The 2016 King William Fair has passed. My report had to be submitted before the Fair in order to meet the Newsletter deadline, but as I write this, there is a lot of action going on at the KWA office, thanks to the Fair Manager Zet Baer and Fair Coordinator Melanie Whitley, Fair Assistant Syeria Budd and their volunteers. Many folks volunteered to help with the Fair – far too many to thank here. The Fair staff drives the engine but the volunteers provide the energy and it could not happen without them.
The importance of the King William Fair and parade to the KWA, our neighborhood and city goes without saying. It has long been an integral part of Fiesta, and it provides the financial resources to operate our office and to carry out our charter responsibilities, especially with regards to “educational, recreational, and cultural purposes.” The amount of funds provided to our grants and scholarship program over the past decade, for example, is in excess of $800,000. When combined with other expenditures of Fair proceeds, such as our sidewalk program which offers grants to offset the cost of sidewalk replacement, tree beautification program, public art, STAR program, San Antonio River foundation, the amount comes to well over a million dollars, all possible through Fair proceeds.
Speaking of the sidewalk program, we urge members to take advantage of this opportunity to divide the cost of repair with the KWA. If you want to participate, bring your repair estimate that meets city code to the office and the staff will work with you.
For over a year now the KWA/Lavaca Parking & Transportation Committee has been working with the City to identify and seek some resolution to parking congestion in our neighborhoods. The City report should be rolled out this summer.
The KWA sponsored a graffiti cleanup day for the neighborhood on April 9. Several calls for volunteers were made via e-blasts and at the April social. However, the response was extremely disappointing; the only volunteers who came out were Nadine Johnson, Ethel Pedraza and Cherise Bell. Girls from the Urban Soccer Leadership Academy came to help out, but no one else from the neighborhood came. Graffiti is a clear sign of neighborhood decay and it is beyond me that so few are willing to take the responsibility to remove this unsightly vandalism. Molly and I took this task on for years and worked with a standing crew of volunteers. It is a major distraction for visitors to our historic district and graffiti shows that we do not care. We need neighbors to step up and take pride in our unique historic district and work with Ethel Pedraza, our Graffiti Abatement Committee Chair. We cannot rely on someone else to take care of it.