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

March 24th, 2009
Council candidate pushes veterans benefits

San Marcos presently has its veterans commission situated under the parks department. City Council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta said the commission should be overseen by the human services advisory board. Photo by Andy Sevilla.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Associate Editor

San Marcos City Council candidate Lisa Marie Coppoletta, still without a specific opponent for the Place 5 seat in her sights, announced positions last week to address benefits for veterans, the handicapped and the elderly.

Coppoletta said she would try to establish a forgivable $5,000 loan for down payment assistance to returning war veterans, provided they purchase homes in the city. Coppoletta said her proposal is modeled on a similar program in which the city provides the same assistance for Texas State faculty.

Coppoletta also said she would move to increase the city property tax exemption for the disabled and citizens 65 years of age and older. Under Coppoletta’s plan, each group would double its property tax exemption to $50,000 of the home’s value from the present exemption of $25,000.

Coppoletta said city government should benefit veterans with programs aiding in job skills and academic endeavors, adding that San Marcos ought to “provide our veterans with good paying jobs.” She said “green collar jobs” would be chief in her vision of living-wage employment. By attracting environmentally oriented professions, Coppoletta said city residents would benefit from higher earnings while leaving behind a less invasive “carbon footprint.”

The candidate’s push on veterans’ issues comes two weeks after Jude Prather, a failed 2007 city council candidate and Iraq war veteran, announced his candidacy for an unspecified seat in the 2009 city council race.

Coppoletta said her proposals and Prather’s candidacy are unrelated, though, she said, “I hope not to run against each other because we share so much in regards to our nation’s veterans.”

Place 5 incumbent Councilmember Pam Couch has stated she will remain quiet on her intentions of seeking re-election until August. Prather did not specify which seat he would seek.

Place 6 Councilmember John Thomaides, whose term expires in November, has not announced if he will seek re-election.

Coppoletta said the city has misplaced its veterans commission, which it implemented after Prather’s advocacy. The candidate said the veterans commission should work under the umbrella of the city’s human services advisory board, rather than under the Parks and Recreation Department. Coppoletta said the advisory board is “better qualified” to address the concerns and needs of returning veterans.

Said Daniel Scales, Coppoletta’s husband and campaign manager, “(Coppoletta) is resolved that the same courtesy be extended to our returning men and women who have served bravely and unconditionally for our country.”

The human services advisory board’s purpose is “to develop and enhance human services in San Marcos, [and] make recommendations to city council for funding to human services agencies,” according to the city’s website.

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0 thoughts on “Council candidate pushes veterans benefits

  1. I followed Ms. Coppoletta’s campaign this last election and I must say I did not vote for her, but in light of her new planks, she may have my vote if she is true blue and not just another politician spouting what she will not back after her election. I definitely could use her proposed property exemption increase and pass that along to my grandchildren who will inherit our stupid national debt which will be passed along to their grand children.

  2. I think Ms. Coppoletta is doing things for veterans because she is scared that she wont be as in-touch with them as much as Jude Prather is. Anyone can see that she purposely came up with the new Veteran plans because Prather entered the race. I think she can’t be trusted. She is already showing her true character and will do what all politician do: say one thing during the campaign and do the other when elected. We should all vote for a true hero! Lets vote for a real Veteran!!!

  3. She did not come up with this idea, Jude Prather did and sent it to everyone on Facebook.

  4. I think I might have been the first to say it, actually. I made the comment on another news site, suggesting that instead of (or in addition to) down payment assistance for college professors, maybe we should look at down payment assistance for teachers in our public schools who have a record of success in helping at-risk students and for returning vets.

    What difference does it make anyway? If she supports the idea and she is promoting it, you should be happy.

  5. Oops. I didn’t realize I still had my “title” cached. That was only to allow me to post on the same thread as a local PhD.

    Sorry. I’m just Ted now.

  6. Thank You Jude for all that you and your fellow brothers and sisters are having to endure. May God Bless you and keep you out of harm’s way.

