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

July 18th, 2010
Thomaides, Narvaiz top city council fundraisers

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San Marcos mayoral candidate John Thomaides, left, and Mayor Susan Narvaiz, right. File photo.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Associate Editor

The San Marcos City Council leaders in campaign contributions so far this year are Mayor Susan Narvaiz, who hasn’t announced if she will run for re-election, and Councilmember John Thomaides, who has announced that he is seeking Narvaiz’ position.

According to campaign reports due last Thursday, Thomaides has the strongest war chest ahead of the November election. Thomaides kicked off his campaign last week with $18,378.79 in his campaign account, while Narvaiz was down to $62.65 after spending nearly $20,000 in campaign funds between Jan. 1 and June 30.

During the reporting period beginning in January, Thomaides took in $17,344.56, while Narvaiz accepted $15,750. Meanwhile, during the same reporting period, Thomaides expended $1,840.04, while Narvaiz spent $19,757.05

Councilmember Kim Porterfield, who announced last week that she is seeking re-election, reported zero dollars in contributions and zero dollars in expenditures, leaving her campaign account with $393.80.

As of Friday, Councilmembers Gaylord Bose, Ryan Thomason, Fred Terry, and Chris Jones had yet to comply with the state law requiring campaign fund reports as stipulated by Title 15 of the Texas Election Code. Natalie Ibelaja of the Texas Ethics Commission said councilmembers not in compliance with the state statute are open to the possibility of having ethics complaints filed against them.

The largest single contribution to any councilmember went to Narvaiz from Richard Burdick, the founder of Thurmon Manufacturing in San Marcos, who wrote a check for $2,500. Narvaiz also received a contribution of $2,500 from Dallas commercial real estate attorney Kim Lawrence during the reporting period between July 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009.

However, the largest single contributor overall since the start of 2010 is San Marcos real estate investor Scott Gregson, who made a $2,000 cash contribution to Thomaides and an in-kind contribution of $589.56 to the same candidate. Gregson also made a $240.00 in-kind contribution to Thomaides during the reporting period from Oct. 26, 2009 to Jan. 15, 2010, bringing his contributions to Thomaides during the last two reporting periods to $2,829.56. Gregson is the publisher of San Marcos Local News.

Narvaiz received $2,000 from Springtown Mall interests in January, shortly before the property went into foreclosure. Among those contributions were $1,000 from John Lewis, the co-General Partner for Springtown Mall. On the same date, Jan. 11, Narvaiz reported contributions of $250 each from Peter Lamy of Lamy-Springtown Mall, Ltd., Faith 808, LLC, and LOC, Ltd. All are addressed at the same location, 1717 West Sixth Street, Suite 390, in Austin.

In February, Narvaiz placed a third crack at a redevelopment incentive for Springtown Mall on the city council agenda, but the item was pulled because the agenda information wasn’t sufficiently accessible to the public. With that, Narvaiz conducted a series of public meetings to discuss Springtown redevelopment.

In April, 1180 Thorpe, Ltd., of which Lewis is a partner, purchased the abandoned Target building at Springtown Mall. The Springtown properties once owned by Lamy-Springtown went into the possession of their mortgager, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Narvaiz also took in single contributions of $1,000 each from Flintco Construction President John A. Martin of Austin, James Heath of Pflugerville and James and Shirley Dannenbaum of Houston so far this year. James Dannenbaum owns an engineering firm that is active in Hays County. Narvaiz also received two contributions of $500 each from SLF II McCarty, LP, of Dallas, which owns the property across McCarty Lane from the City of San Marcos Conference Center.

During the most recent reporting period, Thomaides received a $2,000 contribution from James and Jane Kelley, a $1,500 contribution from David Roberts, and $1,000 contributions from Charles Sims and the law firm Linebarger, Goggin, Blair PAC (Political Action Committee). All of Thomaides’ contributors on the most recent finance form are addressed in San Marcos except for Linebarger PAC, which is in Austin, and long-time San Marcos resident Keith Giles, who now lives in Seguin and contributed $250.

On the campaign finance form covering Oct. 26, 2009 to Jan. 15, 2010, Thomaides received a contribution of $1,500 from James Bigelow, a homebuilder from Bartlett, IL. Bigelow contributed $5,000 to Narvaiz on Aug. 28, 2008, leading up to her November 2008 re-election, and has not contributed to her since. Others who contributed to Narvaiz before her November 2008 election and have since stopped contributing to her while contributing to Thomaides include Gregson, Sims, the Linebarger PAC and San Marcos nightclub owner Allen Shy.

