Transcript: North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Bexar County Judge Candidate Forum October 2022

KSAT and North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum featuring county judge candidates Trish DeBerry and Peter Sakai on Oct. 5, 2022. Click here to replay video of the event. NOWCastSA has created a complete transcript of the event with timestamps below.

 

What do you want to achieve if elected County Judge? And how would you choose to use that position to bring people together? (8:37)

Trish DeBerry (8:48): "So we talked about the fact that I am super excited about sharing what the big-bold vision looks like. As somebody who's worked in this community on a number of different initiatives, that I think it brought positive change to this community over 25 years. Whether it's been SCIC bonds election, working alongside Pedro Martinez to improve graduation rates here, whether it's been infrastructure projects, whether it's been Via Metropolitan transit and what we've been able to do there. Whether it's been a tobacco 2021 initiative, Whether it's been a fluoridation of the San Antonio water system. Those are game changers for this community. That's exactly the type of leadership I will bring to this office, because as we look, like I said, and not just holding the seat; and being a CEO in the seat. We have to look 20 to 25 years ahead.

We're gonna have 6 million people in this county in the year 2050. And so we gotta manage growth appropriately, and so as we look at what is the opportunity, it is the opportunity associated with growth, it is the opportunity to reduce taxes and appraisal reforms and property taxes, which I led the effort on in the court. But it's also about bringing people out of poverty. Folks, I'm going to step up here because it is important, we've had the same poverty rate in this community that we have since 1984. Nothing is changing. And so 26 years of leadership of my opponent hasn't changed anything here. What do I wanna do? I wanna lead people to prosperity, and so when I talk about big ideas about moving the jail out of the near west side, it is about redevelopment opportunities, and by the way, the poorest zip code is 78207 right behind the jail. Imagine the re-development opportunities that will exist, bridging the wage gap and what we have to be able to do, and then we gotta focus on healthcare, and merging, perhaps, UHS with Metro Health so we can scale impact in a way we have never seen before. And lastly I'm gonna advocate for a seat on the utilities board of CPS Energy and San Antonio Water Systems, where the county does not have a seat. That's the kind of leader I wanna be and that's the visionary leadership I will bring to this seat. Thank you."

Peter Sakai (10:59): "The platform that I'm putting before the voters, and why I should be your next county judge, is this. One, I want to focus in on economic development, I want to focus on in the infrastructure necessary to support that economic development, and I wanna work on education and the workforce. So lemme break that down for you.

In regards to economic development, obviously, I wanna make sure that Bexar County is gonna be the county of choice for big corporate headquarters relocations. Hopefully, get the next Toyota, but what we have are challenges. We gotta have mega sites, we're gonna have to look at land banking. We’re going to have to look at the multitude of financial incentives to bring those opportunities but at the same time I want to also focus in on small businesses and that is a real key, what I believe is the strength of Bexar County is small businesses. We work to try to get the corporate headquarters here, let's make sure our small businesses, that means working with our small business, women- and minority-owned business. And we're going to encourage and support by training and educating small businesses.

Infrastructure: I want to focus in on the digital divide and make sure that we have high-speed internet to the incorporated areas in the suburban cities. I want to work on a new initiative that Judge Wolff and Commissioner Rodriguez created with the public health entity. I want us to focus on public health as wellness, nutrition, eliminating food deserts. Working on those diseases like obesity and diabetes.

And finally, I want to make sure that an educated workforce, I know that is not necessarily the county wheelhouse, but I want to make sure our public schools, our business committees, our county, our city, are working with the SA: Ready to Work and make sure we are getting our kids that leave public school. Maybe they don't get to college, but I want them to have a skill set. And that is going to have to take a whole change of culture and making sure that our children work together, and that's by bringing everyone together. Bringing the experts, the stakeholders together, figure out the solutions. Figure out that process, and come up with the solutions. That's what you get with me as your next county judge."

 

How do you plan to achieve your priority projects with the limited money leftover?  (13:49)

Peter Sakai (14:05):   "Great question. Obviously, as you heard, we have a lot of statutory mandate: The jail, the justice system. So first and foremost what I am going to do when I'm elected as your next county judge is to meet with all the department heads, elected officials, and create performance reviews, create reviews and make sure that we're working effectively and efficiently with our taxpayer money to see if we can do things more effectively with less budget money that have to be allocated to those mandates, but more importantly that discretionary fund. I think that's really where I want to focus in regards, in regards to the public-private partnerships.