  7. Troy,

    Lisa and I where talking about this back in late January, almost 2 months before Jude announced. This isn’t reactionary, it’s a common sense measure.

    Feel free to print this out and hold Lisa to her word, or better yet go to the City Council and ask them to adopt this too.

  8. We have a City Council candidate proposing that the city give forgivable $5,000 home loans to retuerning verterans. I can think of no one that devserves it more. Yet I find out that the city gives similar home loans to Texas State faculty, and we have already had someone sugggest we extend this to teachers, I am sure First responders are sure to follow. Which is the problem, once we start down this road where do we stop. Why should the city help anyone with forgivable home loans, no matter how deserving they may be?

  9. Mr. Rasco you are subsidizing super wealthy bankers with your and your children’s, children’s taxpayer dollars to the tune of trillions, would you rather fight a war, or home school your children or put out your own house fire or drive yourself to the hospital after a heart attack?

  10. Not even if the lawyers are deaf, dumb, and blind? Ooops, my bad! You have to be the Big D’s in order to bottom feed.

  11. Actually, I don’t mind lawyers. I just saw an easy shot and I took it.

    I am the one who suggested aid for local teachers. Our schools have an appallingly low graduation rate and even worse SAT scores, especially for our hispanic students. If we can attract some folks who know how to turn that around, it’s worth $5,000. I’ll pay the first one entirely out of my own pocket. No joke. You bring them here and get some results and I’ll write the check.

  12. Ted, the city council spent $600,000 on a metal bridge at the park, nothing wrong with the old one and the wasteful list goes on and on.

  13. I’m not sure how the bridge even plays into this discussion, so I won’t go down that road.

    I see nothing wasteful about trying to attract teachers and/or other staff who can get more of our students on track for college and I am prepared to put my money where my mouth is.

  14. Ted, if our city leaders have no problem spending $600,000 for a bridge we don’t need then why not invest in our children via our school teachers. I invested many years instructing elementary students in the science discipline and I did it not to become wealthy but out of the LOVE of teaching and passing own the blessings I have been privy to. I know that I would of appreciated that $5,000 loan back in the day! School teachers are the forgotten warriors on the front lines fighting ignorance and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow but for all the good they do, they get very little help from the greater good.

  15. Crow-barring people into mortgages they can’t afford is how the country got into the financial mess it’s in. And I have to agree with Mr. Rasco “where do we stop”? That said, I believe education is the single most important issue facing us today. I’m just not sure helping teachers buy houses will have the greatest return on investment.

  16. I’m talking about rewarding performance, not just blanket down-payment assistance. Helping them buy houses helps to keep them here.

  17. Oh I knew I risked replacing a certain person with a Ph.D as the most hated person on Newstreamz by posting what I did. So let me propose something that would help our returning veterans more than a home loan, and would cost the tax payers nothing. A retuning veteran should get priority for any job openimg with the city. I know other cities do this, I am not aware if we do.

    But Phil made a good point. The root of our current economic mess arose out of a very laudable program. A program started under the Carter administration to require banks to give a small number of home loans to persons who had been shut out of the housing market due to their race or ethnicity. Who could argue with that, and if you did you risked be labled a racist. And then the greedy bankers relaized you could slice and dice these loans and sell them off arould the world, and the real estate speculators started using these loans, and as long as home prices kept going up, who cared, and we all know the rest.

    We have lost our ablility to say no to government spending. And based on the reaction to my suggestion that maybe municipal government should not be in the buisness of giving home loans, you have demonstrated why

  18. I don’t see why the two ideas have to be mutually exclusive. And I don’t see how $5,000 in down payment assistance gets anyone into a loan they can’t otherwise afford. What it does, is bring people here, who might otherwise go elsewhere.

    I’m not talking about loans. I am talking about grants. I’m talking about taking the money that we would otherwise offer to the next retailer who asks for it and instead using it for something that actually improves the community.

