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


San Marcos council member SHANE SCOTT faces challenger GREG FRANK in a 2012 San Marcos Area League of Women Voters general election debate.

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38 thoughts on “Election 2012 Video: San Marcos City Council Pl 6 (Shane Scott vs. Greg Frank)

  1. Enough with the “perception problem,” already. Mayor Guerrero gets it. Hopefully he can clear things up for Mr. Scott.

    We appear to be making progress, but make no mistake, we still do not have schools that serve ALL of our citizens well, nor are they producing the results that would attract employers and homebuyers.

    Looking at the class of 2011, and adjusting for students who enroll at SMHS over the course of their high school careers, or leave to enroll in other Texas public schools, 72.7% of the remainder graduate on time, 10.4% are still trying to finish, and 8.6% have dropped out (the remainder have moved out of state, out of the country, enrolled in private school, etc). These are not good numbers. Here’s how we compare to some schools around us:

    SMHS: 72.7% graduate, 10.4% stay, 8.6% drop out
    Dripping Springs: 84.3% graduate, 2.1% stay, 0.6% drop out (5% move out of state and 7.5% enroll in private or home school)
    Wimberley: 83.6% graduate, 2.1% stay, 3.7% drop out
    Hays: 82.8% graduate, 5.7% stay, 2.3% drop out
    Canyon: 75.5% graduate, 3.8% stay, 5.7% drop out

    I know many are opposed to comparing us to those schools, because of our demographics. That’s a poor excuse. Still, here are some more demographically similar schools we could emulate:

    SMHS: 72.7% graduate, 10.4% stay, 8.6% drop out
    Del Valle HS: 87.4% graduate, 0.8% stay, 3.4% drop out
    Eastwood HS: 83.8% graduate, 2.0% stay, 7.0% drop out
    Los Fresnos HS: 82% graduate, 5.5% stay, 4.5% drop out
    Riverside HS: 81.7% graduate, 2.9% stay, 4.9% drop out

    There are others, but it is tiresome to keep rehashing this. There is no reason we should not be able to get our 4 year graduation rate up and the dropout rate down. There is a lot the city can do to help there, such as the pre-K initiative the mayor mentioned, the dropout roundup that Mr. Frank mentioned, or outreach programs, mentoring programs, coordination with local employers, expansion of programs like Pack It Up and Pass It On, food drives, school supply drives, collaboration with Texas State in any number of areas, etc. There is plenty that can be done. Making movies about how good our schools are, is not very high on that list.

    Again, Kudos to the mayor, for working to face this challenge.

  2. I ask you again, for the third time, Mr. Scott –

    What is the name of the scientist who conducted the watershed study you quote, and was it THEIR conclusion that development protects the watershed from animal feces??

    If you are quoting a study, you need to make this information available.

    Honestly, if you don’t, I have to conclude that the data doesn’t exist!

  3. The first time I heard Shane Scott speak at a debate I thought he was so ill-informed that he couldn’t possibly win. But he did win and by a wide margin against a very qualified opponent. Every time I have dealt with him or heard him speak since that time has reinforced my initial impression. But he has outdone himself with the claim that the city should be encouraging citizens to use more water.

  4. Wow. Greg Frank knocked that one out of the park. Honestly I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Yes he’s young. But with youth comes new ideas. Mr. Scott seems a bit out of touch. How exactly did the retreat remove students from neighborhoods? Seriously? Last I heard the neighborhood across RR12 has become a parking lot on party nights. Complete with noise, trash, and drunks urinating in people’s yards.

  5. Mr. Marchut what follows is not a critism of what you wrote but rather an attempt to futher expand on the stats you posted. Long story short is that the devil is in the details. The long form, if I may, is this
    This is not a new problem but it is a problem that was predicted years ago. The I.D.R.A. out of San Antonio documented the drop out problem back the late 80’s and predicted our current predicament. The T.E.A. a couple of years later did their own study that showed the problem as being much worse. What has been done to reverse course with regards to the graduation rates or rather the dropout rate? They have monkeyed around with the stats and not much else. This is not a unique situation to S.M.C.I.S.D., it is a statewide problem, but acting locally seems to be the only option available.

  6. Most of the comments posted are nothing but trash. It is clear that the debates are ambushes on Mr Scott by the Thomaides/Kirwin clan. Mr Frank sounds so rehearsed, he has to stutter to allow time to think not to skip a word. His answer regarding education is seriously inefficient. The focus should be our high school! We need a good principal who wants our kids to succeed.
    Greg Frank showed a great lack of leadership when he took a jab at Mr Scott over his name. SM needs better leaders than him or the mayor who chose to post the debate portion he was in on his FB page. What is the purpose? Grow up! No discretion or maturity displayed by either one!
    Mr Shane Scott is the best candidate at the time and deserves to be re-elected! He is a conservative that has stood up for property owners and for less regulation by the city and foreign entities! We must send people to the dais to support him and get rid of the likes of Guerrero, Thomaides and Thomason and Porterfield!