Thomaides’ reported expenditures on the July 15 form include printing and advertising costs of $1,345.62 and event and food expenses totaling $323.61.

Naraviz’ longest expense list was for food and beverages on the most recent report, with coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinners with constituents totaling about $1,900 for 38 outings.

Narvaiz also reported spending $1,254.56 in mobile phone fees to ATT, a $3,067.85 payment to Sedona Group for salary, wages, and contract labor for Gloria Salazar, who was Narvaiz’ 2008 re-election campaign manager, and two payments amounting to $849.60 for reimbursement and contract labor for Elisabeth Darnell, Narvaiz’ campaign treasurer.

Narvaiz also reimbursed herself $6,749.62, and reimbursed the city $1,147.35 for an airline ticket and office holder advances.

Narvaiz also presented several office holder donations to various organizations and purchased auction items for various events.

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0 thoughts on “Thomaides, Narvaiz top city council fundraisers

  1. So, things are a bit clearer now that we see where Narvaiz’s contributions stem from.

    Thomaides for Mayor!!!

  2. “So Narvaiz spent almost $20K in campaign funds before even deciding whether or not to run again?”

    A fairly expensive “non-campaign,” one might infer.

  3. Anyone want to know the quick breakdown? For starters $250 went to an updated resume, which was drafted by someone in Austin. About $13,000 was spent mostly on food and travel, cell phone bills, and coffee. Over $3,000 went to the Sedona group for contracting. The rest went to charitable groups and semi-charitable social clubs. Who says there’s no such thing as free lunch? I was just curious.

  4. First, let me say that my knowledge of “how these things work” isn’t very strong….so my apologies in advance if I’m way off base here……BUT…..

    These were “campaign funds” being spent by someone who wasn’t campaigning for anything at the time – and still may not be. Shouldn’t “campaign funds” be spent on an actual campaign and not “operating expenses” (which is how I would label the expenditures listed)? As mayor, aren’t her “operating expenses” reimbursed by the City anyway (this is the part I’m most foggy on)?

    I find it difficult to stomach that an elected official could spend $13K on food, travel, and cell phone during a period that there wasn’t even an active campaign being waged. And that doesn’t even touch on why she needed $3K+ of labor to run a campaign office?!?

    If there isn’t a rule against this kind of spending, there should be. If there are funds left over in an election fund, let them keep it until they decide whether to run again. If not, make them give it to charity. Otherwise, it sounds like they are just draining the kitty by any means necessary.

  5. “Does it seem to anyone else that she’s about to run for a state office?”

    “last week ….., while Narvaiz was down to $62.65 ”

    In light of that fact,

    my guess at this point would be,……no.

  6. I agree that she’s not likely to run. If she had plans to run again, she would be building a “war chest” to do it with. To paraphrase the famous quote, it would seem that the Queen is, indeed, “dead”.

  7. Successful candidates may maintain an Officeholder Account to defray expenses for things like community benefits. To this account they may still make and claim expenses relating to the office–now covered very well by the taxpayer, through a combination of pay for the job and reimbursements of extraordinary expenses such as “scouting trips,” ongoing education, (Dare I say it?) clean lobbying. Most have also used the fund for public gifts and recognitions, as when a delegation is in town from a city or country, Those are expensable either to personal (leftover donations) or public funds.

    In practice, the Staff or other members rarely challenge or effectively deny anything even close to seeming kosher…would YOU, in their position? Rocking powerful people’s boats doesn’t pay that well here. It’s short term employment.

    The notion of taking in and spending actively in a campaign before the official sign-up date is a rare jewel indeed. Getting and spending before announcing or filing was at one time a punishable offense. Apparently not any longer in San Marcos, where a person can show days or weeks of publishing campaign material, year after year, even without the legally-required disclaimers clearly indicating the contact person–treasurer–for the campaign, with a legal address. The Rules are, after all, in the Candidate Packet when it falls into the sweaty hand.