That's what I did in children's court and I realize my opponent diminishes that but I'm telling you, we figured it out what these children and families needed and we created the family drug court with parents with addiction. We created an early childhood court, baby court, to put mothers and babies together, and I created a college-bound docket to keep foster kids, and we got 600 foster youth that have aged out, that are at Texas A&M, San Antonio UTSA, at the Alamo College District. And what I want to do is make sure that we use those funds to deal with the problems. We got a lot of issues, we do have generational poverty, but it's going to have to take bringing people together and that's the reason why I'm the unifier not the divider and bringing people together and coming up with those solutions. Thank you."

Trish DeBerry (15:35): "Um… yeah, the discretionary funding is critically important, I think I proved that as a county commissioner. For a year, we talked about unifying and dividing, as the only Republican on the court and I was able to cultivate other Democratic votes with me, to do what? To reduce the property tax rate to the lowest it's been in 25 years, to restore the Elder Fraud Unit to the DA's office which had been vacant for five years, and as the daughter of a father whose 95 years old who is scammed every single day, why did that office stay vacant for 5 years, it shouldn't have. So I appropriated the money and got those to be able to do that. A bodycam return policy with the Sheriff's Office, one of the strictest in the state of Texas, regarding a 10-day turnaround time, because we can't continue to invest in equipment if we're not going to turn around that video, because what that it do, it exonerates a police officer 99% of the time, but it also brings closure to the family. Lastly, one of my most important things that I did on this court, I led the effort with commissioner Justin Rodriguez, who is here today, a Democrat working with a Republican on $300 million dollars worth of money for family violence and putting more prosecutors and investigators into the DA's office. Not just that, making sure that we have more constables in every single precinct to serve temporary protective orders and temporary restraining orders because guess what folks, women and children do not need to be living in fear. That is the kind of leadership, that is the kind of money that I looked at regarding the three percent that were talking about and what we have to be able to do regarding digging in, identifying a problem, and figuring them out. What the solution is and cultivating the votes to not just be able to do what is in the best interest of your partisan stripes, but what is in the best interests of this community, to do the right thing, that is the kind of leadership I'll bring to the office. Thank you."

 

What are your top transportation priorities? Are they in alignment with our partners? (18:15)

Trish DeBerry (18:25): "So the year that I served as County Commissioner, I served on the board of the Alamo Area Council of Governments where we talked a lot about, you know, state money and appropriating dollars for infrastructure. I also served on the board of the MPL, created great relationships with judges and many of the other counties, as well as the county commissioners in the other counties. As we look at, and I mentioned this before, as we look at growth associated with San Antonio, we can't become another Austin. It's about forecasting 10 to 20 years ahead and that is what we will do as we look at infrastructure to keep this economy moving forward. When we talk about big bold ideas and transportation and what we absolutely positively have to be able to do. We have to be looking at a third Loop. Highway 46, people like to talk about it and you know it's a controversial topic, but as we look at the amount of traffic that's moving through Boerne, 18-wheelers that are coming off of 46 and going through the town of Boerne and creating havoc on their roads. By the way $7 billion dollars worth of traffic projects on the ground here in Bexar County right now, $3 billion dollars worth of infrastructure projects that are in downtown alone, and so focusing on that. And I've got a great relationship with Bruce Bugg, who is obviously head of the Texas Transportation Commission. My treasure is (inaudible) who of course was on the Texas Transportation Commission as well. So they are great relationships there and so highway 46 as a third loop may be somewhat controversial, but we're going to have to work through that because if we don't keep people moving in this community from a quality-of-life standpoint and as somebody who has worked on a number of infrastructure projects at GM and also with the Advanced Transportation District, I know transportation and I know that's the key to our future, so I'm going to advocate for those projects. It is money on the ground here and it creates jobs for people, which is the most important thing, and critically important is it contributes to quality of life. Thank you"

Peter Sakai (20:34): "Great question Eddie, in regard to Transportation obviously I'm going on record to commit to the I-35 Corridor, the double-decker, and making sure that we get that project gone, obviously. And talking to the Northeast mayors which I have, obviously is going to create an impact locally as in, it's the same thing with any construction and so we are going to have to be sensitive to all that business community along that corridor. Also wanna make sure that we have a commitment to finish out the 1604 Loop and so bef- I-I understand my opponents desire to look but I think we've got projects on here that we've got to make sure that we are talking altogether. Remember what I sa- indicated earlier, what I bring, the ability to communicate, the ability to collaborate, and the ability to coordinate and it's gonna take all the stakeholders, especially in transportation to continue those projects, to minimize the impact that it'll have on the business community and in and municipalities that they will fall in.