  7. Steven, thanks for the link. Just the first 15 minutes was heartbreaking, and really drives home how much work there is to do.

  8. Speaking of “documentary” solutions, Mr. Scott, can you enlighten us about the flip flops commencements incidence which resulted in to threat to a member of our law enforcement community with termination. This is not the kind of leadership we need in San Marcos. Using your position on the Dias to go after people who are genuinely doing their jobs we entrust them to perform is misuse of power in my book. Mr. Scott, you clearly don’t recall our debate coaching sessions in 2009 with my 20 suggestions to help our at-risk-youth. Ironically, one of those solutions was youth filming the narratives of seasoned citizens who are life long pillars of our community.

    How many League of Cities trips ago? Maybe it slipped your mind like names do. Most endorsements seem to go to incumbents. A reason “why” the endorsement is made by organization would be beneficial to the voters. Wearing endorsements like Cub Scout badges is not first-class leadership; it’s more like student council vs. city council.

  9. Steven, thanks again. I saw got to the clip of the gentleman from, talking about their efforts to sort out the statistics (which I can completely understand), and decided to check out their website.

    It turns out they rank every school in the state, based on attendance, graduation, test scores (SAT, ACT, TAKS), AP courses offered and tests taken, and on and on.

    They had SMHS ranked 837, out of around 1170 high schools. That’s comfortably within the bottom 30%.

    Maybe they need a copy of the upcoming movie, to correct their perception.

  10. Well Ted I am glad you that watched it. I am told by the ad people that perception is reality. Unfortunatly, in this case perception and reality co-exist comfortably. I just wish that people took education as an issue seriously.

  11. I feel as Shane Scott has been a big part of our community and has really encouraged students to get out and vote. He’s very active and listens to everyones point of view. Shane Scott is the better candidate because he has experience and is looking to making San Marcos a better place to live.

  12. Nice plug Stephanie. But Shane Scott thinks the City has more than enough water – even though we have experienced drought conditions – and the Texas Water Development Board’s water plans for this district say quite the opposite (we will run out of water…). Shane Scott also says that development “improves water quality” as stated in some report that he just can’t quite come up with a citation for. Most of his campaign contributions have come from developers who want to build high density subdivisions over the Edwards Recharge Zone.

    I guess if these are the kinds of things you would like to see for the future of San Marcos – no water, a polluted San Marcos River, high density development over the Recharge in the Hill Country, and developers running the show – then, by all means, vote for Shane Scott.

  13. My great uncle sold the land which now has “The Retreat” on it and I want to emphasize that developments such as this are the opposite of what San Marcos needs. Green field development on environmentally valuable (rechange zone) land is silly, especially when it impacts several neighborhoods.

    Furthermore, I did my student teaching at San Marcos high school, I have friends who teach there now, and from my experience the system is not failing the students, its the other way around. There needs to be a change in the communities attitude regarding education if graduation rates are going to change. Ted Marchut is correct, our drop numbers reflect our demographic but things like the vocational program they have begun at the high school is a step in the right direction.

  14. Well in my opinion Lila as far as I can remember Shane Scott isn’t all pro development. If that was the case he would’ve voted yes on sessoms, but he did not. I understand your concern about the water development for the city, but one person can’t be the blame for that. We do have other city council members as well. All Shane is trying to do is make San Marcos a place where people want to live and raise their families. In order to do that we need some development in the city. Development is not a bad thing it brings in jobs and revenues. I do not feel Greg Frank is a better candidate because he has very little experience and knows very little about San Marcos. Shane not only went to school here but has been involved with the community over the past 20 years.

  15. Actually Stephanie, you are right that Shane Scott voted no on Sessoms, BUT….

    we have no idea why he voted that way. He offered very little to the debate, and as far as I know, never explained his reasons for voting no.

    He shows a woeful lack of understanding on key environmental issues that affect our city. Yes, development is crucial to San Marcos’ future, but development that ignores the special problems we face as a city will only lead to problems down the road.

    I don’t care how long a candidate has lived in town…I care if they care enough to learn about the issues we all face and to learn from the experts. In my book, that person is clearly Greg Scott.

  16. Even though we do not know why Shane voted no on Sessoms isn’t the point. He listened to our community as a whole and made his decision based upon that. I’ve listened to both point of views….and by the way the opposing candidate is named “Greg Frank” clearly not Scott. I do belive Shane is very active and he does care enough to learn about the issues we have today as a city. Out of all our city council members besides the mayor Shane is involved and hearing both sides. If Shane did not care I strongly believe he wouldn’t even consider running for council again. Shane is equally making his decisions by listening to our community and looking at what our city needs as a whole.

