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October 27th, 2010
Letter: Latinos can sway San Marcos mayor election


Dicen que la gente Mexicana de San Marcos no salen a votar en las elecciones. Sera verdad ? Lo creo que si es verdad.

Many say, including Daniel Guerrero’s opponent for mayor, the Mexicans, Hispanics or Chicanos will not go out to exercise their privilege of voting. They never do.  Because of that Mr. Guerrero’s opponent has stated that the election is just a formality, he says he has already won the race.  He has even called himself mayor-elect.  All this before most of San Marcos has cast their vote.

The fact is that the entire community of San Marcos (including Mexican-Americans) should be excited to see one of their native sons stepping forward to stand for your vote to become the next Mayor of San Marcos. Not because he is a minority, but because he is a San Marcan, representing the investment made by many in this community to grow our own.  To grow one who would graduate from our local public school system, attend our hometown university – Texas State , pursue his graduate degree at St. Edward’s and return home to work and serve his fellow neighbor.

As a young man Daniel watched his parents make many sacrifices to ensure that Daniel would have the opportunity to attend college. He saw them live on a frugal budget to meet their obligations and not take on more than they could afford.  They set an example for many families, giving hope that they too could raise a generation of children that would be more educated and better able to apply common sense to live a life based on solid family values and they succeeded.

I became closely acquainted with Daniel as a member of LULAC Council 654 here in San Marcos . The organization awarded Daniel a scholarship to help him through his studies and become a well versed young man.  Little did I know, years later, I would serve alongside Daniel on the city council.  He impressed me with his wisdom as a person younger by years, but with passion and convictions to be an excellent councilmember and leader.

We were both lucky to have had the opportunity to make a difference in helping our constituents enjoy the transformation of the old Dam to Rio Vista Falls , the vote to fund the construction of the Embassy Suites and Conference Center and the opening of the first railroad overpass at Wonder World.  We were also involved in negotiating the construction of the Wonder World extension and we joined with enough of our colleagues to make the Rio Vista Terrace drainage and street improvements a priority when others wanted to keep spending monies on specialty projects.  We brought attention to the need to address safety and street lighting on all sides of our town, most especially in the neighborhoods on the East Side of I35.  We also worked with the majority of our council to advance our economic policy so that we would be able to compete to keep jobs we had and create more jobs for our local families.  At different times during our tenure we cast deciding votes on issues such as; moving elections to November to increase voter turnout, raising the age of a person to run for election to council, regulating you from having your dogs in the back of your truck, agreement to help build Mariposa, and Post Road Improvements to name a few.

In comparison, his opponent voted against the elections moving to November, he wanted to regulate dogs in the back of trucks and he was in favor of increasing the age for running for council to keep young people from stepping up.  Thomaides championed the over-priced, now faulty re-construction of the tennis courts because he is an avid tennis player and he demanded special access prior to the project being released to the citizens so that he and his friends could be the first to play on the courts.  He side-stepped council direction to add bike lanes to CM Allen Parkway when the council voted for a comprehensive parking plan to address the parking issues in Rio Vista Terrace neighborhood.  Yes he is an avid biker. CM Allen Parkway , in my opinion, did not need reconstruction. Prior to that we voted for a skate park using $75,000 and challenged the interest group to raise the additional monies for the project.  They instead expanded the project to well over $1 million.

All this because his neighborhood friends vote and show up at council meetings to keep him focused on their side of town and on their priorities and now he believes that he is already your mayor.  He believes you will not vote, so you do not count.

Last year, Mr. Thomaides ran against Monica Garcia to win re-election with a large margin.  He knew he was going to run for mayor just a year later.  While not sure who his opponent might be he wanted to limit campaign contributions stating he was against large contributions and excessive political spending.  He must have changed his mind as he is now running ads on prime-time TV and that costs money.

He has claimed that he has created jobs (Grifol’s), stood against “bailouts” and is better qualified than Daniel Guerrero.  I ask you to check the record and see that Thomaides has always been a no growth, special interests council member who was coached by his handlers to change his message if he wanted to get the votes he would need to be elected mayor.  The question is will their advice work?  Will you be too busy to check the record?  Will you let another election pass without voting?

