San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz and all those in attendance at City Hall were full of suspense as the voter recount results were anxiously awaited. The results came in later than expected, and were revealed around 8:00 p.m. on Monday. The recount was filed on Friday, November 14, by Mayoral candidate Dave Newman, and he was defeated by 2,583 votes. Monday’s results put Narvaiz in the lead with 50.08 percent of the vote. Narvaiz attained 6,451 votes, Newman received 3,868 votes, and Dan McCarthy pulled 2,563 votes respectively.
“Absolutely nothing has changed,” said San Marcos City Clerk Sherry Mashburn, who headed the recount at the Hays County Elections Office. She said the voter tally remained the same as Nov. 4, and announced Narvaiz as the victor. Narvaiz won a third term to the city’s highest elected office.
Narvaiz joked that the U.S. presidential election should have had a tumultuous and suspenseful outcome, not the Mayor of San Marcos. She said she intends on asking Newman and McCarthy to take part in city boards and commissions or planned task forces, so that their concerns and solutions with San Marcos issues can touch city government.
“I have some thoughts on some task force that I want to talk to the council about that will help move our four primary goals ahead, and those might be some things that they might want to consider being a part of,” said Narvaiz.
Incumbents, Mayor Narvaiz, Councilman Chris Jones and newcomer Council Member Fred Terry were sworn in on Monday, and those in attendance enjoyed a catered reception and mingled with various elected and appointed city officials.
Former Council Member Daniel Guerrero said goodbye to longtime colleagues, having decided not to run again for his Place 3 seat. Terry, who ran unopposed in the general election, now occupies the seat.
“The fact of the matter is I got laid off from my previous employer, so my focus is finding a new job and providing for myself and my family,” said Guererro.
Guerrero said before he helped improve the salaries of EMS personnel during his time on the Council, those trained by the City often moved away to pursue higher paying positions.
“When we were setting our goals as a council earlier in the year, the fourth goal that we set was building better relationships with outside organizations, other governmental entities,” said Guerrero. “And that was something I took great pride in recommending as being a fourth goal. And I think that has encompassed not only working with the University, but working with EMS, working with the County, working with the School District….”
According to a city press release, the other three goals adopted by Council for the new budget year include expanding economic development, improving the image of San Marcos, and enhancing the region’s transportation grid.
Guerrero encouraged his former colleagues and the incoming council member to allow humor into the process of governing the city.
“The majority of decisions that they make at tomorrow’s meeting — we may seem them (come to fruition) in our lifetime, but their biggest significance won’t be seen until many, many years from now,” said Guerrero. “I take that very seriously, but at the same time I know that I’m only a piece of the system, and I wanted to do my best to bring my sense of the world, bring my paradigm, my perspective — and part of that was my humor. I think it actually added a lot, and I’ve been told by a number of people that it helped get us through some very tough times that could have been much more tough.”
Police Chief Howard Williams said Guerrero was instrumental in providing better pay for city law enforcement personnel, hiring additional police officers and getting motorcycle units on the streets to keep up with a growing population. He said Guerrero was an advocate of facilitating dialogue and cooperation between city and county law enforcement.
“There wasn’t really that effort to try to get everybody working together until Daniel really kind of made that one of his mantras, one of the things that he really wanted to accomplish — so that was very much a project of his,” said Williams. “I really hate to see him go. He was a really good friend to us in law enforcement. I’m not saying the Councilman Terry won’t do a good job — that’s not what I’m saying at all — but you get comfortable having an old friend in place there…but obviously life takes you other places and a new chapter has opened up for him, so he’s got to follow that wherever he leads, but I really hate to see him go.”
Council Member Terry said the Downtown Master Plan is something he is looking forward to working on.
“I was on Planning and Zoning for six years and worked with the consultants on that…our city is in dire need of everything (the consultants) proposed, especially the way finding and parking and all that kind of stuff.”
Narvaiz said will continue to look for ways to provide opportunities for residents to engage with their elected officials.
“I started the citizens’ summit, I have the coffees, I did the walks — I do whatever I can to engage every level of citizenry so that you don’t hear from that small group of voices that know the process, but you get out to your citizens at every level, so they know it’s their government and we need to hear from all of them, so I’ll continue those things,” said Narvaiz.
Narvaiz was sworn in by Associate Pastor of Hill Country Church Tim Darnell, Chris Jones’ oath was administered by Justice of the Peace Jo Ann Prado, and District Judge Bill Henry swore in Fred Terry. Councilwoman Pam Couch was unanimously elected by the Council as Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Guerrero, and the Council agreed as one to appoint Councilwoman Kim Porterfield as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Jones in that capacity.
by Andy Sevilla and Sean Batura
(Photos by Andy Sevilla)Email | Print