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October 13th, 2008
Coppoletta, educator, promises to be consensus builder to address city problems

Click below to listen to the interview with Lisa Coppoletta

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Lisa Coppoletta, challenger to incumbent Place 4 City Councilmember Chris Jones, is running for office because, “I believe I’m the most qualified in terms of experience” with neighborhoods, education, and working collaboratively with residents. Coppoletta, in support of her claim, pointed to her two degrees in speech communication from Texas State University and to her teaching experiences in local San Marcos schools and at Texas State University.

Coppoletta expressed concern over what she called “excessive expenditures” of the San Marcos city government due to hiring outside firms. She said city money spent on outside consultants is “money that leaves the citizen’s pockets” which could have been used for capital improvement projects. She added that such consultants simply don’t know as much about San Marcos as its citizens do.

Giving city government monies to the outlet malls is a policy that Coppoletta questions. Instead, Coppoletta said she wants to see city government adopt an abatement program to attract film companies to produce films, television programs and commercials in San Marcos. She argued tax dollars will be spent locally instead of the money going out of the city.

Coppoletta believes San Marcos can attract production companies because of what she calls “a historical downtown district that is second to none” with a “unique downtown face”, wonderful locations in surrounding areas, and a “unique culture” with a diverse population ethnically and a large university student population. Coppoletta pointed to the filming of part of “The Ringer” in San Marcos as an example of job possibilities for residents and students from film production in the city.

She said San Marcos is a wonderful place for graduating Texas State students, but she wants to see more “good jobs for our graduates.” She said it’s important to attract outside industries to San Marcos in areas that Texas State graduates have expertise in.

Coppoletta said high water rates have been a concern for her for over twenty years. She alleges, “a lot of that money was spent on travel.” Coppoletta said, “It’s an example of waste” and a suggestion to alleviate it is to do a better job monitoring city employees at work sites. Coppoletta said high rates hurt students, people on fixed incomes and retirees. “There’s no reason for us to increase water rates [and] that is something you can count on me, as an elected official, to fight every step of the way.”

She said the three most important issues facing San Marcos in the next five years are: economic development, which includes a “vibrant downtown”, preservation of our natural resources, and capital improvements. She said economic development includes high quality jobs for Texas State graduates, “residents who are already here and who already own property”, and for at risk youth in the school system. Coppoletta said jobs for residents are needed so they “can afford a home [and] raise a family.”

She said preserving San Marcos’ natural resources includes responsibility by the city in being the “steward of our river” and helping local citizens and businesses use “alternative sustainable forms of development.” If Coppoletta was able to gain federal government aid to help San Marcos in one area, she said it would be to obtain money to ensure San Marcos’ future water supply, including protection of the San Marcos River. Lastly, Coppoletta said local government needs to “save money in the city budget so that we can make improvements throughout our city.”In closing, she said “it’s important for citizens to have access to city government” deliberations outside of normal business hours. Coppoletta said she wants to ensure that “everybody has access 365 days a year, 24/7 to what is going on in their government.” Coppoletta said she is “the most experienced candidate in terms of education” and the number of years as a resident. She further argued that she is a “much harder worker” and has some “innovative ideas.”

Coppoletta believes she has won the debates in terms of “specific policies” that she has offered. “I’ve been a long time resident, an environmentalist and a community organizer here in San Marcos,” she said. “I would appreciate y’all’s vote on November 4th.”

by: Ed Milhalkanin
Correspondent

The interview with Chris Jones can be read here.

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