Go out and vote on November 2nd and vote for one of our own, one that we have grown, Daniel Guerrero.

Salgan a votar por favor, para que su Alcalde sea uno de nuestra gente.

John A. Diaz
Former San Marcos council member

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36 thoughts on “Letter: Latinos can sway San Marcos mayor election

  1. I would be more impressed with this endorsement of Guerrero if it included any specifics about the transgressions of Thomaides. When and to whom did he claim he was mayor-elect? When did he say that the voting for mayor was just a formality? When did he say that Hispanics will not vote in the election?

    What you have convinced me of is that Guerrero will be another sucker for the economic development community (just as you were when you served on the city council), a community that has done little to provide vocational training opportunities for our graduates (unlike the economic development folks in New Braunfels and Seguin), but has given public money to every slick developer with a good story about what they will do for San Marcos. It is faint praise, but at least Thomaides has not been taken in by every development project that has been proposed, unlike Guerrero, who seems never to have met a developer to whom he is unwilling to give away taxpayer money.

  2. At the risk of sounding stupid, weren’t you on Council about 7 years ago? We’re only now getting around to fixing Rio Vista drainage and streetlights around town. Am I missing something? How do either of you claim credit for those?

  3. Also, how is it that fixing Rio Vista Falls is a plus, but fixing the tennis courts and the parking problem, in the same park, is a bad thing? Sounds like some nice improvements for that section of town – improvements that I, having lived on both Haynes St and Riverside Drive for many years, am very happy to see.

  4. I like John Diaz. I liked his father.

    I like Daniel and I like his father and mother.

    I have decades of history with and affinity for each of these.

    Were I able, I would vote for Daniel in a heartbeat. If an old-timer’s perspective and persuasion could be of any value to your readers, I would urge them to vote for Daniel.

  5. Is there something wrong with Thomaides’ family? Because where I come from (and most other places) people have been known to throw down over comments like that.

    Of course, nobody’s been man enough to come out and say anything; they just *subtly* imply it, by talking about how Daniel was “raised right” and comes from a good family.

  6. Thomaides has been using too much tea party-inflected rhetoric for me, so I’ll be voting for Guerrero. The way he demagogued the police/fire issue also annoyed me.

  7. It’s all annoying, but at least you’re basing your decision on something he said/did, as opposed to some undoubtedly baseless insinuation about his upbringing.

  8. Ted I have not caught the issues about family and upbringing. I just take it that Daniel is from here and has large family ties here. Maybe I’m missing it, but that is my read.

    I hate to hijack a thread, but Ted, can you enlighten us to your phone FOI records you received or have not received? I’m sure you saw my comments at council on the 19th and I am wondering if you have been stonewalled by Thomaides like I have? He is waiting until after the election to release the records I have requested. I will be happy to talk off-line as well to compare notes.

  9. Since I no longer live in SM, this is just an opinion. Mr. Rollins, I second Mr. Hankin’s comment, and in fact challenge you to provide documentation that Mr.Thomaides said Hispanics don’t vote. If you can not provide that documentation I will go so far as to call you a liar.

    And since when was BISM a qualification for holding office, as opposed to some kind of inbred bigotry? (and fyi, bigotry is not the same as racism)

  10. T. Nichols, I have not received any records. I got an email that one or two were ready and the others were expected any day, but then I never heard back about any of them. That was about a month ago. I sent a follow-up email, but got no reply. I’ll have to follow up again. I don’t remember which ones were ready. I’ll check tonight.

    Re: the family stuff, maybe I am reading too much into it. If you say vote for me (or my candidate) because he is X or does Y, by extension (IMO) you are saying that the same can’t be said for the other candidate. Otherwise, it isn’t a differentiator. If it were simply some filler on a campaign flyer, I probably wouldn’t notice it any more than a photo with the kids and the golden retriever. It seems to be becoming a foundation issue, though. Mr. Haney cited no other reason to vote for Daniel, than his upbringing and that’s not the first time it has been given extra emphasis.

