San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 19th, 2008
Realtor and unchallenged Place 3 candidate runs on "call of duty"

Fred Terry, running unopposed for San Marcos City Council, Place Three, (the seat currently held by Daniel Guerrero), became a council candidate because he said he felt, “a continued call of duty. There is still some things out there that I could do for the citizens of our community.”

Terry filed his candidacy on the last day to file and the day after Saul Gonzales filed for the same position. (Gonzales withdrew his candidacy on the last day citizens were allowed to withdraw.) Terry said his candidacy “wasn’t a challenge to” Gonzales. Terry said he had been “thinking about running for office for quite some time.” Terry said he and Gonzales had conversations in which “we both agreed that it would probably be more advantageous to our community if I was to serve rather than him.” Terry said Gonzales “has agreed [to] work with me in this office, “and that he will “give me his views.”

Terry explained the circumstances of his withdrawal from the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission. He said since his appointment, “There was a clarification as to what ‘residency’ means.” Although he declined to go into details, Terry said he did not personally own real estate in San Marcos and moved his residency so he “can help take care of [his] mother.” He concluded by saying that he does own property but “I don’t own the residence I live in.”

He said his six years on the Planning and Zoning Commission is his most important qualification for city council. He also pointed to his membership in the Hays County Transportation Advisory Board as giving him experience with both transportation issues and the county government. Terry said his business degree from the University of Houston “could be useful helpfully, hopefully” in his city council position.

“Not much”, is what San Marcos offers Texas State University graduates, said Terry. He would like the city to retain college graduates by attracting new businesses that require a college -educated workforce. “I’d like to see some kind of opportunity” for Texas State graduates so they could use their education here.

Terry pointed to the city’s repeated purchases of water rights as the reason for the high water rates in San Marcos. He said some cities in the area “have not had that forethought and that may be why their prices are lower than ours.”

For Terry the three most important issues facing San Marcos in the next five years are insufficient single -family housing, mobility and employment. Terry argues that there has been “very slow growth” as far as new housing communities being built in San Marcos. He said the hospital and the HEB distribution center are expanding and the hotel conference center is set to open, and yet, “the people who are going to be working there” will not be able to buy homes in the $120,000 to $140,000 range because “we just do not have that in our inventory.”

Terry said the Wonder World drive extension and the Downtown Master Plan help address the issue of mobility. However, he said more work needs to be done because “it’s going to be a problem if we don’t do something about it.” If there was one thing he could get from the federal government to help San Marcos, it would be money to move the railroad tracks which Terry says would help tremendously with our transportation and mobility issues.

The third most important issue for Terry is employment. Although San Marcos’ unemployment rate is low, Terry says that, “we need to bring some businesses here that retain” Texas State graduates and “to hold the people that live here, give them and opportunity to work here.”

In closing, Terry said the reason he is running for office “is to continue my call to duty.” He promised he would be available to citizens always and asked them to call him on anything. “I’m not running for an agenda. I’m not running just for any other person than myself and the citizens of San Marcos.”

by Ed Milhalkanin

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