Obviously what we need to look is multi-motor transportation we can't continue to keep putting more cars out or try to open more lanes, we're going to have to really work on (inaudible) and work on how we could move people through our community and basically the issue there is a bigger, long vision is to make sure that we don't get to non-attainment, and those issues that as county judge we need to be sensitive to, so that what we have to do is look at the whole process. We have to look at what those problems are and what those obstacles are and we must come together in order to resolve those resolution and it's not going to necessarily fall on the county it's going to take a community to come together. And especially with the chambers, y'all are the voice and power of your community and I will assure you that I will have a seat at the table for all of y'all, who are important to this community, and to make sure I listen to your concerns and that's my promise to you as your next county judge."

 

How will Bexar County and the city of San Antonio advocate top priority projects without the ability to have representation in Austin?(25:19)

Peter Sakai (25:30): "Well the key to that question is the relationship, the relationships with our… within our commissioners court that we will work collegially and we will work as with one unified voice and respecting the difference of opinion that we may have on commissioner's court. To understand and work with our Bexar County delegation and I've had a great relationship especially as your children's court judge in working and getting the funding, especially the college-bound docket and getting $3.5 million dollars in appropriations and we have basically proven that it is a successful program that is now duplicated throughout the state of Texas. And we got to work with our congressional delegation, and we’re very good friends. I went to law school with… with the representative Henry Cuellar and so I have the ability again to work across the aisle, work with Republicans, work with Democrats, work to find solutions. And in regards to those issues I will continue to advocate and make sure that Bexar County gets what it deserves. I think we, Judge Wolff set the standard and also to the relationship with the city of San Antonio and the mayor. And my ability to work with the mayor and also I have working and have a great relationship with the municipalities and the mayors there. And I have endorsements from those mayors for my county judgeship. Thank you."

Trish DeBerry (26:59): "So I want to remind folks, as effective as I was as a county commissioner, because I was able to reach across the aisle and I was able to bridge partisan differences in what I thought was in the best interests of this community, an important thing for you all to remember, whoever takes this seat in January, guess what? Two weeks later, we move forward with the legislative agenda. Meaning what are we going to do in Austin and what is going to be at the top of that legislative agenda. And so, to your point Eddie, yes, we have to have folks that are going to advocate on our behalf. County judge doesn't necessarily… it's a full-time job and I'm going to be in Austin, I'm going to be walking those hallways, much like, by the way I was walking those hallways on a pro bono basis to make sure that we had stricter ramifications associated with cyberbullying and protecting our children. I didn't necessarily work in the legislature, but I know what it takes and I know what it takes when we talked about their priorities that were talking about for all of us here, which should be transportation infrastructure. We got to make sure there were walking the halls and we do that. Property taxes and appraisal reform, and folks we've done just about all we can, at its county level and at its city level. We have to take it to the lege, all right, that's where it begins, and that is where it ends. And look at what are alternative resources to make sure that education is not funded solely on the backs of homeowners and property taxpayers. We got to look at alternative revenue streams, what does that look like, is it legalized gambling, is it legalized marijuana, but it cannot continue to be only property taxes that fund education. Those are the kinds of things that I'm an advocate for, as you all can tell I'm a pretty passionate person. I bring a lot of energy to the table and there is nobody that's going to work any harder than I have, especially associated with this campaign because there is nobody that's worked any harder on this campaign and all parts of this county than I have. And engage in a listening tour, we're going to do that and then judge is going to be relevant to this county, regarding economic development and what we do to legislature."

