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

August 4th, 2009
Thomaides, Coppoletta file for council race

Councilmember Pam Couch, left, said she will not run for re-election this year, while Councilmember John Thomaides, right, filed for re-election Monday, the first day of filing. Photo by Andy Sevilla.

Associate Editor

Election season is gearing up in San Marcos, where two candidates threw their hats in the ring for city council positions Monday, while an incumbent stepped away.

As expected, Place 6 council incumbent John Thomaides filed Monday, the first day of filings for city offices. Thomaides will seek his third term on the council. As yet, no opponent has emerged.

Lisa Marie Coppoletta, defeated in a council race by Chris Jones in 2008, announced in the spring that she would run for the Place 5 city council seat presently held by Pam Couch. Coppoletta did, indeed, file Monday. But Couch did not.

Couch said she will not run for office in 2009. Thus, two open city council seats are, to this point, uncontested. But prospective candidates have until Sept. 2 to change that.

“This has been a hard decision to make because it has been an honor and privilege to serve on the city council for three years,” Couch said Monday.

Couch, who won the seat without an opponent in 2006, did not give a reason for declining to seek re-election. Coppoletta moved quickly to be sure Couch would have an opponent this year, announcing her run for council in late January.

After campaigning without a treasurer and signing a state ethics agreement to neither raise nor spend $500 in the 2008 election, Coppoletta has taken a different approach in 2009, hiring Griffin Spell as her treasurer and saying in January that she planned several fundraisers.

“My work production as a candidate has been consistent:  gather the data, make sense of the root cause and effects of the problem and offer workable solutions,” Coppoletta said. ” I will continue to campaign on the issues of protection of natural resources, neighborhood integrity, veterans initiatives, affordable housing, green collar jobs, transition to no kill shelter, programs for at-risk-youth and online availability of data for citizens via the city website.”

Thomaides said he has enjoyed his years on the council, despite quite often being on the minority end of split votes opposite Mayor Susan Narvaiz. He added that there’s much work to be done.

“I have the passion, the desire, and the commitment to serve the people of San Marcos,” Thomaides said. “That’s the driving force behind my decision.”

Thomaides said he will push to work with regional partners on freight relocation and commuter rail, build on the city’s success with the state and federal levels of government, work for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, protect the San Marcos River, help attract business, revitalize downtown, and learn from the council’s shortcomings.

“It’s wonderful to look back and see some of the successes while on council,” Thomaides said, “to really make great improvements and really make a difference in the long-run.”

While Thomaides has wrestled with the mayor about water conservation and economic development policies from the dais, Coppoletta has made herself visible protesting policies considered by the city council, ranging from mandatory microchipping of pet dogs and cats, to a proposed subsidy for a Springtown Center re-development, to asking for an ethics policy much like that recently enacted by Hays County.

“(I) recently spoke in opposition to Springtown abatements and submitted models of green industry in which a small business paradigm is fostered,” Coppoletta said. “I discussed this philosophy in a variety of forums, and after all, this makes sound economic dollars and sense to allow the downtown dollar to circulate via small businesses, thereby enhancing perceptions of tourists travelling the IH-35 corridor.”

Thomaides said his campaign is fundraising and will officially kick-off with fundraiser on Sept. 14 at the Root Cellar by the Courthouse Square. Thomaides said he wants to make the square “into a first class downtown and core of the city.”

Said Thomaides, “I will accomplish things on council. I will accomplish things (San Marcos residents) want to occur. And I have the experience to get them done.”

Coppoletta’s campaign is mobilizing through new and innovative social measures, much like those used by President Barak Obama during his 2008 presidential bid. Coppoletta said she is a host of two radio talk shows on the Internet.

“Throughout 2009, I have focused the campaign’s energy via online communication,  Myspace, Twitter, Blogging, Website, Youtube, Skype, Facebook, Blogtalk Radio, Meebo, LinkedIn,” Coppoletta said. “More importantly, our campaign has been walking door to door and has over 2,000 leaflets out and posted online via Google map of speaking directly with residents.”

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0 thoughts on “Thomaides, Coppoletta file for council race

  1. John Thomaides is an outstanding City Councilman. He’s consistently stood up to a mayor that plays fast and loose with city incentives. He’s been open with the press and is a supporter of open government. One just needs to look to Quee Susan’s tabling of Springtown for conformation of that. Plus, he’s just a good guy to know who really gives a damn. One of my many regrets about moving from San Marcos recently is that I won’t be able to vote for him. Vote Thomaides!

  2. Newstreamz, I’m glad Sean Wardwell is out of your company or that would have been a pretty vocal endorsement from Newstreamz. I assume (that like in 2008) Newstreamz will not officially endorse candidates, although it’s not uncommon for news publications to do so.

