by BRAD ROLLINS
As the last day to sign up to run for the San Marcos City Council election began this morning, candidates and onlookers were anticipating the perennial ritualistic dance of last-minute filings, withdrawals and switched races.
On Tuesday, homebuilder Ryan Thomason filed for the Place 5 seat joining an ostensibly crowded field of four other candidates which include Lisa Marie Coppoletta, a Texas State academic advisor; small business owners Shaune C. Maycock and Shane Scott; and Anita Fuller.
In Place 6, incumbent John Thomaides has so far drawn one challenger in the person of little-known former Marine and Mary Kay saleswoman Monica Garcia. Within days of her filing, bloggers were noting she attends church, coincidentally or not, with Mayor Susan Narvaiz who is often at odds with Thomaides. (Garcia is the second former Marine set to be on the ballot; Maycock is one too).
Thomason, currently the Planning and Zoning Commission vice chair, brings bona-fides to a race populated as it stands with candidates light on city government experience (which isn’t always necessarily a negative in a candidate). Thomason showed poorly against Thomaides in 2006, pulling in about 38 percent of 5,118 votes cast.
Now more seasoned and with three years on the planning and zoning commission under his belt, Thomason seems inclined to cast himself as a stable, mainstream candidate in what is already a raucous election season.
“We have experienced more than our fair share of fractional politics in recent years, and I feel that I can be an asset to our community as a consensus builder on the city council,” Thomason said.
In an e-mail, he added, “It is too often that local issues are forced to be polar in the debate of public policy (the economy vs. the environment, the neighborhood vs. the university, downtown vs. the interstate). The difficult decisions surrounding these issues are made divisive by the winner/loser mentality that exists in local government. We need to remember that a ‘community’ is defined by its partnership and interaction and commit ourselves to work toward the common purpose.”
That promise may be resonate in a race that has already distinguished itself with a nasty public squabble between the Coppoletta and Maycock camps involving campaign signs, four-letter words and a police report.
The organic flavor of the candidates contributes to a circus atmosphere. At the city council meeting last night, Scott marveled that a local news Web site chose to run a photo grabbed from the Internet of his character in a movie. “They make me look like a cowboy,” said Scott, who owns German Elite Autos, an import restoration and repair shop, and Room Closet Studios.
It will be hard to understand the true shape of the races until filing stops at 5 p.m. today. and even until the last day to drop out on Sept. 11. San Marcos elections are sometimes decided by filing-and-withdrawal shenanigans.
Two current council members, Fred Terry and Pam Couch, ran unopposed after other candidates pulled out when it was too late for others to join.Email | Print