    Are we gradually falling into the muddy ditch of continuous campaigning which has devoured the other levels of government? Or should the Secretary of State offer a local tutorial, with a comment on why elections may have gotten so blamed expensive in this modest town, and only for an embarrassing SMALL fraction of the registered vote. Never mind the stay-at-homes. How much must it cost per vote to win an election? Could the much-touted “ordinary citizen” even afford to get in the game, if it is all about $$$$$ and eyes on some bigger tent? Likely have to have well-heeled backers to pay for a campaign/PR team, these days. That is all the rage these days–the locals thinking they are in Austin or somewhere, and believing that old saw, “Money talks; BS walks.

    (The last part of that snotty little dismissal of the public’s needs and desires is, horribly, true. Just not in the way it wants to mean.)

    As it sounds, if more of the “affected parties,” or citizens, don’t choose to give the time and effort to prevent it, I fear we will see in November one exciting ‘American Idol” extravaganza–an ending like those tear-filled ones before one reaches “the top.” A yet greater ball of cotton candy than we have ever imagined–artificial, tasty, and not filling at all. The perfect diet for a CERTAIN kind of City and community. May be addictive. TAKE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  8. Why is Newstreamz not running his announcement like you did John’s??? It’s already posted on the other area media….It’s fine that your ownership and some writers like Andy are clearly backing John, but as a news organization you should stay fair and balanced in coverage, right?

  9. Max, if I remember correctly, the “other” news source waited a few days before publishing anything on John’s announcement. It’s only been a few hours.

  10. I definitely appreciate everyone’s concern as to why the San Marcos Local News has not ran a story on Daniel Guerrero’s intentions behind a mayoral run. We will. But for now, it’s just a waiting game. Daniel has confirmed a meeting to speak with me on the matter for Saturday. Daniel committed his first interview to another reporter, and in keeping his word, he has remained silent after being pressed numerous times for a definite answer on the possibility of being a candidate this November. We will bring you the details behind Daniel’s possible run for mayor as soon as they become available to the San Marcos Local News. Thank you for reading and we guarantee you continued extensive coverage of the election as details develop.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear Daniel is considering running for mayor instead of one of the open seats on the Council.
    This tells me he’s a “Susan Supporter” and I could never vote for him in any seat on the Council… Very sad.

  12. Chris, you know what they say about assuming. Try listening and not playing the same old worn out politics of slinging mud and wishing some sticks. I for one will wait to hear what all the canidates have to say.

  13. Yeah, I know, but my assumptions are based on facts. Susan had a “secret” recruiting meeting at Palmer’s recently.
    Daniel attended. They prayed before the meeting and then brainstormed on who they could get to run who would continue Susan’s reign of terror on the environment, neighborhoods, public input and transparency.
    I like Daniel very much but this is not a personality contest. It’s about how you will vote. And frankly, Daniel voted with She-who-must-not-be-named more often than not while he served on Council. So I “assume” he has not changed his politics. If he chose to run for a seat on the Council, I would ask the serious questions and make a decision based on the answers. Anyway, that’s why I can’t/won’t vote for him for Mayor, but I’ll have a beer with him anytime!

  14. Chris, your comment is pretty pathetic and sad. So let me get this right. If Daniel were to run for a Council seat, you would support him.. But, since he is running for Mayor, you could “never” support him for a Council seat because he must have supported Susan. Wow. Some logic….

    Daniel is a professional. He is a man with previous council experience, several college degrees and life experience which I am sure he will use to lead San Marcos as our Mayor. If you are going to slam him already, why don’t you at least find something legitimate to gripe about instead of being nasty because he does not support who you support. Grow up….you have embarassed youself with this post.

  15. I was under the impression that a voting record WAS an acceptable disagreement to have with an elected official or candidate. Are we not allowed to hold candidates to a standard, Mr. Nichols?

  16. This meeting that Chris speaks of is the truth. However, I have it on good sources that Susan and Daniel have been planning this for more than awhile. She knew she was losing support and would not stand a chance to get re-elected, especially running against John Thomaides. Porterfield was in on it, as well. It was either going to be Porterfield or Guerrero that was going to run. The mayor knew that John had his sights set on her seat for a long while now (worst kept secret in San Marcos, eh?).

    Also, I wonder if the mayors donors are a little ticked off that she wasted all that money on nothing?