 

As CPS begins to serve more and more of the county, do you believe the county should own part of CPS? (34:40)

Peter Sakai (34:50): "Obviously that's a legislator, that's a statutory issue as far as owning, obviously there is no County representation and I would like to work with the mayor to at least get an ex-officio position on the CPS board, SAWS board, because as you know, not only is it the city of San Antonio ratepayer, but it's also the unincorporated and the 26 other municipalities that makeup Bexar county and that's where the growth is going to be, and so we need greater representation and we need to make sure that those ratepayers are taken care of. In regards to the decision, I support the fact that that money was the ratepayer's money, and let's just go ahead and move forward. Those are tough decisions, cause you know, we could've obviously gone to weatherization, we could've gone to commit with alternative solutions in order to bring long-term growth to our county, but the issue is I believe in regards to representation, what we need to do is make sure that we're at the table and as next county judge I want to make sure that we're at the table, we have county representation on the (inaudible). Thank you"

Trish DeBerry (36:03): "Yeah, you know it's interesting cause I've mentioned this at every single forum that we have ever been at, it's the only time I've ever heard my opponent talk about that, so clearly I must think it's a pretty good idea and the reasons why I was talking about it, is because majority of the growth will occur outside the city of San Antonio because of non-annexation laws that have been passed by the Texas Legislature. The growth will occur outside the city limits of San Antonio, North, South, East, and West. So even as a county commissioner, I was advocating for us not only to have representation on that board but to share in some of the revenue, because here is what you all need to know. A third of CPS's revenue comes from outside the city of San Antonio and so when I go to neighborhood associations and I tell folks that and they're mad, obviously rightly so. Regarding what happened during "snowmageddon," regarding the fact that we didn't have power, we didn't have communication. My mother who was at an assisted living center fell and broke her arm in the dark. I'm associated with that and you all know as a county commissioner, I was pretty outspoken about the lack of communication and association with CPS Energy so this is not something new for me. This is something I've been advocating for since I was a county commissioner and it's important because as I talk to homeowners associations and taxpayers, what do I tell them? The fact that we don't even have ex-officio representation on the board of CPS Energy. What is that and I say this, it is taxation and I asked people to answer me and they, in unity say, without representation. So I'm going to be happy to go to the lege and try to get us an ex-officio place at the table, associate with CPS Energy. Cause I think there are bigger, better things, more fish and things that we can be doing, and obviously at SAWS too. Robert Puente is here. So goes the utilities, so goes growth, so we’ve got to make sure was we manage growth that we keep, you know, a laser on both CPS Energy and San Antonio Water Systems. And by the way, another one of my big ideas and I have advocated in CPS Energy, assisted living facilities need to be on the same grid as hospitals so that when we lose power, those places there, our elderly are not suffering. So we're done with big ideas, it's not just something I'm bringing to the table today, it's something I've been talking about for seven months."

 

If we’re not streamlined, coordinated, and united now as this region continues to grow, how will we fare against our competitors in the future?(48:30)

Trish DeBerry (48:41): "So I think there is a huge opportunity for San Antonio. Especially as we look at, you know, what are we doing, the national CHIPS act that was just passed and we were outsourcing, and overseas, regarding chip plants. And what we have here, I mean we've got a track record associated with that. But look at Samsung and what they were able to do in Austin, we should have had that here in San Antonio. We've got the land, we got the manufacturing base to be able to do that. It's, so the national CHIPS act, as far as I'm concerned, is a game-changer, for this economy here in San Antonio, but yes, look, I still believe that we're somewhat fractured when it comes to economic development. When I tell you that I'm a strategist at heart, which is what you start with, right, as a small business owner and a strategy to be able to pull in business and what you want to do, and really the initiatives that I worked on over the past 25 years. It began with a strategy, the tactics roll up underneath the strategy. If you don't have that, then what do you become?

Your point, Eddie, you become very reactionary, you're not proactive. If you got a strategy to be able to bring business here, support small businesses and bring big business here, which by the way we've got to be able to do, we always talk about are the Spurs going to leave or they not going to leave. Well, they need help, they need an economic base here in San Antonio and Bexar County. And so we got the land, and we got the option to be able to do it, but we got a good strategy associated with it. And it can't be fractured, we got to come together as a city, the county, the greater SA TX, to be able to come together and build that strategy, not just with the Chambers of Commerce. And once we have that strategy, you got to have a leader to be able to voice that strategy and really advocate for that, champion that strategy. Like I said you gotta have a sales person in this office, and there's nobody has been more passionate about this community. Over the past 25 years, my accomplishments speak for themselves. I will continue to do that."