  19. Larry, in regards to the first part, while I think that’s a good idea it might be a Title VII violation since I don’t think veterens are a “protected group”, but I’ll pass that on to Lisa.

    What other cities do that? If you could give me some examples I could look more into it.

  20. Ted, put what ever qualifiers you want on the loan but at least make a goal…”KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!”

  21. Larry, you are a progressive thinker! I salute you Sir! And it saves our tax money, I wish you were running for Place 6.

  22. Phil, go back to sleep, its just a dream your having but wake up to the credit card bubble which makes the sub prime bubble a drop in the global melt down miniscule.

  23. I think helping our veterans in several capacities is an honorable thing for not only our city to do, but also every citizen who enjoys the priviledges our soldiers protect.
    Now, I also want to mention that Lisa Coppoletta did not mention helping our veterans in her last campaign (we were engaged in war then as well) and decided to do so after Jude (a true veteran who understands the full spectrum) decided to announce his candidacy. In an earlier comment Griffin Spell said he and Lisa have discussed the issue for months. What he was remiss in stating is that he is Lisa’s campaign treasurer. Im not saying campaign treasurers cannot come out in defense of their candidate, but it’s not uncommon for campaign workers to “protect” their candidate by any means possible, which include fabrications.
    It’s just interesting that Lisa is appealing to veteran issues now. Im not saying she perhaps never intended to do so, but the timing is skeptical.

  24. John is correct, I am Lisa’s treasurer, but I think you’re looking a little too far into this. Lisa first mentioned this to me back in January, if you don’t want to believe me, I dunno what to say. But all this is public now, and as I said before feel free to print this out and remind Lisa come December what she campaigned on (as I will too).

    Shortly after Jude announced we talked with him and let him know of Lisa’s veteren benefit plans, and you can see earlier in the comments section how he feels on all this. I hope we don’t end up running against him.

  25. Griffin it’s not that I dont want to believe you, but when you leave out an IMPORTANT disclosure factor like that, your credibility becomes non-existent. Im not trying to attack Lisa for doing something that I think is necessary and honorable. My question lies in why wait until Jude announced? Why wasnt she concerned about our veterans last year within her campaign, when the war was perhaps a little more intense even? Is it because she decided to take on new propositions to shy votes away from a real veteran, if indeed Jude chose to run for Place 5? This leaves a lot of questions lingering, and your non-disclosure makes it the more controversial and keeps it in line with the old dirty tricks politicians play oh so well.
    Dont get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that Lisa is taking this stand, but I just hope the intention isn’t a nasty one, and instead a genuine one.

  26. So in another article’s comments, it is stated that Lisa Marie Coppoletta will attend the Commissioners court meeting on 3/31. I’m not sure if she will be speaking or not, as she herself has not come out and said it. I just honestly wonder if she’s wrapping herself on all these issues to get her name out and get more votes. Or if she is genuinely interested in helping our vets, and keeping our tax dollars from KBR. Im not saying she’s an opportunist, but Im also not saying she is in the best interest of our veterans aside from politics. I just dont know.
    Politics are dirty, and always have been. So Im skeptical to think she’s the champion of the vets, but I could just be a little cynical (perhaps with good reason, perhaps not).

  27. My dear sainted mother upon her death bed exhaled “never look into the silvery glass more than once or you will lose your way.”

  28. What does that mean Angel? Should Lisa not run for city council again, since she already did it once? Are you saying she has lost her way, and perhaps is not really interested in helping the people, but is in the game for political gain? OR are you suggestion I shouldnt question Lisa’s motives more than once? and by doing so, allowing myself to become apathetic and not care about politics, accountability and responsibility?