  17. I’m not embaressed at all, whoever you are. This is war. In Susan’s own words- “you’re either with us or against us.”.
    I hate what that woman and her supporters have done to this town that I love and have volunteered for long before anyone ever heard of Susan. Susan is the definition of petty. It’s time to play it her way. I make no apologies.
    And Griffin is right, as am I. It’s all about how you vote.

  18. Maybe I am wrong but I would wager than Daniel nor Jon would allow “supporters” to speak for them or tell them how to vote. I would hope that each of them are above these petty comments. San Marcos deserves better.

  19. @ Max: I know Andy Sevilla, and if you knew what he thinks about these candidates, you would know that it is numbskulled to say that he favors any candidate. Since you don’t know him, you must think his reporting favors Thomaides. If you want to assault a reporter’s reputation that way, you owe him an example of favoritism, which you can’t do.

    @ Nichols: You attacked Chris North by saying she said what she didn’t say and criticized her for saying what she didn’t say. That’s “pathetic and sad.” Chris North did not say she would support Daniel for council but not for mayor. In one post, she said “could never vote for him in any seat on the Council.” In the next, she said she wouldn’t support him for mayor and if he ran for council, “I would ask the serious questions and make a decision based on the answers.” It doesn’t sound like she would expect to hear answers that she likes. That doesn’t sound like she supports Daniel for council. Even if your fantasy was true and she would support Daniel for council but not for mayor, there’s nothing wrong with her logic. She didn’t say that, but let’s pretend. Anyway, most of us know that the mayor is more powerful than other councilmembers. You can think someone is barely good enough for council but not for mayor.

  20. “I’m so sorry to hear Daniel is considering running for mayor instead of one of the open seats on the Council.
    This tells me he’s a “Susan Supporter” and I could never vote for him in any seat on the Council… Very sad.”

    @Griffen Spell-I wrote my post before Chris posted her second response. I simply responded to the above quote. Of course a previous voting record should be considered and believe me I will be using that when I decide who to vote for.

    @hmmm-same as above. I wrote my post before Chris responded again. I would hope that she would ask questions no matter which office he is running for. Obviously she will not even give him the opportunity to answer any questions…her mind is made up simply because he is friends with the current Mayor, not because of his ideas, stance on issues, or vision for our city.

    Some people on these treads are so consumed with hate that they have lost all objectivity, reason, and some have even jeopardized their moral values and ethics. Unfortunately I believe this also applies to at least one of the candidates themselves. More on this will come out this fall with pending open records requests….

  21. @chris north…. your earlier post “…this is war…” How pathetic! You obvisouly have NO idea what “war” really is and to act as if you are involved in war is an insult to the brave members of the military overseas now fighting in what is really war! You may have legitimate political disagreements or policy differences with others, but that is not war.

  22. Congrats Daniel on your decision to run for Mayor ! May you run a good and decent race ! Good Luck To You !

    Bottom line…. show up or shut up !!!! Posting on newstreamz isnt “showing up “

  23. I should note: I have in the past encouraged Daniel to run for Council on Facebook. We spoke on the phone. I think he’s a great guy. He has given me great advice on my daughter’s path to college in recent months.
    That said, in light of “new information” and without some very real assurances, I stand by what I said and I cannot support him on Council. Not this year. It’s too important and there’s too much at stake,
    And I take what Susan has done to my neighborhood and the environment very personally. Some of us have worked long and hard to ensure we have an LDC and a Master Plan that will protect these as well as our economic health.
    Yeah, it’s a “war” and it’s personal..

  24. Chris put the drink down ! There are more than the just one “susan” vote on council….. Come on chris I love ya to death but I know your smarter than this !

  25. “Some people on these treads are so consumed with hate that they have lost all objectivity, reason, and some have even jeopardized their moral values and ethics.”

    Yep. On both sides. Been that way for a few years, at least.

    “Unfortunately I believe this also applies to at least one of the candidates themselves. More on this will come out this fall with pending open records requests…”

    Hopefully job-related, not digging into people’s personal lives, to find dirt. Sadly, the rumor I have heard, is that the latter is coming too, which also speaks to the values issue.

  26. Elena, you know I love ya more than my luggage. And I have to put the drink down to type. You are correct and that’s what exactly what I’m talking about. And you know that.