Peter Sakai (50:51): "If we don't come together, we're not going to move forward in a positive way. And I'm going to respectfully disagree, we don't need a salesperson. What we need is a person who knows how to connect people and put people together. We need a person who is able to listen and I've given you my commitment today that you will always be at the table, especially when it comes to the business interest and the interest that y'all put together for to protect. You will always have a seat at the table, I'm not going to come up here and tell ya I got all the answers now; no, I don't. But what I can promise you is what I have learned as a judge. I will listen to you and tell me, I will make a decision based on the various opinions. And you have to understand there's going to be different opinions on how we move forward and what we're going to have to do is then find and make a decision and move forward. And what we need to do is that we got to work together. And so in regards to economic development, obviously it's a regional perspective, we can't be this San Antonio or Bexar County. We've got to work with all the counties surrounding, we've got to come together cuz that's, regards to mega-sites and land banking, we know that big businesses are, will go outside, will have to work with the valley. I grew up in South Texas. I grew up in McAllen, Texas. I have strong relationships with the border, my wife Rachel, another, she's born and raised in Laredo and basically I want to make sure that we work together, not only as a region but as a state. Why? It's my pledge to work with the governor, with our leadership, whoever that may be, in Austin and I will pledge to work with the Bexar County delegation, the legislation, the 183 legislators and the congressional delegation, too. And that's what we're going to have to do, we're gonna have to come up with solutions and that’s my promise in regards to economic development."

 

If elected judge, how will you solve the many problems that face the jail?(53:30)

Peter Sakai (53:35): "Well to draw compare and contrast with my commissioner DeBerry, I did not support building a new jail, that's a billion dollar budget buster. We ain't lowering taxes if we build a new jail, and that's not gonna resolve it. And that's not resolving the issues that are at hand. And let me give you an analogy, cuz somebody telling they have a heart attack in the holding saying you should diet and exercise, no you’ve got to do acute care, mercy care, and we've got to take care of it.

Now, let me tell you what I see as your next county judge. It's a process, I've got to be able to work with the sheriff, who would operate the jail, I have to work with the District Attorney's Office, who put people in jail, and false charges, and I have to work with the courts of fellow judges who disposed of cases to get people out of jail. It's like the three-legged stool, and what holds that stool and makes it strongest is Commissioner's Court with its funding, and so they'll be competing interests but I’ll tell ya, specifically in regards to the jail, is about taking care of the employees. Those counting, those deputies that work in those deplorable conditions, we've got to fill those positions, the sheriff has done two studies or did a study, the commissioner did a study and they both did not recommend a new jail. It's about taking care of employees, making sure that the working conditions are better and that we can then work in lower than overtime cost. What we also have to do is, obviously compensation, and I'll be real blunt those are the big tough issues that I'll have to work with our County Commissioners in order to decide how we're going to move forward. We’re gonna have to increase compensation for our County employees and especially where the deputies and the workers at the county jail. And when we move those cases together, we get our justice system going, we're going to be able to dig, get a handle on the jail. In one of the forms, asked commissioner, where you are going to put that jail. And so I'm going to be real blunt, that is an issue that we cannot go to. What we got to do is fix the process, and that's what I learned as your judge of the children court, that's what I will do as your next county judge. Find a solution for this complex problem."

Trish DeBerry (55:44): "So I'm going to be real blunt too. My opponent has said he's been in office for 26 years but where has he been on this issue? Nowhere. Yes, he's been ahead in children's court, but there is the opportunity to be able to have conversations and to be able to talk about this. He hasn't talked about this, and so when we look at an opportunity to bring people out of poverty, re-develop the west side, which by the way, we have representatives from Scobee who were here. And they're multi-use developments that we're doing there. We look at the UTSA Data Center and what's going on on the near west side, it's a barrier to economic development on the west side. When you look at the jail is there, and when you look at Haven for Hope it's their on the near west side. Haven for Hope is remarkable work, don't get me wrong, but there's nobody who was focused on the west side before. To a certain extent they've been dumped upon. When you look at the jail, it’s there. Bail bondsman who were there, you look at 35 which is a barrier there too. Every single sector in this county has really prospered with the exception of the west side. So, what is my opponent's problem with that economic redevelopment on the west side? And bridging the wage-gap and bring people out of poverty. You all know as a county commissioner, yes, I held the sheriff accountable for jail overtime. You pay for that, $13 to $15 million dollars in overtime. And by the way, I was the commissioner that advocated for a study about the way that we can do things better and it wasn't just about saving the taxpayers money. It was about culture and morale in that jail, triple and double mandatory overtimes. By the way, two weeks ago, a female who's a detention guard at that jail had to call and file a police report to get relieved of her duties on a shift as a detention guard to go pick up her children. That’s unacceptable, and so when I asked for change and I hold people accountable, that is what you want in a Bear County judge. Somebody who doesn't just have vision, somebody that’s going to hold people accountable and say we have better ways to be able to conquer this. And so l I bring that to the, brought that to the court and that is that what I will bring to the state is Bexar County judge."

