San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 9th, 2009
Couch coy about re-election bid

San Marcos Councilmember Pam Couch (center) is mum about a possible bid for re-election against Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who already has announced a run for her seat. Couch is flanked by Mayor Susan Narvaiz (left) and Councilmember John Thomaides (right), whose seat also is up for election this November. Photo by Andy Sevilla.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Associate Editor

Inundated with interest-sparking legislation recently, the San Marcos City Council could be in for a flavor of intrigue that’s less legislative and more political in nature.Place 5 Councilmember Pam Couch’s term expires in November. Lisa Marie Coppoletta, who fell short in a bid against Councilmember Chris Jones in November 2008, announced her candidacy for Couch’s seat in January.

Faced with possible unofficial campaigning far ahead of the election, Couch has decided to remain mum on her future plans.”I don’t want to feel pressured to have to announce (candidacy) so early,” Couch said. “I don’t think it’s proper. In August everybody will know.”

Couch said Coppoletta’s candidacy announcement will neither influence nor dictate her actions. Couch said, as of now, she is unsure of whether she will seek re-election, adding that she has “to weigh out (her) options.”Said Couch, “Everyone will know in August whether or not I’ll be running again.”

For now, Couch said she is focusing on her family, her business, and on her current policy making seat. As a councilmember, she said her priorities lie in creating local jobs and improving education. She said education in local schools is a top priority, as is education for San Marcos residents and elected officials.

“Our citizens need to know what’s going on at our city council meetings,” Couch said. “We are facing very important decisions and we need to hear from them, and help educate them. And we (councilmembers) need the education, too, to make good decisions.”Couch said that before each council meeting, she seeks for “the full picture” of every item on the agenda. She said she arrives each meeting with approximately 90 percent certainty of how she will vote, but added that she remains open to concerns and suggestions from colleagues and San Marcos residents.

“I’ll be thinking about being honest and having integrity with my vote,” Couch said. “I have to vote with what I feel is best for the community.”Days before each council meeting, Couch said she and a council colleague, whose name she would not reveal, meet with city staff and the city manager to get all the necessary material and to ask questions in efforts to “see the big picture.” Couch said she is provided the necessary resources to “vote intelligently” through homework, citizen input, seeing how the issue coincides with the council goals,and prayer.

“I take very serious what I’m here to do,” Couch said. “God opened the door for me to serve and do my job. It’s an incredible journey. And I’m very humbled that I’m getting to do this journey.”

Place 6 Councilmember John Thomaides’ term expires this year, as well. Thomaides has not announced if he will run, nor has anyone else announced a run for that seat. Former council candidate Jude Prather announced his candidacy Monday, but without specifying which seat he will pursue.

Couch was first elected to office in 2006, running unopposed after former councilmembers John Diaz and Bill Taylor withdrew their candidacies just one day after the filing deadline. Couch is a local business owner of 15 years, owning both Two P’s Boutique and Calli’s Boutique. Her husband, Bucky Couch, heads U.S. operations for StepStone, a European software company. Couch has three kids, Calli Swindle, Cody Couch, and Adam Couch, and has two grandchildren with “one on the way.”

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14 thoughts on “Couch coy about re-election bid

  1. Why the theatrics? If you plan on running, let us know so that we as citizens can begin considering and vetting the candidates. The longer the campaigning process, the better the outcome. Only time deciphers the truth behind candidates’ political promises.

  2. I’m somewhat surprised the campaigns are starting this early. Let Pam sit back and wait. I don’t think Lisa would mind 🙂

  3. She said that!?? Pam Couch has admitted to be played like a puppet by a council colleague.
    “Days before each council meeting, Couch said she and a council colleague, whose name she would not reveal, meet with city staff and the city manager to get all the necessary material and to ask questions in efforts to “see the big picture.””
    WOW, Im impressed by her honesty. However, I think that remark only allows Lisa Marie Coppoletta ammunition on which to run Pam to the ground. She’s someone’s puppet.
    Pam- we are NOT dumb. We know who your “council colleague” is! We can tell by the way you vote and who you support. Geeze, I bet your “council colleague” didnt see this one coming.