  27. Perhaps Chris North you should take a break, volunteer to go visit the troops in Iraq or Afganistan and see what “war” really is….or talk with those recovering at BAMC in San Antonio. What you call “war” here in your little neighborhood is nothing close, but rather a sad personal political policy differance. The extreme to which you escalate it with blind hatred and the assumption that only you are right is exactly the same problem our country has with the national political parties in WAshington which is why nothing constructive gets done. As others have pointed out here, it is time for all sides to grow up and learn to work together. Personal attacks, calling it “war”, these are the things that will only destroy you internally, and drive others to ignore what you are trying to acomplish.
    Few people will listen to extremists or those fuled with hatred and personal vendettas, instead writing them off for what they are: blinded self-righteous egotists who can’t see the forest for the trees.

  28. That’s very deep, Max. Thanks so much. I’m a totally new person and deeply regret having a strong opinion, having the facts and paying attention to what’s going on in my town, being so mean to our mayor and for disrespecting our troops in such an egregious way. I plan to punish myself later today by reading Cosmo, People, and Oprah magazines.
    Thanks again for setting me straight.

  29. Well, it is at least comforting to know that the very old–one of the oldest one can imagine–word, “war,” now belongs to a political point of view. VERY telling, that particular little piece of orthodoxy. Somebody needs to spread the word to WWE, “the sexes,” and many others who may not be advanced as we are. There seem to be more than a few blockheads who would be more than delighted if the word would go out of use entirely. But that, like trying to practice good constitutional democracy, seems unlikely to win either the coveted gold belt or a Purple Heart, the Super Bowel or a good case of PTSD. (What kind of game is that ole-time fave, chess, he asked with a fool’s grin?)

    Now how about the abundant issues surrounding local elections, this bitter year and every one following? I have said a lot in these pages on the subject, among them: I break out in a serious case of nausea when sitting officials openly, even quasi-officially, campaign for OTHERS, either at the local, NONPARTISAN level or the hopeless D/R cluster-scrum at the other two levels. When you use money and influence accumulated over time to create a dummy of yourself, you are indeed legal, but it is more egregious than picking at your butt in public, as well as quite suppressing the reasonable community dialogue demanded if we are to have smart, decent, sustainable government policy.

    Candidates: tell us what you would stand for in the face of a hurricane. No more of that “Polly want a cracker” repetition of happy-talk. You MIGHT have convincing ideas. If not, you might learn some.

    I must admit that for the past few years I have been looking to see if I stepped in something in the yard; you know how, even after you have cleaned your shoes, but the smell seems to last a long time after and emanate from Lord knows where? Yes, Virginia, I “know (maybe too much) ‘how politics works.'” That is why I was born hating the exemplary typical practice of the art? science? seditious crime against the good order of our country, which I was born believing in and cherishing? We ain’t a hereditary monarchy, but we seem poised on the edge of it.

    It will be refreshing if we can find somebody(s) to seek, take and RESPECT the four vacant seats here and fill them with knowledge, integrity, honor, honesty and passion enough to say what is true and accept the results, win or lose, with good cheer. At least a “loser” (shudder!!) can claim having helped clarify for the citizens exactly what will be the prize behind the door they choose to open. After all, the elected body is a pretty good mirror of the folks who put them there: if they are morons, lapdogs, dangerously obsessive egotists, money-crazed fools or outright felons, that IS the representation we asked for. And got. So too if they are allowed to buy and sell each other like cheap whores. Those people really ARE the folks who send them, even if those people are only like the poor in the Bible, sucking up crumbs from the rich man’s table.

    I’d sooner use some stranger’s toothbrush than be a candidate forced to admit I had sold my soul to inherit somebody else’s political machine and ideas to help them perpetuate the status quo. I would be unable to look in the mirror in the morning if I didn’t have enough brain and fiber to come up with my own positions and network, then check them often to be sure they were still sound. Or maybe I’d be like a vampire–no image at all in the mirror. That goes for John, Kim, Daniel, Chris N., or the stranger on the street. And pleeeezz, enough Karl Rove, already!

  30. Piles of money growing when there is no election at hand? Piles of “foreign money”? Piles of money from direct clients of the City? Have I stepped in something yet AGAIN? Got to go clean my shoes….

  31. Lord, please help me again. I was re-checking this whole dialogue and got stuck. I was absolutely fascinated by the body language of the folks in the pictorial at the top. Amazing! “hyp-mo-tized,” as David Letterman says.

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