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

April 1st, 2010
With poor response rate so far, local officials urge census participation

Hays County, San Marcos, Comal County and Census officials urge residents to mail back their Census Forms right away to be counted in the 2010 Census. Pictured left to right are David Dickens, Arthur Swezey, Camille Valenti, Mayor Susan Narvaiz, Comal County Commissioner Donna Eccleston, and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Fred Terry; (second row) Ofelia Vasquez-Philo, Rose Brooks, Sophia Azoubel and Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton; (third row) Janis Hendrix, Daniel Guerrero, Laureen Chernow and Ellie Stewart; (fourth row) Rick Menchaca, Matthew Lewis, Chuck Swallow, Pat Murdock, Arthur Taylor, Jeannie Lewis and Robert Watts. PHOTO by DON ANDERS


San Marcos and the rest of Hays County are at risk of forging tens of millions of dollars in federal funds if residents do not complete their census forms at a higher rate, officials said during a press conference on Thursday, officially Census Day.

“It’s estimated that Hays County has added some 54,000 people since the last Census, and some estimates are upwards of 60,000,” said Hays County Commissioner Precinct 2 Jeff Barton. “We stand to lose some $1.9 million a year in federal funding for every one percent of those people not counted. And that will remain in effect for 10 years, until the next census.”

Said Narvaiz, “We don’t want anyone to be left out. The census determines our representation in Congress and census data provide the basis for economic and community planning for our future.”

Narvaiz noted concern that San Marcos’ participation rate was at 37 percent, lower than the national average of 52 percent, and said she was particularly concerned about ensuring that residents of multi-family and residential centers receive and return their forms.

“Apartment response so far is lower – 30 percent as of today – so we need Texas State University students and other apartment residents to fill out their forms and mail them,” she said.

Joining Barton and Narvaiz in encouraging residents to be counted and send in their forms were Comal County Pct. 1 Commissioner Donna Eccleston, Census bureau regional representative Sophia Azoubel, San Marcos Complete Count Committee Chair Daniel Guerrero and Hays County Complete Count Chair Laureen Chernow. Numerous Census volunteers and members of organizations that benefit from an accurate Census count also attended.

People who have questions about the census form or need a replacement form can go to an area Questionnaire Assistance Center (complete list at or call toll-free from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. any day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays:

  • English: 1-866-872-6868
  • Spanish/en español: 1-866-928-2010
  • TDD (Telephone Display Device for the hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010
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One thought on “With poor response rate so far, local officials urge census participation

  1. The census issue of asking what persons were in residence as of April 1 has been covered elsewhere and shaming persons not sending the forms in by that deadline.

    The return envelop of my census form was glued closed already–I had to open it with a knife, insert the form and reseal it with tape. Maybe, others had the same problem, got frustrated and just threw it all away and I wouldn’t blame them.

    There was once a time when those who worked for the government were highly regarded. No longer! Too many incompetent buffoons at all levels draw a nice, fat pay check when their first decision-making priority each day is where to eat lunch. It irks me to know end to hear the advertisements, for which we are paying,–“for every 1% of our citizenry not sending their census forms, your government will lose “x” amount of dollars each year for the next 10 years.” It is so retro anyway to send our tax dollars to Washington to be distributed as Washington sees fit. Those funds should remain within the state for it to decide how best to spend them.

    We need a governor with such fortitude as to demand it!

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