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January 5th, 2008
MAYOR NARVAIZ’S COLUMN: A new year in San Marcos

By SUSAN NARVAIZ

Many thanks to the San Marcos River Foundation and those that made the annual “plunge” a success. I met participants from several cities around San Marcos who joined in the fun this year and said they would definitely be back in 2009.

As I write my first column of 2008, I do so with sadness at the loss of Ric Williamson, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, and that body’s chair as it oversees statewide activities of the Texas Department of Transportation. Williamson worked diligently and passionately to address the huge transportation challenges that all Texans face. He was appointed to the commission by Gov. Rick Perry in March 2001 and was named the group’s chair in January 2004. Prior to his appointment to the Texas Transportation Commission, Williamson served from 1985-1998 in the Texas Legislature. I met Chair Williamson at a Transportation Conference several years ago and I appreciated his ability to speak in simple, direct terms on the difficult topic of transportation funding. He made it easy to understand even as it brought realization to the immensity of the subject. He made time to speak to me on San Marcos transportation planning and encouraged me when I appeared before the Commission seeking the financial commitment of state funds for our city. He supported our decision to request a pass through finance agreement that was successful and is now in progress to construct the Wonder World Extension project. Ric Williamson was a friend to San Marcos and a great Texan. He will be missed.

This coming week your city council will be meeting with representatives of Arcus Public, the firm that the council unanimously voted to hire for the search for the City Manager position. The process will begin with initial meetings with each council member and key city staff. This will be the first step in the building of the position profile. The steps to follow over the next several weeks will include input from various community stakeholders and other city employees. This will lead to a Candidate Profile that will be utilized to launch the national search for the best, qualified candidates for council consideration. The council gave direction to staff to enter into an agreement with Arcus for this important search. The cost of the search is $20,000 and provides a one-year commitment for a new search, at no additional charge, under certain criteria. As a 20 year professional in the Staffing Industry and knowledge of market rates, this agreement is well negotiated. I will keep you posted on our progress.

In my on-going desire to increase open, accessible government, this year we will add the opportunity for the public to email questions to the Daily Record addressed to the Mayor. Each week I will include the question asked and the answer in my column. Please send your questions to Rowe Ray at rray@sanmarcosrecord.com and Rowe will forward to me. Thanks Rowe! I will continue to host my weekly and monthly coffees, clergy breakfasts and Saturday morning walks. My Monday with the Mayor series will resume again in February. If you would like to schedule time with me please call 512-393-8085, I am here to serve.

Tomorrow the majority of us will return to our chores, work or school in full force. Most of us will be getting back to reality after the holiday break. Your city council will hold our first regular meeting of the New Year, Monday the 7th starting with executive session at 6 pm. Whether it is the beginning of a new year, a new project, a new job or a new class this is a time of great opportunity for those that can throw out the old for that new! I encourage all of us to enter 2008 with a renewed attitude about the importance of faith, family and of service to others. I invite you to join me at this important juncture in the life of our city with an expectation of great prosperity for San Marcos and a willingness to work together to capture our collective dreams.

SUSAN NARVAIZ is the mayor of San Marcos.

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