The mayors of Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi took the stage at Texas Tribune Festival Saturday morning to discuss the challenges that big cities face.
David Brown, managing editor of the Texas Standard, moderated the conversation. He asked Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, Annise Parker, mayor of Houston, Ivy Taylor, mayor of San Antonio, and Nelda Martinez, mayor of Corpus Christi, what the single biggest issue is in their respective cities.
“The biggest challenge that I think about in relation to the future of (San Antonio) is that we don’t grow into two cities based on economics, the haves and the have-nots,” Taylor said. “My goal as mayor is to connect all San Antonions to the prosperity that we have.”
Parker said a $5 billion shortage of pensions is Houston’s biggest issue. She said the problem is out of her hands and that the Texas Legislature has failed to alleviate the shortage in its past three sessions.
In Austin, outdated infrastructure in the realm of transportation and mobility is the “main problem,” Adler said.
Martinez said that as mayor, she is faced with the problem of a lack of affordable housing and the struggles that causes for the citizens of Corpus Christi.
“Infrastructure and deferred maintenance (is a matter of concern in Corpus Christi),” Martinez said. “We have a lot more needs than resources. (Infrastructure is a problem) when I talk about what’s above the street and what’s under the street and infrastructure with water.”