San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz was honored by the National League of Cities as one of five national finalists for the Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award at a recent Congress of Cities and Exposition in Orlando, Fla.”It comes as no surprise to those of us who know Mayor Narvaiz that she is making her mark beyond the City of San Marcos and the State of Texas, said Karla Vining, Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Municipal League. “Her leadership and dedication to municipal government is exceptional.”
Mayor Narvaiz was cited for her leadership and achievements in economic development, environmental protection, community services, and improving quality of life.
She has been recognized for her outreach to citizens, through coffees at City Hall, neighborhood walks, clergy breakfasts, Mondays with the Mayor, an annual Citizens Summit, and moving the city’s elections to November to increase voter participation.
Mayor Narvaiz, who began her third term as mayor in November, led the City’s efforts to enhance economic development in the expansion of the outlet malls, construction of new retail centers, and investment and partnership for the first class Embassy Suites Hotel/ City of San Marcos Conference Center that opened in October.
A unique partnership with Carma Developers achieved the completion of the second railroad overpass in the city’s history built on Yarrington Road, initially paid for by the developer and to be recouped as the subdivision develops.
Other significant achievements were rebuilding Rio Vista Falls, a collapsing dam into a spectacular whitewater park in 2006 and the purchase of 251 environmentally sensitive acres for preservation as parkland/ greenspace in the Spring Lake Preserve.
Under her leadership, the Wonder World Drive extension has begun construction to link Ranch Road 12 to I-35 in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, with the state reimbursing the City for its costs.
She was also cited for forging partnerships with the university, county and area cities to accomplish such projects as expansion of the animal shelter, park purchases, a regional water utility agency, economic development initiatives and river habitat conservation. She has supported efforts by the City to take the lead in the community in energy and fuel and water conservation.
Mayor Narvaiz chairs the Capitol Area Council of Governments and the Hays Caldwell Public Utility Agency. She has been a leader of many business and civic organizations, including San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Hays-Caldwell Women Center, Salute to Educators, America’s Promise, Youth Commission, Economic Development Board, and Convention and Visitor Bureau.
Mayor Narvaiz is the recipient of other honors, including the 2008 Austin Business Journal “Profiles in Power” Award in 2008; Citizen of the Year-San Marcos Area Board of Realtors in 2007; the Sam Walton Business Leader Award, the Small Business Person of the Quarter-Chamber of Commerce, Certificate of Appreciation-Youth Summit; Badge of Recognition-San Marcos Police Department; Salute to Women Entrepreneurs; Outstanding Member-Hispanic Chamber; Community Service Award-Hispanic Chamber; the United Way Volunteer of the Year Award, and Woman of Distinction Award, Lone Start Girl Scout Council.
The NLC’s Women in Municipal Government launched its first leadership award in 2005 to recognize female municipal officials for unique and outstanding leadership in local government. The program promotes the increased representation of women in local government and is designed to encourage more women to run for local office.
Mayor Narvaiz was one of five city council leaders from across the U.S. and the only Texan selected as finalists for the national award. Mildred Council, mayor pro tem of Greenville, N.C. , a 20 year council member, was selected for the WIMG award.
Other finalists were Nancy Bates, mayor pro tem of Farmington Hills, Mi., Anne Hoyle, council member from Hickory, N.C., and Nancy McNally, mayor of Westminster, Co.
by Melissa Millecam
City of San Marcos