed as Steele rescinded his promise to participate.

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Fire Union President Cancels Appearance at Charter Amendment Debate

September 20, 2018 – San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association President Chris Steele withdrew from a scheduled panel discussion Thursday night with Mayor Ron Nirenberg about three controversial proposed City charter amendments on the November ballot.

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Town Hall to Focus on San Antonio Charter Amendments

September 20, 2018 – UTSA and the San Antonio Express-News will jointly host a town hall meeting this evening to discuss the charter amendments that will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

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Town Hall Thursday to Tackle Proposed City Charter Amendments

September 19, 2018 – Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Chris Steele, local fire union president, will discuss the three proposed amendments to the City Charter on November’s ballot during a town hall meeting Thursday.

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TOP Enters Charter Amendment Fight

September 12, 2018 – The group plans to knock on 36,000 doors to talk to potential voters about why the San Antonio Fire Fighters Association-backed proposals are bad for the city.

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Nirenberg: Community Faces ‘Election Like No Other’

September 8, 2018 – In addition to adding financial stress, Hartman said, the amendment would “pit communities against one another” because special interests would easily be able to repeal funding and policy decisions that hurt or help their group.

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SA’s November Challenge: Defeating Fire Union’s Charter Amendments

September 7, 2018 – For citizens who care about the future of San Antonio and its governance, there should be one issue of paramount importance: the defeat of the firefighters union and the three destructive charter amendments its paid petition peddlers have placed on a crowded November election ballot.

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Union Ally Wants What’s ‘Conservative’ for the City

September 1, 2018 – The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association’s scorched-earth campaign to upend the balance of power at City Hall is a deeply conservative endeavor more in sync with the tea party than any other political movement.

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A Vote to Make San Antonio Poorer

August 25, 2018 – A vote for the fire union’s proposed charter changes this fall is a vote to make San Antonio poorer and less competitive.

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Campaign Puts Union First

August 23, 2018 – When the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association borrowed one of President Donald Trump’s favorite campaign slogans to name its own movement, the similarity went beyond mere appearances.

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Petition Fraud is the New Face of Election Fraud

August 19, 2018 – I was walking home from the King William Parade on the last Saturday in April when I noticed two people stationed in the alley fronting East Arsenal Street just outside the fairgrounds, beckoning Fiesta passersby to stop and sign petitions.

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Nirenberg Argues Charter Amendments Threaten San Antonio Economic Prosperity

August 10, 2018 – San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg says a charter amendment push by the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association will threaten the city’s economic boom.

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Steele Gets His War

August 9, 2018 -Ten years ago, while receiving a briefing on the city budget, the fire union president let City Manager Sheryl Sculley know just how badly he wanted one.

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PAC seeks criminal charges for fire union, others for allegedly violating election law

August 8, 2018 – A day after a political action committee sued the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association over allegations it illegally funded its charter-amendment petition campaign, the group is now recommending to county and state officials that the union’s president and others be charged for allegedly violating election and state law.

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SA’s November Challenge: Defeating Fire Union’s Charter Amendments

August 5, 2018 – For citizens who care about the future of San Antonio and its governance, there should be one issue of paramount importance: the defeat of the firefighters union and the three destructive charter amendments its paid petition peddlers have placed on a crowded November election ballot.

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Fire Union Files Federal Free Speech Lawsuit Against City

July 20, 2018 – The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association is filing a federal lawsuit against the city over its “free speech areas” at city libraries. The union claims the city violated the First Amendment when it prevented union petitioners from entering the buildings.

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Fire union PAC amends reports, documenting $504,000 spent on petition campaign

July 18, 2018 – The political arm of the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association amended three campaign-finance reports from earlier this year Wednesday, disclosing for the first time it spent $500,000 on its petition campaign to change the City Charter.

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Lack of disclosure puts fire union’s political spending in question

July 17, 2018 – This spring, an army of signature gatherers made its way across San Antonio to persuade tens of thousands of residents to support a push for three proposed charter amendments that will likely appear on November’s ballot.

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San Antonio Last: November Ballot Initiatives an Existential Threat

May 27, 2018 – Now that the runoff elections and an anemic voter turnout are history, it’s time to turn our attention to the November ballot and the most important election in contemporary San Antonio history. This is not about the mood of the nation and how voters feel about the Trump administration or the Republican-controlled congress.

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Nirenberg: If Fire Union Charter Changes Make Ballot, No Others Will

May 11, 2018 – San Antonio City Clerk Leticia Vacek is expected to verify next Thursday that there are at least 20,000 valid signatures for each of the three petitions the fire union submitted one month ago.

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Union’s petitions not well-understood

April 20, 2018 – I called some of the voters who had been persuaded in February and March to sign in support of significant changes to the charter … Of those who answered their phones and spoke candidly, almost none could recall the point of the petitions to which they’d lent their signatures.

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Voters have to get educated on possible charter changes

Mar 29, 2018 – Now that the fire union’s three proposed city charter amendments have qualified for the November ballot, the hard work begins for community and business leaders to educate voters about their consequences.

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City offers salary and benefits package to absent fire union

March 27, 2018 – City officials on Tuesday offered raises and a health care package to the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association at a collective-bargaining session that union officials did not attend.

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An open letter to San Antonio firefighters’ union

March 25, 2018 – Dear members of the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association:

We’ll go straight to the point. We believe your city charter petition drive is bad for the city, bad for taxpayers and bad for your own cause.

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Fire union fails to show at the city’s negotiations meeting

March 13, 2018 – The San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Union failed to show up at a public meeting this morning that city officials had arranged with hopes of negotiating a new contract for municipal firefighters and paramedics.

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Fire union fails to show at city’s negotiations meeting

March 13, 2018 – The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association refused to show up at City Hall for a public meeting Tuesday that city officials had arranged with hopes of negotiating a new contract for municipal firefighters and paramedics.

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City sends ninth formal request to negotiate with fire union

March 7, 2018 – For the ninth time, the city has sent a certified letter to attorneys representing the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association to request the union meet with city negotiators to come up with a new contract between the parties.

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Firefighter plan would wreck the city

February 27, 2018 – The city’s firefighter union is playing with fire.

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Firefighters’ charter-amendment campaign spells trouble

February 24, 2018 – The firefighters proposed three potential amendments to the City Charter, all of them designed to weaken the power of a city government which has battled the union for years on collective-bargaining issues.

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Union Bosses’ Latest Bad Idea: Setting City Hall on Fire

February 24, 2018 – I don’t know about you, but if my family ever suffers a fire at home or has to call EMS, I really hope Mayor Ron Nirenberg, City Council members, or City Manager Sheryl Sculley do not show up at the front door.

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Fire union re-elects controversial president

December 11, 2015 – The local fire union this week re-elected a controversial leader using a contentious method of counting votes – proving that right now, the only controversy that really matters is the city’s protracted battle with the police and fire unions over their contracts.

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Does Steele really think he is helping cause?

October 26, 2014 – It’s hard to see just how the city’s firefighters are benefiting from Chris Steele’s “leadership”.

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Letter Calls For Fire Union President Chris Steele To Step Down

September 23, 2014 – A strongly-worded letter sent to all firefighters in San Antonio calling for fire union president Chris Steele to step down may signal mounting frustration within the ranks of the San Antonio Fire Department.

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Fire labor union president alienating firefighters

September 22, 2014 – Union leaders are making good use of the term “intimidation” to describe a threat, undelivered, by City Manager Sheryl Sculley to force police and firefighters from their rich health care plans using the budget process.

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