This is the third 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 Daniel McCarthy is running against two -term Mayor Susan Clifford Narvaiz because He does not “like the direction that the city is currently traveling. It’s my duty to alter that direction and give it a new one.” McCarthy said he wants to “try to bridge the gap between the students and the residents so that we’re not at odds with each other and we can actually peacefully coexist.”
McCarthy was specifically concerned with the San Marcos Convention Center. “I’m not a fan of the new convention center and hotel” in part because of the number of existing hotels in our community. McCarthy says it is his understanding that the project “was a bit of a bait and switch” in that the city was told the conference center developer wanted to build it near Aquarena Springs and then after a “huge outcry” it was moved to its present location.
McCarthy said he is concerned with the lack of bicycle lanes on our city streets. “Cyclists are really hurting. Every week I read about another bicyclist getting hit by a car.” He questions why there are no bicycle lanes for the planned Wonder World Drive extension when, for him, the need is so great.McCarthy said he wants to see a public radio station in our community. He said the city obtained a permit and “has done nothing with it.” The city “allocated a whole bunch of money so let’s take that money and do something with it. Let’s put the radio station back on the air as quickly as possible.”
McCarthy said his campaign “is geared to Texas State students…because they need to realize that they are a part of San Marcos.” McCarthy is telling students that San Marcos “is a wonderful city. Please think about staying here after you graduate.”
McCarthy says he is “completely qualified” to be mayor. He has been a resident of San Marcos for over a year and is a Public Administration major. He said city government “is definitely my field of study.” McCarthy argues that in a council manager form of government, like that of San Marcos, the Mayor is supposed to provide “policy ideas” while the city manager’s job is to implement those policies.
The city could be offering more opportunities for Texas State graduates according to McCarthy. He said technology companies and new office buildings in San Marcos are needed. McCarthy says that Downtown should be a draw for recent University graduates, but it is not, and he called the newly adopted Downtown Master Plan “a big plan that says we need to do more planning.”
The hotel tax rate is another concern for McCarthy. He said it was his understanding that the local hoteliers “had no notice” of the proposed rate increase and he said they should have been allowed to give input. McCarthy said the occupancy rate increase will make motels less competitive in the corridor.
San Marcos water rates are another issue for McCarthy. He said the reason for the water rate increases is the cost of the new convention center. He said the city is looking for anything it can do to raise revenue, “pushing the bar hours back” and “charging us more for our water.” McCarthy said if San Marcos had “more prudent city planning…maybe we wouldn’t have to raise water rates [and] hurt the taxpayers.”
The three most important issues for McCarthy are managing growth, revitalizing our Downtown, and improving public transportation. He said, “If we don’t manage growth, we’re going to look like Round Rock.” Although some San Marcans may say that’s alarmist, McCarthy warns that, “it could if the growth is not managed over [the next] fifteen years or so.”
He said revitalizing the Downtown is a goal in and of itself and it would be a part of helping San Marcos manage its growth. Finally, McCarthy argues for the need to improve public transportation. McCarthy believes such improvements would lure people to the community. He says we need to make the Downtown and the whole city a nice place to live “as opposed to sprawling outward.”
In closing, McCarthy asked voters not to be alarmed that, “I’m a student.” He would like to have a dialogue between the students and the residents. McCarthy says, “I plan on starting my life” in San Marcos. “I want to make sure that it’s a great place to live and continue to be in the future.”
by: Ed Mihalkanin
To read and listen to the interview with Mayoral Candidate David Newman, click here.
To read and listen to the interview with Mayoral Candidate Susan Narvaiz, click here.
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