This is the first in a series of articles covering the three candidates for mayor. They will be published in the order the candidates made themselves available for interviews. Included in each will be the actual audio from the interview.
San Marcos mayoral candidate David Newman is running against two-term mayor Susan Narvaiz because he sees “the need to adjust our course.” Newman is concerned about how our city government is handling our neighborhoods, Downtown, city government spending, and taxes. He believes that he can “do a better job.”Newman, a homeowner in San Marcos for 23 years, says that our city government regularly ignores the opinions of San Marcans. “The voters and taxpayers and citizens come down there every city council meeting and voice their concerns. I feel there are deaf ears turned to their concerns” said Newman. Specifically, he brought up how, in his opinion, the city government has ignored the public input that went into the San Marcos Visioning statement, created to provide a framework for city government policy. Newman said, “the public’s wishes were made very clear but I have yet to see our city policies accommodate the wishes of the people” referring to environmental protection, green space and bike lanes.
Newman pointed to his local civic involvement and his leadership skills as qualifications for local office. Newman’s travels have given him “the privilege to travel around the world extensively” and he’s seen “the best of what livable cities have to offer.” He says he has also seen things in cities that, “…make those cities undesirable places to live. I can bring the value of those observations back to San Marcos and implement the best of what world cities have to offer.”
Newman also said, “I have the ability to unite people” and promised to bring different groups together in a spirit of cooperativeness so they would, “…work together to make our community a better place to live for everybody.”
San Marcos could be doing a lot more to enhance opportunities for Texas State graduates, according to Newman. He promised that, if elected, he would “…implement a program with the university to promote professional job growth”. Further, he promised to target specific companies that are in an expansion mode to expand and/or relocate here. For Newman, San Marcos does not “…take advantage of the economic stimulus opportunities” that retaining students “in n our community would offer.”
San Marcos water rates are another issue for Newman. He said that our water rates were twice that of New Braunfels, for example. “There was a large public outcry” that argued against the water rate increase and “we got the water rate increase anyway.” Newman promised that if he were mayor, he would, “definitely reverse that course of action.”
The three most important issues facing San Marcos in the next five years for Newman are education, Downtown, and urban sprawl. On education, Newman said “we’ve got some sort of problem in our public schools.” It is his understanding that new families who are considering moving to San Marcos are advised to possibly locate to other Hays County communities. He said that the office of mayor is definitely in a position to assemble people to work on our schools. Newman also is concerned over what he calls the “lack of attention” of our Downtown. Newman claims that Mayor Narvaiz has a “lack of understanding” of “what smart growth is.”
Finally, he said “urban sprawl is what causes cites to decay from within” and creates “unsightly, unlivable cities.” Newman believes that San Marcos is embarking “head long into that [urban sprawl] with no end in sight. If we go for another four years we’re going to be that much further into that complicated problem that we’re creating for ourselves.”
In closing, Newman said that he had been fortunate to have been around the world several times and could live anywhere in the world but chose San Marcos because “my heart is here, my roots are here.” He admitted to a “hidden agenda” and that was to maintain and enhance the quality of life in our community. If elected, he promised to move San Marcos forward with “a focused sense of purpose and progress.”
By Ed Mihalkanin
To read and listen to the interview with Mayoral Candidate Susan Narvaiz, click here.
To read and listen to the interview with Mayoral Candidate Daniel McCarthy, click here.
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