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

October 18th, 2012
Q&A: Shane Scott on the issues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The San Marcos Mercury asked city council candidates to answer a few questions about their positions on issues. We are publishing them as they come in. Today, Place 6 council member Shane Scott and his opponent, Greg Frank, take our questions. Early voting starts Oct. 22. Election Day is Nov. 6.


Shane Scott, 45

Occupation: Owner, German Elite Autos and BCSFilm Studio, both in San Marcos

How long have you lived in San Marcos? 25 years

Where in San Marcos do you live? Mill Street neighborhood

San Marcos Mercury: The city’s Capital Improvements Program has identified tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments that city officials say need to be made in coming years. Many of these projects are underway but every year many more are deferred for lack of money. Do you have anything concrete to offer in terms of special skills or ideas that will help the city identify more funding so streets and public works projects can be completed sooner?

Shane Scott: As a business owner, I have leadership, managerial and common sense. As a filmmaker, I can see an idea and know how to put each person and working part together to complete complicated tasks.

This city has been behind on its CIP projects long before I was elected to council. San Marcos projected growth has made the CIP projects a priority now that there is a clear picture of what our future looks like as one of the leading growth corridors in the United States.

Unfortunately the lack of federal funding has forced council to be creative and find ways to fund these projects from within. Council has pushed staff to not spend money on outsourcing and supports hiring talents from with in. Although our past two budgets have increased the road and sidewalk maintenance to above $800,000, we still need to find solid funding sources to help meet the demand.

A few ideas that I have been thinking about are to re-establish paid parking. Students currently use our downtown for free parking to attend the university. Putting meters of some type would generate a substantial amount of money. Secondly, our budget is very conservative and staff only budgets for around 2 percent of sales tax. In reality we get around 4-6 percent and sometimes more. I would advocate using at least one percent of this just for CIP projects.

Mercury: You are sharing the ballot with a nonbinding referendum on whether the city should step in to buy property along the San Marcos River known locally as Cape’s Camp. At the same time, a developer is proposing an apartment complex that would include giving 20 acres of riverfront property to the city for a park. Do you think the city should buy Cape’s Camp and adjoining property upfront or take the developer’s donation offer?

Scott: San Marcos is known as the oldest inhabited area around the United States. The river no doubt was the reason early peoples lived and thrived here. I have raised a daughter on and around the river and we both know how important it is to protect it. I currently serve on the Texas Rivers Institute board that is conducting clear scientific data collection that will help create a base line used as a standard of measurement on what effect the river and in what order of severity.

Current data shows that the right kind of development actually protects our river better then being left in a natural state. This is due to better filtration and met water quality standards.

As for the ballot referendum? I as a current council member cannot answer until everything is laid on the table and all facts and parties involved have been addressed.

Mercury: This year, the San Marcos City Council voted to outlaw the display or consumption of alcohol in any city-owned park, including those along the San Marcos River. The alcohol ban goes into effect Jan. 1. New park rules approved by the city council also increase littering fines and ban tobacco, Styrofoam and spear fishing.  Did the council get the new rules package right? 

Scott: Yes and No. There were many good things adopted in the packet of info that was passed, no tobacco in or around children’s parks to more fines for litter. The one issue I had a problem with was the banning of alcohol in all parks. I feel that the issue to remove alcohol was placed in only to control behavior.

I do not feel you should take rights away from everyone when there are only a few causing problems. Enforcement and manpower would have achieved the same result without punishing everyone. I am a huge advocate for individual rights.

Mercury: Will you vote to further restrict smoking in public places or put the measure on the ballot for a citywide vote?

Scott: As someone who hates smoking and smelling like smoke, I would love for it to no longer exist in our society, but at the same time I would not support something that forces business that want smoking in their establishments to stop. I believe that business should decide how and when they run their establishments, not government. The customer can always go somewhere else and supply and demand will dictate if the business survives or not.

Mercury: Under current law, the city can issue only about a dozen conditional use permits to operate a bar in the Central Business District. All the allotted permits were claimed years ago. The current system does allow entrepreneurs to serve alcohol at restaurants but the legal definition of “restaurant” has been in a constant state of flux under city law for the last decade. Do you support changes to the city’s CUP system for bars?

Scott: I feel that the current CUP ordinance is working at the current time. There are flaws with it. I find it inconsistent that we have an ordinance that can be by-passed by just saying it is for economic development. Our downtown needs to attracted a wide demographic and not become 6th street. The community should have input and all small business down town should benefit from each other. Do not limit a potential fit in limited space with rules that cannot be tailored to help support a new idea. Flexibility is important in a growing and changing city.

