I am very excited about the future of the City of San Marcos! We are situated perfectly for becoming a growth hub for sustainable development in the areas of spring, riverine and aquifer resource management. In a future endangered by climate shift, as we contemplate our resource usage going forward into uncertain times, creating and maintaining an infrastructural commitment to preparation for the swift remediation of flooding, drought, and other potential extreme events will be not only advisable but also necessary. Developing our human potential and providing employment opportunities at living wages and beyond for all communities is the way to enroll our citizens in this inevitable growth. Envisioning a brilliant future encourages everyone and sharing this vision creates the environment necessary for its manifestation to occur.
There are a number of issues that I believe are important enough to lay out succinctly as a general platform. They are as follows:
1. Spring Lake and our artesian springs must be protected at all costs. It is an environmental and community responsibility that we hold as a part of an intergenerational trust that goes back 10s of thousands of years. Development directly upon the recharge zone of Spring Lake and the San Marcos River within the headwaters region must,therefore, be done cautiously and with an eye toward all of the environmental implications that the built environment and impervious surface cover of the urbanization process entail. The Craddock Ave extension should be removed from our transportation master plan. The focus should instead be on an outer loop around the city that will not endanger our springs, aquifer,and river. We must support policies that will reduce the effects of flooding to the City and our downstream neighbors.
1. We must continue to work on the land development code in order to identify small area plans that will allow for growth while protecting our core neighborhoods. Healthy neighborhoods must be supported, as those at risk must be as well. I believe that it is possible to avoid unbridled gentrification by continuing to support the Southside in their rehabilitation program, thereby keeping older homes in good condition so they serve not only as affordable housing but also so that their owners are not forced to sell them. A buffer must be maintained between our downtown entertainment district and the bordering neighborhoods. We must not allow incompatible growth in our neighborhoods.
2. In regards to the #Nokill movement and animal control issue for the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter and beyond, I support a 90% live outcome for the animals that find their way into the shelter. Life is precious and many animals could find homes if given more time to do so. There are other options like high-volume adoption and fostering and targeted spay/neutering programs. Many counties and cities in Texas have been able to successfully transition their facilities to a no kill status and there is no reason why San Marcos should not be able to do so as well.
1. Small businesses are the hallmark of America and their presence within a city’s urban center indicate a healthy and vibrant mixture of business and community. A concentration upon small business development with special consideration for businesses run by a single owner will encourage our citizens to improve their lives and those around them.
1. Walkable cities still easily accessible by automobile require a broad and future-trending outlook on the part of city planners. We must implement a holistic parking management policy to tackle the issues facing our downtown businesses. It is time to implement multi-model transportation innovations and our complete streets ordinance in order to allow for bicycle and pedestrian friendly roadways.
1. Community policing must be a priority. It is necessary for the City to work with our newly appointed Police Advisory Board to ensure that we don’t alienate our undocumented population and that we are there to serve and protect them too as they undergo the process of legalizing their status in the USA. All efforts toward criminal justice reform, including eliminating improper and unnecessary imprisonment for certain low-level offenses and unnecessary and onerous taxation, must be put in place with the best interests of the citizenry of the City of San Marcos in mind.
1. Education in the City of San Marcos and committed communication between the School Board,University Administration and City Council should continue to be a high priority. Supporting the influx of businesses that hire students graduating from San Marcos High School as well as Texas State University should be a high priority for the San Marcos City Council, as well as ensuring the cultivation of businesses that supply jobs that provide livable wages and represent middle-income business development in the region. Continuing to provide more incentives for higher education as well as increasing our commitment to technical education is mandatory. Not every kid has to go to college. There are other life paths that are just as valid. By encouraging training for kidson alternate paths, we can help them achieve their greatest potential.
2. Alleviating poverty is a major concern for San Marcos and Hays County. Almost 70% of students in San Marcos CISD quality for free or reduced-price lunches as of 2018. Over 25,000 San Marcos citizens live below the poverty level as of 2014. Supporting food banks, small businesses, and volunteer efforts throughout the city, as well as making sure qualified recipients receive the benefits due is imperative to moving forward.
1. As a veteran, the issues that affect servicewomen and men are very important to me. Making sure their needs are met in both health and human services is paramount. Our veterans were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Our commitment to our vets should be just as strong.