  4. What an outrage! I wasnt going to say anything, because it would seem like we’re “attacking” Pam Couch, but Katie Johnson is right, Couch is a puppet. And I would go as far as to say, the Mayor has her hand in Pam Couch’s *** and is controlling that vote. I cannot believe the manipulation and the levels some people will stoop to. What a disgrace to our city, government, and our citizens. DISGUSTING.

  5. I am really concerned about this matter. And I feel like I cant say it enough. If these coucil colleagues are meeting with city staff and city manager days in advance, perhaps we, the citizens, should be privy to these meetings. What is it that they are asking behind closed doors? What information are they seeking? To my understanding all council members get the same info, why do they go back and ask for more? Are they finding loop holes in the law? are they finding ways to manipulate the system in their favor? or are they just genuinely trying to better understand the issue? I dont know. We, the citizens, dont know. How about we video tape these meetings, like we do city council meetings. Afterall, that is how I get my source of information on city government, through my research of the agenda, and watching the discussions live on TV. Therefore I propose we also televise these back door meetings.

  6. Members of the city council don’t give up their freedom of assembly on election, and it’s perfectly acceptable (if not highly recommended) to meet with citizens and to make oneself available to the public. But it’s safe to say that Mayor Narvaiz and Pam Couch are in a coalition (together with Kim Porterfield), similar in many ways to a political party in all but the name (although Ed Milhalkanin’s ‘NPC’ designation is easy to remember and I use it fairly often).

    Political parties do apply pressure and coercion on their members, and dole out punishments, like we saw the Democrats almost do to Joe Lieberman. It’s not illegal, almost certainly not required to be televised or published, and happens every day. Political parties are not in the Constitution (indeed the Founders didn’t like the idea of parties or ‘factions’) but they formed rather quickly regardless.

    If you don’t like Mayor Narvaiz and her policies, don’t vote for Pam Couch. It’s really that simple.

  7. Couch & Porterfield meet with the CM together. Rick usually includes at least one of the ACMs. Other Council members will meet with the CM on an as-needed basis as well to make sure they understand something in their Council packets. I don’t have a problem with it other than I seriously doubt any Councilmember going to Rick Menchaca is getting the full story. Otherwise, even though I’m no fan of NPC, I prefer Councilmembers be as informed as possible prior to voting. What they have to be careful of is discussing pending items on the agenda with more than two other members (IIRC), because that can run afoul of the Open Meetings Act as ex parte communications and “polling”. What I’d be curious to know is if Rick is being used to communicate the “party-line”.

    Neither Porterfield nor Couch have shown any independent voting behavior. They have not particularly distinguished themselves as statesmen on the Council, rarely contributing significantly to the debate (relying on Narvaiz instead). They are both VERY susceptible to ouster in the next election.

    I expected this kind of lapdog thing from Couch, but I honestly expected more from Porterfield given her profession and positive activity at the university. Had she carried that unique, independent thinking to Council, she could have done great things.

    I thought Lisa Marie Coppoletta ran against Jones knowing she would lose, to gain name recognition for this election against a far more susceptible opponent that she has more significant policy differences with.

  8. Poterfield is a BIG disappointment but can be voted out by the citizens next go round. Pam Couch is a rubber stamped bench warmer and needs to retire from the game of civil service.

  9. If Couch and Porterfield are indeed the two who meet with the city manager, then it would make sense that Rick Menchaca is the Mayor’s communicator, and it cleans her hands of perhaps possible wrong doing. In the end it’s all obvious folks, just look at the voting record. Some on council do not think for themselves and rely on the all knowing, all powerful mayor. God love democracy.

  10. “don’t want to feel pressured to have to announce (candidacy) so early,” Couch said. “I don’t think it’s proper. In August everybody will know.” Pam, you should of checked with one of your Siamese triplets, i.e. Queen Susan, if you recall, one month after elections she announced her reelection bid a year early! So according to your recent quote calling early announcements improper, then are you saying Susan was improper?

  11. Interesting to see what’s happening in the council. But why doesn’t this article have any paragraphs?

  12. I think you guys all have way too much free time on your hands and should consider running for these leadership positions that are 100% volunteer!!!! We have great city leaders and they do their jobs with excellence.

  13. Oh, but it is so much easeir to sit on the sidelines and gripe about everything that the VOLUNTEER city leaders do.

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