Shane Scott, left, and Monica Garcia, right.
By ANDY SEVILLA
As the filing deadline for city council candidacy in San Marcos approaches Wednesday, the list of candidates is growing fast.
Incumbent Councilmember John Thomaides, the only candidate to file for his Place 6 seat when filing began last month, now has a challenger in seven-year San Marcos resident Monica Garcia, who graduated a year ago from Texas State. Meanwhile, an already contentious race to replace outgoing Place 5 Councilmember Pam Couch now is up to four candidates, with Shane Scott and Anita Fuller entering the fray against Lisa Marie Coppoletta and Shaune Maycock.
“My husband and I heard about it (the possibility of running for city council),” said Garcia as she recapped the steps leading up to her filing. “We spoke with our pastors (at the Hill Country Church). We fasted, and that’s how we came to a decision.”
Garcia received an exercise and sports science degree from Texas State University in May 2008. She has been married for two years to Brandon Garcia, after meeting him while at Texas State. Garcia, a former U.S. Marine, is a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and does not currently own a home in San Marcos.
“Ultimately as we prayed about it, we chose to run for Place 6,” Garcia said, adding that her decision came “out of an obedience of what I thought I was being called to do … I’m running because I feel there is a need for me to serve the community at large.”
Garcia said she has no experience in public office, and never sought an appointment from the city council to any of the voluntary boards and commissions, though she said, she has volunteered at the South Side Community Center, Youth Service Bureau, Sights and Sounds of Christmas, and at her church for the vacation bible school.
“I don’t have a lot of experience,” Garcia said. “But I love to serve.”
Garcia said growth, while protecting the rivers and parks, will be her main priority. She said she will specifically advocate for green jobs, sports tourism, tourism, and continuing the retail tradition that is identified with San Marcos. She said special attention needs to “capitalize on” on why people come to San Marcos, citing what Disney World has done for Orlando, Florida. Garcia said that before Disney World began operations in Orlando, it use to be empty marshland, and now it has become a tourist destination.
“We should be embracing the growth that’s coming and not try to inhibit it … with a cautious eye of course,” Garcia said. “We should be considering the forward movement of our city.”
Garcia said she supports financial incentives for attracting businesses into San Marcos, but only on a case by case basis. She said each request should be scrutinized individually, adding that incentives shouldn’t be used as “a blanket effect for all business coming in.”
Garcia said she will also concentrate on listening to what the residents want, adding that talking to people gave her “confirmation” that she needs to run for office.
“As councilmembers, they have to remember who they’re serving — the citizens of San Marcos,” Garcia said. “I am willing to listen to what they (San Marcos residents) have to say. As we become more unified as a community, we can grow and we can prosper.”
Garcia said San Marcos is her home, where she has matured, grown, “found the Lord”, and changed.
“I’m not from San Marcos, but I’m very passionate about San Marcos,” she said.
Thomaides is seeking his third-term as a councilmember, after first winning election in 2003.
Couch announced in August that she would not seek re-election for her Place 5 seat once her term expired. Coppoletta, defeated in a council race by incumbent Chris Jones in November 2008, announced her intention to run for office in January. Coppoletta was the first to file for the Place 5 seat, soon followed by Maycock.
The race between Coppoletta and Maycock quickly turned into a public tit-for-tat over political signage.
Scott and Fuller have responded by filing, bringing the number to four hopefuls to Couch’s seat.
“I’ve watched San Marcos from the sidelines, quietly,” said Scott. “I like the direction that it’s going in and I want to be a part of it.”
Scott is a single-parent of a 13-year-old girl and has lived in San Marcos since 1988. He received a degree in criminal justice from Texas State and is the business owner of German Elite Autos and Room Closet Studios. Scott has never held public office, nor has he served on any of the city’s volunteer boards and commissions.
Scott said he chose to run for Place 5 because citizens can look at each candidate and what they stand for, as opposed to Place 6 where an incumbent with a following is seeking re-election. Scott said the Place 5 election allows for an “even playing field.”
Said Scott, “The current council is doing a great job, and I want to be a part of it. I want to make sure our children get a great sense of community and town, so that later they can too pass it on, and San Marcos can continue to be the great place that it is.”
Scott said his top priorities include education, smart growth, protection of natural resources, and attracting high-paying jobs.
“San Marcos has enough minimum wage jobs,” Scott said. “I would like to see more high-wage jobs. Biomed, for example.”
Scott said he supports financial incentives for businesses that produce living-wage jobs, and businesses that attract Texas State graduates. Scott said incentives are “a good thing” if businesses “follow through” with their promises to the city.
Scott said education needs to be strengthened, not only in schools, but throughout the community. He said residents need to be aware of the rules and laws the city has enacted. Smart growth is also on his forefront. Scott said “smart growth” growth is “beneficial to San Marcos,” adding that protection of the river, green spaces, and the environment should be highly considered.
Scott said he has an interest in listening to San Marcos residents, describing himself as positive, approachable, easy to get along with, and as having integrity.
“I have no agenda,” Scott said. “My interest is keeping the community first.”
Scott said his background in criminal justice allows him to “sit back and really look at things, get the truth, and not make judgments on who I know or who brings something forth.”
Another challenger in the Place 5 race, Anita Fuller, declined to speak with Newstreamz, citing fatigue.
“I’m extremely tired and want to be coherent when dealing with such an important issue in my life right now,” Fuller said at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, adding that she was in the process of finalizing a press release for the media.
Miller did not return multiple calls Monday.Email | Print