    It’s barely better than Diaz telling people to vote for him, because he looks like them. If that is the most compelling example of his support for our Hispanic community, we’ve got real problems.

    I’m happy to have the thread hijacked to talk about phone records. At least that is a legitimate issue.

  11. I am very sorry Mr. Rollins, I failed miserably and used your name incorrectly. Please substitute Mr. Diaz in that post.

  12. I was leaning Thomaides when I first researched them, since he seems to be considerably more experienced, but basically slandered the police/fire union as some sort of evil organization for wanting competitive pay, railing about “bailouts” etc… I notice he has taken his union bashing off of his website.

    Plus Guerrero’s campaign has become much more issue focused the last few weeks, whereas before he was basically running on being a well-liked hometown guy.

    In the end, I don’t think it matters much, since except for the police/fire stuff it seems these two guys worked together pretty well when they were both on the city council and their differences are mostly skin deep.

    I don’t like the racial tone both campaigns have taken, though. I was afraid of that, since early on you could kind of tell it might happen.

  13. I just read someting interesting. On NS. A post ( or link) by Camille Phillips on Daniel vs john. Sorry this had to come out because I really like one of the parties involved. 🙁

  14. Elena, I don’t guess I can tell what you think is interesting. The Statesman story about Daniel’s ads?

  15. No Money Bags. Read on to the bottom of the posts. Post made by hmmmmm. Sad , this had to come out.

  16. Really? Because I heard a rumor, months ago that it was going to come out. I doubt you’re sorry, or surprised.

  17. So sorry, that you appear to have commented within seconds of the anonymous post on the Record site.

    Hmmm indeed.

  18. Yes- it is old news….
    Off to pick up copy of People magazine to catch up on REAL news.
    See ya at the mag rack Elena!

  19. Wise move by Daniel, allowing others to get in the mud on his behalf. If he’s a really great, budding politician, he’ll close the deal by denouncing the whole thing as not being relevant to the issues of leading the city, and make some comments about what a great guy John is.

    At least, that’s how the big boys play it.

  20. Wrong again Ted. Im not even gonna get into this with you because personally, I really dont think its worth it. And if you wanna even think for one min that I am hmmmm. Well you are sadly confused. I will just put it out there, like CN says about AF. I cant stand CP and anything she stands for so there…. thats why I posted about the post. And I really dont think CP thinks otherwise.

  21. To take T. Nichols up on the offer to hijack this thread to something a little more meaningful, I just came across some emails in the ol’ spam folder, from the Clerk’s office, which arrived last Friday.

    They came from Daley Heller, whose name I did not (do not) recognize and I almost missed them completely. Obviously, I have not looked them over yet, as I just found them. I had the flu this week anyway, so I probably wouldn’t have.

    I can say that I have records from Mayor Narvaiz, Mr. Bose, Mr. Terry, Mr. Thomason, and Ms. Porterfield.

    I also have not had a chance to ask if I somehow missed the records for Mr. Thomaides and Mr. Jones, or if those were never turned in. I’ll send that message out shortly and do my best to look over the records this weekend. Thankfully, there is no home game for the Bobcats to distract me. 🙂

  22. You’re right Elena, it’s not worth it. Glad to hear that you agree that we should drop it and move onto something substantive. I apologize for suggesting that perhaps you were waiting for that distraction to surface, so that you could point everyone to it.

  23. Mr. Thomason’s were the first records in the ol’ spam folder, so I printed them out and looked them over. Looking at the dates of the meetings listed on the city website, in the Council video streaming section, I see 0 calls, or text messages, sent or received, during council meetings.

    The only caveat, is that there were some entries on dates of special meetings or workshops and those I ought to double-check the times of those meetings before I say definitively, that there was nothing.

    That being said, we’ve been talking about regular, public meetings and there is nothing there. I have no reason to expect anything for the other meetings, based on what I see.

