FOX San Antonio - Raw News
By: Yami Virgin
In 1998 San Antonio saw one of the worst fires after 5 elderly people died in an unlicensed adult care facility. 2 years later the Bexar Assisted Living Task Force was formed. But it took until 2006 when then councilwoman Sheila McNeil asked State Rep. Jose Menendez to sponsor a law to regulate these homes. The City of San Antonio also adopted the passing of this law into their legislative agenda for that session.
Menendez told us today that the deaths of 3 people in an unregulated group home on Norwood could have been avoided. Back in 2008 a law was signed into law that gave cities and counties the power to create ordinance and regulate these homes.
Menendez says, "why when we had given them the tools had they not addressed the issue yet?".
Sources at City Hall say that the Assistant Development Services Director, Marc Castro, was to have taken a proposed ordinance to city council in January. Nothing has been done as of today.
The Chairman of the Bexar Assisted Living Task Force, which was created after the fire in 1998, says the fire on Thursday is the nightmare he knew he would have some day. "There should be at least a draft of the proposed ordinance by next week" said Monreal. But he is quick to add that now its not the time to play the blame game.
We called Castro on this story but were referred to the city's public relations staff. We are still waiting for a response.
Other cities and counties like Dallas, El Paso and Harris county have passed or are in the process of passing ordinances.
You can follow Yami Virgin on Twitter: @yvirgin
or like on Facebook at Yami Virgen
Friday, August 17 2012, 09:30 PM CDT
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