 

What are your hopes and dreams for the residents of Bexar County?(1:03:50)

Peter Sakai (1:03:53): “Well obviously you’re talking about the immigration issue right? (He is clarified). I’ve always said that San Antonio county has heart. We are a community of passion, we are a community that cares. We cared about when we had those floods: Katrina, Harvey. We took in people. We opened up. And regards to immigration, and this is why I asked him about it, I am going to be real blunt: We do not treat people who come to this country with respect and dignity and I oppose what's happening at the state and federal level. And its because nobody is talking to each other and nobody is trying to figure out what is going on, and its because everyone is trying to score political points, and I think that is what you’re seeing today. And so what I am asking in regards to where I stand, I want to come back to is what is my essence, and my wife Rachel’s essence, we are here for the children and families of this community. They are the most important infrastructure that we must focus on and that is my pledge to you as a county judge. Let's take care of our citizens, lets take care of the least of us, and we can really change the world. And San Antonio has been doing that, and I was doing that in the court system and I am proud to do that as your county judge. Thank you Eddy."  

Trish DeBerry (1:05:35): "So I am going to be using a little bit of my time to rebut on necessarily what's been said, so my opponent has been talking about how he won't condemn the negative attack ads, he wont refute what's in those ads despite the fact it's an attack, again not just the second woman that's run in 300 years but it's dirty money. You can’t even know, you don’t even know who is behind the curtain, and like I said Peter you can’t hide behind it anymore and you can hide behind the rule of law all day long, but you can’t hide behind what is true in morals and ethics associated with a campaign, and I expected better, I really did. So as we move forward in this community regarding women, and children, and by the way I hope my daughter runs for office one day and is not submitted to this type of environment because we raise strong women and as we look at what is, what makes this community special to get back to your question, I am going to use this minute to answer your question directly Eddie. As somebody who's been born and raised in this community and raising two children and hope that my kids come back here to find good paying jobs. And I know we have educational institutions and leaders who are here regarding Texas A &M University and others, and I think they're doing a great job increasing graduation rates, but we're still at a deficit. Because we're increasing graduation rates not just at high schools, but at colleges too. And we're handing them a diploma and also a ticket out of town because they don't want to come back here. Because the kinds of jobs that they want don't exist. You. And So what keeps me here? And what has kept me here in San Antonio, TX, and people say all day long, “Oh my God, I can't believe you never left San Antonio like you've been here forever.” It's because I believe in this community, Peter, not only as a heart, there are lots of cities that have a heart. San Antonio has a soul, and it's palpable. Because of the community and the melting pot that we have here and what I have grown up with and culture and what we have to offer regarding the mixing of cultures and how we can serve as an example to the rest of the country. About how we all get along and move forward into prosperity. That's what I want to bring to the table. Thank you."

 

Closing Statements (1:10:10)