  3. I think Thomaides has (for the most part) done a great job on council. He offers a much needed balance and opposition to the mayor’s pet projects. I think that he would be an excellent choice to keep on council. I do not know much about Coppoletta, other than here in the recent history when she has protested at city hall – microchip and springtown redevelopment – but I look forward to learning more from her. I have heard somethings about her and her husband/campaign manager Daniel Scales, that are less than attractive, but I’ll let time tell me what is true.
    Such a pity Pam Couch won’t run again, I wanted to see if there actually was someone willing, in town, to support her. Perhaps it’s for the best, Pam had her three years, just move on and be merry, and let San Marcos have someone who actually cares and not just be a “yes vote” for the mayor.

  4. Journalists,…are people too!

    Also,…in the election campaigns last Fall, the Austin American Statesman endorsed Susan Narvaiz.

    Although Newstreamz has been politically neutral in the past, while other local news publications have not (either by omission or one-sided reporting), I would not necessarily expect Newstreamz to be bound forevermore, to that policy, especially in light of the dark political clouds that are looming as the perfect storm on our local horizon.

    It should be interesting….

  5. Dave I could not agree with you more. I am very well aware the news publications do indeed make endorsements, usually from an editorial board. Although journalists “are people too” they are held to a different standard than your ordinary citizen. They support in private and at the ballot box, not in the open and unofficially for a publication. That only brings negative light to the journalist and the publication. Like I said before, I understand Newstreamz does not make endorsements. If they now do, I would just like to make sure that it is very well spelled out, and that it comes officially from its editorial board, not one reporter, like all other publications practice.
    News organizations have a responsibility of providing fair and accurate information to its audience. They too are held to a standard of looking out for the best interest of the community. Some publications choose to practice that standard by endorsing a candidate, however, not tainting its reporting of an election and other candidates. Im not in anyway suggesting Newstreamz would ever engage in such ludicrous action, all Im saying is that if they choose to make endorsements this year, it should follow the proper “unspoken guidelines” that most reliable and objective news outlets subscribe to.
    Just an opinion. Im almost positive this conversation is irrelevant though, because I assume Newstreamz will once again stay away from backing any particular candidate by making any endorsements.

  6. Paul, the only reason I wrote it is because I no longer work for Newstreamz. If I were still there, I wouldn’t have said it. It’s a personal endorsement. Now that I’m free to speak my feelings openly without having to worry about ethical concerns, I plan on doing so – frequently. Just because I moved away does not mean I’ve completely gone away. I still have a great deal of love and concern for San Marcos, a city I lived, covered and worked in for the better part of a decade.

    John is a good man, and someone I’m proud to call a friend. If anything, I’d love to see him run for Mayor. I endorse him (for whatever my endorsement is worth) without hesitation.

  7. So back to the point at hand, all responsible citizens should indeed pay specific attention to the policies our elected officials are pushing. We should pay attention on what those seeking office are saying and doing. Therefore making an informed decision come November 3.
    I still maintain that John Thomaides is the best choice for Place 6, perhaps regardless of whoever may dare challenge him in the days to come. But I dont know much about Lisa Coppoletta, I really would like to learn a lot more about her, and hopefully she will acquire a challenger, if for nothing else, debate the very important issues we’re facing. I hope Lisa Coppoletta will host a “meet the candidate” sometime so that I, and others I’ve came in contact with, can better familiarize ourselves with her, who has an opportunity of representing us. I’m looking forward to what the wonderful ladies of the League of Women Voters will do this year to facilitate citizens making informed decisions.

  8. Sean I fully appreciate and welcome your expression. Never would I want my comments to be twisted in anyway to seem that I’m trying to silence you. I just wanted to make it a point to say that yes, you are no longer with Newstreamz, so a conflict of interest does not exist. Also, I wanted to provide my opinion, that if Newstreamz will indeed engage in making endorsements (which I dont think they will) that it follow the normal process through the editorial board and clearly make themselves known for what they are supporting.
    I encourage everyone to voice any opinion on this much needed forum, but more importantly, at the ballot box.

  9. It’s OK Paul. I’m kind of glad you did for that reason, and I wasn’t offended in the least. Journalists should never do that “on duty”, so I appreciate your vigilance.

  10. I have met with Lisa at some of the meetups that I attend and I can tell she cares a lot about San Marcos and the citizens that live here. She fought against mandatory microchiping and the Springtown Center. She definitely has my vote come election time.

  11. Yeah, it’s so totally self-important to support a friend openly. Thanks for pointing that out, whoever you are.

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