The Charter Review Commission rewrote the city’s declaration of goals, but not everyone in town is pleased with the results. Even though the re-write is very similar, one of the big differences between the two is the omission of the phrase pertaining to neighborhood integrity.
“The goal’s of the city government are to create a strong community, foster a high quality of life, promote neighborhood integrity, support sound community and economic development, conserve and protect the city’s natural resources and the environment, and safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the city’s residents.”
The newly revised version reads like this:
“The goals of the city government are to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the city’s residents, provide for a high quality of life, foster intergovernmental liaison and communication, encourage responsible citizenship, promote sound community and economic development, conserve and protect the city’s natural resources and environment.”
Many Texas communities have programs devoted specifically to protecting the integrity of their neighborhoods, including Carrollton, College Station, and Richardson. These programs focus on code enforcement, property reinvestment, and the expectation that neighborhoods should be secure and well maintained.
City Councilman John Thomaides is against the change of verbiage. “I made a motion to leave the words in there, but we only got two votes,” said Thomaides, referring to himself and City Councilman Gaylord Bose.
Although Thomaides is fond of the new draft proposed, he respectfully disagrees with it. He believes the Charter Review Commission intended to include “neighborhood integrity” under the new phrasing. He said those words are important.
“You ought to say it in simple, plain English,” said Thomaides.
A spokesperson for the San Marcos Council of Neighborhood Associations agrees with Thomaides. She is opposed to the change. “I want it to read the same way it did,” said Ana Mendoza, Rio Vista Neighborhood Representative.
Voters will have the final word on November 4. Early voting begins on October 20.
by: Mary Dichard