  17. Experience? I don’t get this. We’re just supposed to keep re-electing the people who are currently in office because only “they” have the experience. That just doesn’t make sense.

    And I’m with Cori. I think Greg Frank has experience that he has brought with him from other places that can give us a fresh look at the City. And he cares. About the people. Just because you have lived here all your life doesn’t mean you care about your neighbors. Obviously. LOL

  18. Whoops!! Thanks for the correction, Stephanie. I’ve got his sign in my front yard, no excuse for that brain malfunction : ))

    Greg FRANK!

  19. Ok so Greg Frank has lived in San Marcos for 2 years am I correct? I don’t believe he knows enough about San Marcos to help make decisions for our community. Shane Scott does care about the community and our neighbors. I honestly did not know who Greg Frank was for the longest time. Ok so he has leadership experience. So does Shane Scott. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my opinion Shane Scott has done a lot for this community. If Greg Frank really cares he should get himself out there and let people know who he really is. Shane Scott has my vote.

  20. I seem to recall that Lila lives in Kyle and has more than once suggested that people who don’t also live there keep out of discussions about “Kyle business”. How ironic to see her posting on an article about local San Marcos politics!

  21. We all drink the same water Dano. It comes from the same underground source. I’ll do my best to see that Kyle doesn’t crap in yours either.

  22. According to his website, Greg Frank moved to San Marcos in 2006 so that would be 6 years not 2.

    The first time that Shane Scott ran for city council, he suggested that the solution to San Marcos’ transportation problems was for the university to build remote parking lots and bus the students into campus. Now how could someone who has lived here for 20+ years not have noticed the TXTram buses that run all over town, including through his own neighborhood, bringing students from remote lots into the center of campus?

    Any fool can offer vague and meaningless platitudes about running for office because they “care about the city” and “want to make it a better place”. No one has ever run for city office on the platform of “turn this place into a hellhole.” Every time Shane Scott ventures from the vague platitudes into specific suggestions, he proves how clueless he is about this city – suggesting the buses, telling us we should use more water, voting for the Retreat because it gets students out of neighborhoods, fixing the schools by making a movie about how smart his daughter and her friends are …

  23. Ok so my mistake that I was wrong on how long Greg Frank has lived in San Marcos. Yes Shane is making a documentary not a movie.. On the school district to show that it’s not the teachers fault or that San Marcos is not a good school district. Parents and students need to get more involved and care about their child’s future. There is no need to comment about his daughter and her friends quite frankly that’s immature.

  24. So Stephanie. It appears you are mistaken on so many things. So, maybe the voters need to rethink whether Scott is such a good vote. He probably is NOT.

    As long as no one attacks his daughter. On which I agree.

  25. No I’m sorry but I’m pretty sure I’m not mistaking at all. I know Shane pretty well. Like I said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That’s is why people get elected and voted out. But today is the day. So GOOD LUCK SHANE SCOTT !

  26. My point was not to attack Shane’s daughter or any group of students. My criticism is of the idea that because some small group of students can succeed that validates the system as working fine. San Marcos High School has 2 student bodies – one that is highly motivated and successful and another that is just marking time until they get arrested, pregnant, or old enough to drop out. It is really easy to just blame the students for not trying and the parents for not caring but that is overly simplistic. Those kids are being failed by families who don’t set high expectations, by schools that fail to engage them, and by communities that except this situation as good enough.

    I think the solution to this problem is to back away from the idea that sending every student to college is a measure of success. College is not for everyone and there are lots of living wage jobs that don’t require college. We should invest in a strong vocational education program where students can get on the job type training in the building trades, auto mechanics, nursing, and other allied health professions.

    But that is really neither here nor there regarding this election since the city council has no say in what happens at SMCISD.

  27. Suzanne, I agree with most of what you said, although I disagree on the solutions. I would add, that many of the disengaged parents are products of the same schools and the same problems.

    It is going to take a lot more than a feel-good film to address these challenges.

  28. Although this story is about the candidates running for Place 6 on the San Marcos City Council, I am always happy to see people having an honest and candid conversation about our school district.

    Here is a link to an article appropriately titled, “The poverty myth persists.” (Thanks for letting us post links, Brad!)

    Suzanne, you mention families that don’t set high expectations but you also say that we need to “back away from the idea that sending every student to college is a measure of success.” I disagree. Having the expectation that every student can and should go to college is exactly what we should do.

