It did not take long for the San Marcos Area League of Women Voters mayoral debate to devolve into debacle on Monday.
Seconds into his opening statement, challenger Thomas Prentice was reproached by the debate moderator for pacing while he talked instead of standing idle behind the head table as debate rules specified. Soon he was tussling with league chapter president Carole Belver for possession of a microphone. An expressionless Mayor Daniel Guerrero looked on as moderator Brenda Smith summoned Hays County constables, one of whom had just debated, to insist that Prentice not wander around while delivering his remarks.
After the debate resumed, Prentice used every question from the moderator and audience to return to his signature issues of climate change awareness and anti-corporatism. Prentice, who is undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, has made a spectacle of all his public appearances during his mayoral campaign including an incident at San Marcos City Hall last month when he refused to yield the podium after his time had expired.
At Monday’s forum, Guerrero touted gains in protecting the natural environment and reversing brain drain, the perennial mass exodus of Texas State students to seek employment elsewhere after their graduation.
CORRECTION: This post originally said Prentice is being treated for skin cancer. He is being treated for a type of lymphoma.
COVER: San Marcos mayoral candidate Thomas Prentice brandishes a dowel rod as part of an illustration about rising sea levels during his opening remarks at a mayoral debate on Monday. Prentice had run afoul of debate rules requiring participants to stay seated or standing in one place and Hays County Pct. 4 Constable Ron Hood was summoned to eject Prentice from the proceedings. San Marcos Area League of Women Voters president Carole Belver, left, tried to confiscate Prentice’s microphone before he agreed to return to the stage and was allowed to continue speaking. MERCURY PHOTO by BRAD ROLLINSEmail | Print
Thank you Mayor Guerrero for your service to San Marcos!
It is refreshing to hear someone acknowledging some of the challenges that we face. I wish Mayor Guerrero success in taking on those challenges.
Mr. Prentice should be ashamed of himself. He has disrespected the citizens of San Marcos and disrespected The League of Women Voters.
That would be scary if he ever became Mayor!
Thanks to the League of Women Voters and Brenda K. Smith for maintaining decorum during this disruption, and to Constable David Peterson and Constable Ron Hood for their help. I would venture to guess that had someone done this in Mr. Prentice’s class, he would have had them removed immediately.
I am proud of Mayor Guerrero’s accomplishments for our community, and look forward to great leadership in his next term. He has my vote.
Hey Daniel….Next time I’ll run against you so at least it will look like you had some competition.
Are you talking about..DG 4 SM ?? Which is Dumb Guy for San Marcos.. Guerrero’s a joke, this will be his last two years only because no one ran. He’s just a follower that has no spine, flip flop depending who complains.
And loose some weight Guerrero no one wants a lard ass mayor.
I am proud of Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his efforts to make San Marcos a better place during these past two years. He is a fine, upstanding citizen who truly cares about his community, our community. A true gentleman who always takes the high road, no matter how many rude people he encounters. He is a shining representative of San Marcos High School, Texas State University and St. Edwards University alumni. Thank you, Daniel, for being a man of exemplary character.
Brad, is there any way to moderate thes boards a little bit? I understand that comments and arguments may get heated, but remarks such as Carl’s are completely unnecessary and uncalled for.
Also… Carl can’t spell.
The moderators are so tough on the audience members asking questions and yet they cannot set a consistent standard across debates within one debate. Are the candidates to be seated or standing when providing their verbal advocacy? The seated choice (Derrick vs. Thomason debate) seems like a better one and could have avoided the incident with the Mayor’s debate. Moreover, the seated choice is what has occurred in past debates over the years. Next year, please would the league be more patient with those who take the time to ask good questions. Maybe its time for some new blood to join the league. Just saying…..
Thank you Ms. Coppoletta for your suggestions. Would you like to join the league?
Well played Ms. Belver. Ms. Coppoletta?
I would be delighted Ms. Belver. Is the League open to suggestions for future formats? I have 30 years experience coaching and running debate events. My e-mail is email@example.com. And, my number is listed in the phone book. Best, LMC
Not cool Carl….not at all.
Ps perhaps we can get an interpreter next year, and some students from the local schools and university involved
by future formats: i mean a tweaking of “ground rules” for those posing questions from the audience
increased use of social media and live stream of the debates, members from the internet could even pose questions
While I like that your being vocal about these issues that concern us all Mr. Prentice…. im ashamed to say that it’s people like you who give those of us that truly care about the environment a bad name….very few responses in any of the debates I’ve witnessed you in address how we can achieve this on a local level when it comes to climate change…and that is where true change will occur in my opinion…you should be ashamed that you’ve wasted the citizen’s time as well as Mayor Guerrero’s with not responding to our concerns in a more direct manner…Go grab a soapbox and stand in the square…talk to those people who really need to be made aware…you might actually get something done there…..on another note thank you Daniel for being so patient with this debacle….and thank for listening to the citizens
This article is so poorly written, in addition to being glaringly biased, that I feel I cannot even trust its content enough to form an informed opinion. Honestly, I know SM is a little bit Podunk, but maybe the Mercury could counteract some of the supposed brain drain by bringing on a few Texas State journalism grads (god knows they couldn’t attract a UTAustin grad.) Perhaps then the Mercury would more resemble the “news source” it claims to be, and read less like a semi-incoherent local blog.
I’ll ask again. What accomplishments?
If the LWV ladies were allowed to use cattle prods at their debates, I believe we would see an increase in public interest in the proceedings. “Mr. Prentice, hand over the mic.” zap. “Sir, get to your question.” zing. “Hey. Only one question.” zap. “No follow up questions.” zap zap.