    I have to say now, that I can make no promises about the other records being this easy to decipher.

  24. Also, I did not ask for a huge set of records, because it would be a PITA for the people putting them together, and for me. I figured that if there were an endemic problem, it would be apparent. I wasn’t looking for one or two calls or texts. I was looking for a pattern of behavior.

    I can’t remember the date range specified in the request and don’t have it close by, but based on Mr. Thomason’s records, I believe it was about four months or so.

  25. Mr. Bose’s records were very easy as well. There appears to have been one incoming call, 2 minutes charged, at 7:09 PM, on 5/18.

    Impossible to say what it was, but it is hard to imagine anyone taking a phone call on the dais, during a meeting, without everyone coming unglued, so I’m guessing it is nothing. The duration suggests it couldn’t be much more than nothing.

    If someone wants to watch the video, to see what was going on, on 5/18, at 7:09 PM, knock yourself out and let us know what you see. I can’t seem to get the video to play.

  26. I guess I need to dig a little deeper. Mayor Narvaiz took the time to label her calls, which I appreciate. There’s a lot more to her records than the others, so it will take some work to sort out, even with the labels.

    The disturbing thing that jumped out at me, on the first page I saw, was a series of phone calls leading up to meetings.

    On 9/7, prior to that day’s meeting, in the middle of the Carma stuff:

    Four calls between the mayor and Ryan Thomason, totaling 16 minutes.
    Three calls with Kim Porterfield, totaling 9 minutes, followed *immediately* by a two minute call with Ryan Thomason.

    On 8/24, prior to that day’s meeting, also in the middle of the Carma stuff:

    10 minute call with Carma, immediately followed by:
    2 minute call with Ryan Thomason, immediately followed by:
    11 minute call with Consentino, immediately followed by:
    17 minute call with Ryan Thomason, immediately followed by:
    12 minute call with Lori Moyer

    This was an uninterrupted period, ending at 4:01, the day of the meeting.

    I’m not sure I have the stomach for this.

  27. Thanks for the updates Ted. If I were a betting man based on what you said you received, John’s are not in your stack of data. And it sounds like Chris’ is not either.

    Did you get original records or a document they created? The first records I received from John covering 10 months was a document he created. Times were jumbled and I think there were questionable calls that were either duplicates or fabricated. Not sure since I was not provided the original records.

    My most recent request which was filed Sept 22 and has yet to be released is for the same records, but for only 33 of days of the 10 months (only council meeting days similar to what you asked for). John has already sorted the records and has them, but is refusing to release them.

    The first records John released contained 812 calls and texts. It took several hours to enter all the data and sort it. I then checked all of the calls/texts against the dates/times of council meetings. There were several texts during several council meetings which were made to other council members.

    Unfortunately for John, he absolutely denied that he texted during council meetings when specifically asked by Lisa Marie Coppoletta at the CONA neighborhood meeting. I have his records which show that is a lie.

    I will be happy to meet with you this weekend and give you copies of all the records I have included sorted files by date/time/number called, etc.

    I have filed an official complaint with the AG’s office on the City and John for refusing to release records. The City has filed a response denying the allegations and have said John will turn the records over on Nov 19…conveniently after the election.

    Please keep up posted on what you find on the other members.

  28. Getting back to the activities during the meetings, after reviewing half of the records provided by Ms. Porterfield, it looks like she sent/received 43 text messages in 5 meetings, with 20 of them showing up during the September 7 meeting, which was one of the Carma meetings.

  29. Prior to the June 1 Buie Tract meeting, there were:

    3 text messages between the mayor and Ms. Porterfield
    8 text messages between the mayor and Mr. Thomason
    3 minute call between the mayor and Mr. Terry
    6 minute call between the mayor and Ms. Porterfield
    1 minute and 16 minute call between the mayor and Mr. Thomason
    2 minute call between the mayor and Mr. Jones

    Starting to come dangerously close to a walking quorum, IMO.

    I’m going to have to get it all into one spreadsheet, to really make sense of it. Ms. Porterfield’s records span 18 files. That alone makes it difficult to keep track of things.