  29. Angel your funny. If me questioning a candidate causes you to raise a red flag, then I would say you are not an intelligent person. When candidates are vetted and asked why they do what they do and why they promise what they promise, that is part of the democratic process. Someone will never get a vote from me without being asked the tough questions. And with me asking why Lisa is all of a sudden invested in protecting our veterans after Jude announced, I feel is a legitimate concern. She did not make it part of her campaign last year, when the war was going on then as well, and when our troops needed the help she is proposing then as well. It all looks a little fishy. But hey perhaps she is nothing but well-intentioned. I dont know. And that’s why Im asking.
    Any smart person would support my questioning of Lisa, instead of foolishly hindering the vetting process.

  30. Angel running for office is something my plate is too full for at the moment. But if I did run for office I would only expect to have an interest in my campaign and vet me and ask all kinds of questions. When someone puts themselves in the public light, that is what happens and it’s expected. That’s why I dont understand why you continue to argue and make negative remarks when I question Lisa (who has put herself in the public light by running for office). I can only assume you work for her campaign and dont like any penetrating questions. If that’s the case you should be more forward with information, and if it’s not the case then just chill and let me ask whatever the hell I want to ask of someone running for office!

  31. John, HELLO! YES Coppoletta should be vetted from the highest mountain to the bottom of the sea! Too bad we did not vet Obama more judicially!

  32. Ok then Angel quit saying anything negative whenever I question Coppoletta. Problem solved. And in regard to Obama, he’s not local politics!! and what is done is done.

  33. True, true, true. The credit card bubble about to burst has me seeing a whole lot of tent cities soon and I guess it matters not who is piloting this runaway economic train.

  34. By the John think globally act, act locally, right? And yes, its your right and duty to know all you can know about whom you are entrusting your representation to.

  35. Your sarcasm is well taken Ray. But whenever we have representation of which we do not approve, it can sometimes be attributed to the fact that people make a mockery of those genuinely interested in the political race.

  36. I understand it to be of tsunami proportions, 2.5 trillion of plastic debt and nowhere to run.

  37. Gee Ray, thanks for uplifting beginning to my weekend! But, I’m the one who asked the question, beware what I ask for, right!

  38. Angel, the credit card affair is not a bubble but a rapidly expanding ballon and its exponentially inflating because it is a real Ponzi scheme.

  39. Notice as with a Ponzi scheme, it’s the float that keeps the thing going. As long as there are more investors putting money in, there isn’t much worry. It’s when loan renewals stop exceeding cash demands that a problem arises.

    What happens when big money decides not to renew their loans to the credit card companies? It could be considered a contraction of the money supply. That 11% float would be used to pay off any called loans. Its when you realize that the 11% in good times might only be about 3% in bad times with credit card write offs.

    So let’s see, 2 trillion of unsecured credit card debt. Now, if you are a retirement fund manager and decide the risk is too great, and decide to not renew your note with a credit card bank, what happens next? Remember, how the sub prime and alt-A 100% loans disappeared? Hmmmmm!!!!

    It was the banks in 1929 that bit the dust, this time “it’s different,” it could just be the credit card companies. The government is not going to bail them out. That amounts to paying off Joe Six-pack’s wide screen Plasma TV and the sex change operation.

    The real problem at this point, is the problem created by giving everybody a credit card. The amount owed on a lot of the issued cards will probably not be paid. The interest on the debt was the only concern of the consumer. When payment is called for, it’s just not there. There is cash to pay the interest, but nothing to pay the principle. The people who loaned to the credit card companies have secured debt. Secured by ‘what’ is kind of a joke. It’s kind of like a rock, paper, scissors game, only this time its rock, paper, scissors, and caca. So says a friend of mind Jim from San Marcos.

  40. Angel, in a nutshell, here is why we are all up the proverbial river without a house boat, have good weekend!

    The Fed Reserve is a non-government, private organization with the names of its shareholders kept secret. It charges the US Treasury to print its money. It controls the central banking system. It intervenes in our economy and our business by manipulating interest rates and by other monetary policies (it prints money and causes inflation, or pulls money out of the money supply causing deflation). It came into being in 1913 along with income tax. The Globalists (Rothschild being one of them) sent Warburg to the US in 1911 to put this into effect (Aldrich, Wilson and others were complicit in this). It was passed during the holidays when hardly anyone was in Congress. The bill was written by a banker not a legislator.

