San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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EDITOR’s NOTE: The San Marcos Mercury asked city council candidates to answer a few questions about their positions on issues. We are publishing them as they come in. First up is Nicholas Cubides who is running for the Place 3 seat against Terry Nichols, Toby Hooper and John Thomaides. Early voting started today; Election Day is Nov. 8.


Nicholas Cubides, 23

Occupation: Texas State student
How long have you lived in San Marcos? 3 years
Where in town do you live? Riverside Ranch

Will you vote to further restrict smoking in public places or put the measure on the ballot for a citywide vote?

I believe telling people what they cannot do is a violation of their personal liberties. We have to have businesses and a community that feel so strongly that the negatives outweigh the positives. Although, I am very much against telling people where they can and cannot smoke, I have no problem putting that decision in the hands of the business owners or people of the city as they are the most effected.

There has been a lot of talk this election season about how the city and school district are going to sink or swim together. What specifically can a city council member do to improve the school district and the school district’s image?

We can create a specific fund to address what teachers and administrators are the problem areas. I do not believe the outlet malls need us to spend any more in advertising — we could divert funds from that to improve the image of the school district. Maintaining our schools are more important than maintaining the outlet malls businesses. Superintendent Eads has great ideas to improve the school district; we should work closely with him.

The Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency is locking down a future water supply for San Marcos and surrounding areas but it isn’t going to be cheap. The first phase alone is expected to cost $109 million between now and 2020. Do you support continued funding of HCPUA?

That number seems ridiculously high. However, if we are going to supply our people with water then we have no choice but to pay that fee until we have better alternatives. That said, the first opportunity we get to invest in more long-term, sustainable solutions, we need to do that. We need to do more to conserve water through continuation and expansion of the program that incentivizes high-efficiency, low-water usage appliances and encouraging xeriscaping.

Do you support forgiving property tax over a set period as a way to encourage companies to relocate or expand in San Marcos? If so, what kind of companies do you support giving economic development incentives to?

The answer, with exceptions, is no. Businesses are not solely going to come to San Marcos based on tax incentives, so much more goes into making a decision to relocate, expand, or develop that we cannot purely seek out companies with 20th century techniques. San Marcos has more to offer these businesses than tax incentives.

Police and firefighters won a controversial three-year contract in 2009 and will be back for another round of negotiations next year. What are you willing as a council member to offer them in terms of changes to their present deal?

Two words: Bastrop fire. It hit too close to home for many of us. In times of worsening drought conditions, we may have to be prepared to provide more towards our fire department services.

If you weren’t running for city council this year, which of your three opponents would you vote for?

I have yet to see my ideas and beliefs in the other candidates therefore I would vote for the person that is most likely to listen to my suggestions, so at the moment I am undecided. I would have to wait until Nov. 8 to vote.

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