  30. 18 Files? It seems to me like Mrs. Porterfield gave you all of her records unlike John Thomaides.

    How many exactly did she send? And how many did she receive during the previously discussed meeting?

    I feel like you not differentiating how many she sent vs how many she actually received will force people to jump to conclusions.

  31. Michael,

    I haven’t had a chance to go through them all, but it looks like about 1 in 5 is an outbound text. Ms. Porterfield emailed me to that effect this morning as well.

    I am sure people will still draw their own conclusions. Is it better for her to be telling people what she is doing, or to have people sending her comments about what she should do? She offered to go over each number and tell me what they are, like the mayor did, but she said they were generally subscription alerts and family. I’m inclined to believe her.

    My only conclusion, was that this is clearly a distraction and Daniel’s idea of leaving phones out of the meetings, or turning them off, is probably right on the money. I am still quite bothered when I see council members dealing with various distractions, when they should be listening to citizens, or discussing issues.

    Ms. Porterfield did not send me all of her records, she sent specific dates, when there were meetings. That’s what I asked for. For some reason, she sent them in 18 different files (although there were not 18 different dates in the reports she sent).

    T Nichols,

    I don’t have Mr. Thomaides’s or Mr. Jones’s. I’ll follow up on that on Monday.

    These look like original documents, with the stuff I didn’t ask for redacted, although Mr. Bose and Mr. Terry may have created theirs. Mr. Terry’s also has dates and times redacted on some calls (not just numbers. With Mr. Bose’s and Mr. Terry’s, I still haven’t quite figured out how to discern inbound from outbound, or calls vs. text.

    Honestly, the mayor’s is by far the most helpful, despite the disturbing contents (to me). It is clear that she had no intention to do anything other than comply with the letter and spirit of the request. She hardly redacted anything. I appreciate that and I actually filtered out stuff that didn’t seem relevant.

  32. Thanks for your diligence Ted. It is a lot of work and I agree with you that it should not be a distraction at the dais. They have existing rules adopted by this council that prohibit them from texting or emailing each other during meetings. Just leave the phones in the back room and check your messages during breaks. Should not be that hard..

    You will not get John’s records until after the election. He and the city attorney have made it clear to me to expect John’s on or about Nov 19. Very convenient….after the election. Don’t know what to say about Chris’ records. It is refreshing to that at least 5 of the 7 know the law and obey the law when it comes to FOI.

    Although I am starting to sound like a broken record, it distresses and disgusts me to no end that John, a mayoral candidate and sitting council member, has absolutely no respect for the law, rules and rights of the citizens.

    When deciding about candidates and looking at their positions on things, we as citizens can agree or disagree on their positions on development, incentives, new job plans, etc. However, there are some core values and beliefs that we should all look for in a candidate and if those are missing or lacking, it should be a “show stopper” for anyone to support that person. Some of these core values IMO are ethical behavior, honesty, law abiding, and knowing right from wrong (and obviously living your life by these core values).

    No matter how much we may agree with a candidate on “protecting neighborhoods” or the like, if they are a liar, refuse to tell the truth, and break the law, we should not support that person. They may not be lieing about the issues that are important to any specific citizen in this election, but that core value is lacking and it will only be a matter of time before that trait shows up down the road and the lies will eventually be important to all citizens.

    As for the records you are looking over, you have a right to the original records and I would demand them from those that did not provide them.

  33. To Dave and the other knuckle draggers:

    “The fact is that the entire community of San Marcos (including Mexican-Americans) should be excited to see one of their native sons stepping forward to stand for your vote to become the next Mayor of San Marcos. Not because he is a minority, but because he is a San Marcan, representing the investment made by many in this community to grow our own. To grow one who would graduate from our local public school system, attend our hometown university…”

    Exactly how is this about him not being white or about his being of Mexican descent? It is important that we support people we as a community have invested in, so long as they are qualified. Being a BISM is not a vice as some have suggested, it is serendipity for our benefit.

    Vote For Daniel Guerrero

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