    It was actually income tax and The Fed’s and the government’s interference in business that caused the Great Depression. The Fed is as federal as Federal Express. They took that name so the masses would think they are part of the government. Rothschild was behind this. He said, “Give me control of a country’s currency and I care not who makes the laws.”

    They tried this 3 times. Twice they were thrown out (Andrew Jackson through them out the last time). These Globalist/Central banker types got in again in 1913 and they’ve become imbedded and have been slowly tightening their grip on the country. They’ve been in for 103 years. We’ve all been born into this which is why we accept it as “normal government and system”. It isn’t.

    It totally violates our Constitution. The government is the only one that is supposed to mint/print and control our money. And the government is supposed to see to it we maintain a strong currency based on commodities, resources and production… not money by fiat. We’ve lost our sovereignty.

    Until we abolish the Fed and income tax, America will continue to sink and everything that Congress does will fail. We will never be free from the Power Elite, International Bankers, Globalists, or whatever it is you want to call them (they are known by many names).

  41. John, there is a difference between a Democracy and a Republic, actually they are antithetical and I support “….and to the Republic for which it stands…”

  42. The expensive part of this is the senior property tax cut. All younger property tax owners will be forced to pay more. Does Coppaletta know what this would cost everyone else?

  43. Dan, did you have a problem with the trillions being giving to mortgage companies and banks? TRILLIONS! Your children’s children’s, children’s etc. will be paying, did you write your political representatives in Washington about this forever debt. Its ok for the SUPER WEALTHY to be given a break but got forgive us if we help the disabled and all the seasoned citizens that payed out all their lives and now have their pensions, property values go to hell in a hand basket due to the robber barons. Just curious.

  44. Dan, approximately there are 15.1% over the age of 65 and how many own homes I believe it to be 5.6% so there you go, do the math.

  45. Where did you get those numbers Sterling? Does the cut go to out of town owners who own rental properties as well? Sorry Angel but your attempt to link this to federal bailouts of corporations who gamed the system does not sway me into not examining this critically. We have a property and sales tax in Texas and no income tax, so if we exempt a portion of the population from either of these taxes , it directly affects another portion with higher taxes. Do the math. How much more will I as a non-senior have to pay to make up the shortfall and what are the statistics for net worth of the seniors in Texas? Do they not have more assets and in many cases more income than young people and families?

  46. Dan, the stats come from city hall and the appraisal district and no it does not extend to absent landlords. Dan, these folks paid for at least 18 of your first years (add siblings+) I believe that adds up to less than the exemption. Dan, I have never seen a hearse pulling a u-haul trailer before, its the quality of life not the quantity.

  47. Ray, when you say “city hall” where exactly do you mean? Is it from the website, a staff person there, or the Mayor? Not really swayed by the ‘they paid for me” argument as I am now paying for their Social Security and Medicare while I struggle with no health insurance. Not against the current break seniors get but I feel the greater good is served by all pitching in. I think it is easy to pander and promise tax breaks to some group to get their votes as well. Next Coppaletta will be proposing to make text books tax free to get student votes.

  48. Ray, please tell me how her plan only applies to seniors who “live” in the city limits. Did our mayors who lived outside the city limits find a way around that for their benefit?

  49. Dan, in all humbleness I’m not vetting you, but, Lisa Coppoletta. The day you decide to run, I will give you the same courtesy but for now you are too high maintenance.

  50. The reason I semantically structured my last comment after a fashion is due to (my opinion) your askewed questions addressing peripherals that are not factoring as part of the equation.

  51. I never graduated high school but I’m not slow and my bones like a major change in the weather makes me mega shiver cause I don’t quite understand how our economy will cease to exit but I feel it in my bones.

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