Trish DeBerry (1:10:20):  "Thank you again for the opportunity to be here. I know like I said, a lot of you are either small business owners or you're managers and what that looks like. And so you know a little bit about me, I'm born and raised here in San Antonio, the daughter of a career Air Force veteran, youngest of six children, my mother worked with civil service at Fort Sam Houston for a number of years, and so I came from very modest means. And so I was raised, I like to say, my mother told me, you're gonna go forward with grit and you're gonna go forward with grace, meaning you're gonna work hard for everything you have ever accomplished because hard work pays off. But you're also going to move forward with grace, and that means you're going to look at people who are less fortunate than you and you're gonna figure out a way to be able to lift them up. That is the kind of leadership that I will bring to this office. I will not be somebody who says no, no, no. Not only to the opportunity that's associated with the new jail and economic redevelopment on the west side. Not only no to the perhaps what could mean, you know, from a baseball stadium standpoint, downtown, we're gonna look at those opportunities. We're gonna study that. To see what they can bring here to San Antonio. Because at the end of the day, there's nobody that has the kind of wheelhouse and I'm gonna go back to what I said before. You are the CEO of the county. You are the chief executive officer that manages a $2.8 billion budget and my opponent has said he's never managed a budget before. He's on record for that. I think that's important. And I think it's important, like I said, that you've met payrolls, that you hold people accountable, that you look at not only how are we gonna be able to appropriate money, which I did on the court and by the way, when we appropriated money, what did we do? I asked people whether it was the public defender's office, whether it was managed to sign council associated with that, whether it was the sheriff. I said, hey, domestic violence and prosecutors and investigators in that office. What I did say is, it does my heart good to be able to appropriate this money because it's for the right reasons. Because it's for the public good. But what I do want you to come back here with is I want you to come back here with how you're moving the needle and what is the return on investment. Associated with appropriating those monies and if we're not moving the needle there, what do we do to make sure that we are, how do we pivot, how do we change, how do we adjust because that's the way we do as small business owners all day long. It's a tough thing to be a small business owner because you're not just the CEO, you're the HR department, you're the payroll department. I mean all of it. But that's the skill set that I brought to the job as County Commissioner, Precinct 3. And it is the skill set that I will bring to the office as your next Bexar County judge because it is not enough to say “I don't know,” or “I don't have a vision,” or criticize me for having a big bold vision, because that is what this seat takes. It takes hard work, determination and vision and a strategy, that we are going to move forward and get it accomplished and we we're going to bring prosperity to San Antonio in a way that we have never seen before. So let me just say thank you so much. I'm blessed. I'm humbled. I'm you know, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be before you today because there are very stark differences between the two of us. But I think the choice is clear. You want somebody who's got a vision and you want somebody who's been a CEO. Thank you very much."

Peter Sakai (1:14:00): Thank you, Eddie. Thank you, North Chamber. We go back a long time, I worked with your leadership lab and y'all asked me to come be one of your speakers to your leadership lab and in fact it was on ethics. And so, you know, I really appreciate that relationship that I had while I'm standing with North Chamber. Richard, thank you for the relationship. I know that while Priscilla Camacho was here, she was a vice president there and we work to develop a tie with economic development and social services especially to the communities most at risk (inaudible). Thank you. I was there to help start it up and I'm going to continue to be the biggest supporter for the Alamo Chamber, especially as your next county judge and South Texas Business Council, perhaps I haven't worked with you, but I look forward to having conversations. I look forward to discussing the problems. I look forward to coming up with the solutions. And so today I just want to say thank you to all of you for being here, being involved, taking an interest in this particular race. What this election is all about, for county judge, is about proven leadership. I have been your servant leader. I have been in a court system working to protect our children and families. And I've made it very clear that that's what I consider most important as we move: Is to make sure that economic development, infrastructure, education and workforce all focus in on those needs of children, because as we make sure that they're more secure, they're more resilient, they're more healthy, the better our community is going to be. The better the economic development, the better we're going to attract businesses, the big businesses, to our community. And we're going to do that in a way that we come together so that this community, the business community, our citizens, our neighborhood associations all work together. The late Colin Powell said leadership is about connecting people. And that is what I have done for my entire life as your servant leader for Bexar County, and that is my commitment to you as your next county judge, is to bring people together. Let us serve for a common purpose. Let's get out of the arguments, let's get out of the finger pointing and let's find the solutions. Let's make sure that as and I'll, I'll give it to Commissioner DeBerry. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to come back to this county and be part of this. And I'm especially proud as an Asian American to step up and show that Bexar County, San Antonio, is truly a diverse community. And I'm proud to have the endorsement of Judge Nelson Wolff. I'm proud to have the endorsement of County Commissioner Clay Flores, Commissioner Justin Rodriguez and Commissioner Tommy Calvert because they believe in me, too. Because of what I have done there at the courthouse. And so let me not forget my lovely wife Rachel. I often tell people you're getting two for the price of one. Tracy was obviously a dynamo and Rachel is not that far behind, I guarantee you. Thank you all very much for the opportunity to speak to you. It's been fun."