  29. What kind of world would this be if everyone went to college and all got jobs that required a college degree? There would be no one to build houses or fix our cars or cut our hair. I agree that every student should be given the opportunity to go to college but I don’t think it helps anyone to push them into something they don’t enjoy or that is a constant struggle for them. Realistic expectations are the key.

    Success in college requires strong abstract reasoning skills, the ability to learn in a lecture setting, and the ability to demonstrate knowledge via written tests. Not everyone has that skill set. That doesn’t make them less valuable but when you push those kids to go to college you are setting them up for failure and frustration. They can keep trying to learn calculus and feeling like an idiot or they can give up and join the dropouts. A vocational education program gives them a 3rd option where their spatial reasoning skills, mechanical aptitude, and preference for a hands-on making/doing learning style are critical.

  30. This is interesting. I just read this on University Star:

    it may be worth knowing that Shane Scott is being sued for Fraud the day before the election.
    You may confirm this lawsuit with the Clerk at the Hays County Court Offices.
    Please call: 512 393-7636
    You may also contact the plantiff, Aaron Caldwell at 512 934 3908 for an interview.

  31. Interesting drift of topic, ” Having the expectation that every student can and should go to college is exactly what we should do”. Let me amend, ” After 2 years of civil service, every student that wants to go on to college can by such civil service EARN the privilege to attend college, since, college is not a right!” Happy trails to anyone that thinks the UNPAID TRILLION DOLLAR DELINQUENT STUDENT LOAN DEBT WILL BE ADDRESSED WHILE WE HAVE A SOCIALIST PRESIDENT/SENATE THAT DEPENDS ON ENTITLEMENTS LIKE STUDENT LOANS/ GRANTS/ ETC TO BUY VOTES! It is amazing how many people have no business in college, and also and expect others to pay for it!~

  32. Not sure anyone was talking about free college, but it is worth mentioning that the last time I looked into it, the university had millions of dollars of scholarship money available, and unclaimed, every year.

  33. Suzanne, I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

    We all know that a majority of our school district is Hispanic and we all know a majority of our school district is considered Economically Disadvantaged. But if our economics were different and a majority of our students came with a different “economic background” we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Our expectations would just be higher.

    I realize that not every student is going to college but could you imagine a San Marcos CISD and a San Marcos where 83% of the graduating class of 2012 attend a 4-year institution and 16% attend some type of 2-year institution? I use those numbers because it’s the breakdown of Westlake High School’s 2012 graduating class from Eanes ISD. I will admit that our demographics and economics are very different but geographic location, demographics, and economics should not be the deciding factor as to what type of education a student receives.

    Suzanne, I honestly think you too want what is best for SMCISD students but our philosophies are just different. Shoot me an email sometime. If you are interested, I’d love to talk to you more about public education in San Marcos, maybe MikeO, and Ted would like to join us –

  34. Very well said JMA. To act as if the echoes of history do not impact us in the present is rather shortsighted if, unfortunately, all too common.

  35. Privilege, not a right, higher education is not for everyone. I just finished wiring the new Career Education Bldg. at SMHS. Over a decade ago a failed administrator rolled into town to run our school system and decided everyone was going to go on to college, dismantled the vocational education program and reassigned the skilled teachers elsewhere. This was one of the biggest mistakes ever allowed by a school district, in my opinion, and I am very glad to now see vocational education returning to the system. Not everyone is suited for college, or can succeed there, etc. That is why higher education is a privilege, not a constitutional right, and never should be!Of course now that we are looking at 4 more years of failed presidential leadership, jobs like mine will continue to recede as roughly 50% of the country attempts to turn it into A FAILED SOCIALIST STATE that does not create jobs, only more government with its drones to appease with entitlements, etc. Watch Dr. Zhivago( spellcheck) and see an example of the results of failed ideologies for yourself…..And, next time you get a chance visit a true socialist or communist country and see what you think about it.( China, Cuba, Mexico,Russia, etc, etc. A bowl of gruel anyone? JLB 🙂

  36. I agree that some students are not going to be college material, and we should have paths for them.

    There is nothing that can convince me that we should not reasonably expect our poor Hispanic students to graduate (and graduate college-ready) at aignificantly higher rates than they do today. There is just too much data indicating otherwise.

    If we do not have enough options for kids who are not college material, that negative does not cancel out the negative of our low percentage of college-ready graduates, the two compound each other.

  37. Well said Ted. I grew up poor and I attended university. I didn’t do it because I was better than anyone else but rather I was presented with more opportunities than many of my classmates. That said, in high school, I took vocational courses against the advice of my school counselor. When I was asked why I would want to take small engine mechanics instead of taking the honors course work my answer was simple. I said,” because I could fail.” There is nothing wrong with having vocational education and still expecting, encouraging and supporting the students in this school district to further their education.

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