Mercury: Do you support forgiving property tax over a set period as a way to encourage companies to relocate or expand in San Marcos? If so, what kind of companies do you support giving economic development incentives to?

Scott: Yes I do. Of course all companies looking to move in this area would be very different from each other, so each deal should be based on what the company needs. I always support small business. Everyone wants the Dells and Samsungs, but they are fewer and far between then the smaller companies moving to this area. I think many should be considered for economic incentives as long as they create jobs with good wages.

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62 thoughts on “Q&A: Shane Scott on the issues

  1. Mr. Scott, Could you please provide us the source of this data that suggests development would be healthy for this stretch of our river???

  2. Mr. Scott can you please clear up a question for me? I have been hearing but I want to make sure it is the truth before I repeat it. Is it true you flew first class to a conference on the city dime? My dime?

  3. In short yes, only there not back, the city clerk at the time bought the ticket and said it was the only way to get me to Washington, everything else was booked. If anyone has any questions just email me I’m not into the posting thing, Last transmission thank you.

  4. Mr. Scott I thank you for answering questions from the public in this forum. I believe this is the honorable and healthy thing to do for our community.

    I will pose to you the same questions I did the mayor, based upon your similar response to the property tax inquiry above. I still hope the Mayor takes the time to answer as well; I think we deserve an answer since this issue impacts us all whether we agree with the policy or not. Please forgive me for cutting and pasting but my time is short at the moment.

    Anyways, I am curious about your above response to the property tax waiver for businesses who move here. If I were a business in competition with one of the companies whose risks you have minimized with said waiver (and therefore whose profits you have subsidized) in order to bring them to town, how is this fair to me? If we can afford to give a tax break to bring a new company here why doesn’t the existing company not deserve the same? It seems rather arbitrary to favor the new over the old.

    And, as a taxpayer, where is my proof that such actions are economically good for the rest of us? If we bring X company here at the cost of Y% of the tax coffers, will my tax burden decrease by a similar %? I would really appreciate an answer to these questions that no one ever seems to even bother asking. Thanks.

  5. I can’t believe Mr. Scott blames the city clerk for his choosing to fly first class using city funds. It was his choice to say yes or no to this waste of taxpayer money, not the clerks.

  6. Mr. Scott I am afraid I am going to have to call BS. I have had to fly to DC numerous times both for work as well as pleasure. I can assure you there are numerous flights from Austin or San Antonio every day.

  7. Although it appears that Mr. Scott has “signed off” from this post, I am curious to know if his campaign contributions from the developers for the proposed Lazy Oaks Ranch Development over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone have anything do to with his philosophy that “the right kind of development actually protects our river better then being left in a natural state.” If you subtract his contributions from the SM Board of Realtors and the Fire Fighters, then almost 50% come from the developers of Lazy Oaks. I might be wrong on this, but I am certain that the SM Mercury can investigate and come up with the correct answer. These developers are proposing building approx. 2,500 homes on a 1,300 acre parcel of land that they once tried to sell to Hays County as suitable for the Regional Habitat Conservation Plan. And the City’s Comprehensive Plan (the old one) has this area designated as “VERY low density.” I think the people of San Marcos have the right to know before they head for the voting booth.

    But – Mr. Scott “is not into the posting thing.” LOL Guess that translates into “I just don’t know how to reach out and communicate with the people of San Marcos.” So – just email him……

  8. I think the statement re the river being helped by being developed shows a striking lack of understanding of watershed science. There is a free workshop about this next week Tuesday October 23rd from 8am-4pm at the City of San Marcos Recreation Center on 170 Charles Austin Drive in San Marcos.(Next to Lions Tube Rental) FREE and open to anyone interested in watersheds and water quality, especially riverside landowners or people who live near the many creeks that flow to the river. A speaker from the Meadows Center (formerly River Systems Institute) will close out the day by talking specifically about current and future watershed planning efforts here for Spring Lake and the San Marcos River. The deadline is Oct. 19 for pre-registraton, but I haven’t yet heard that they are too full, so try registering at

  9. I’ve asked the local Meadows Center, formerly River Systems Institute, what board Mr. Scott might be on. They don’t know of this board and could not tell me of an entity named similarly to Mr. Scott’s statement. So I will email Mr. Scott to ask him what he meant, since he is not going to post here, per his recent post.

  10. I’m feeling kinda slow here… why would Lazy Oaks Ranch Development contribute about 50% of his campaign contributions? What is their interest in him being reelected?

  11. I’m following this thread with interest and wish Mr. Scott would explain where the stats are coming from? I think it would help clarify a lot. Also, if we’re talking about city council expenses, let’s post for everyone, not just a couple. I know the election only covers two seats, but it would help us figure out what’s excessive and what isn’t. I doubt Mr. Scott, BTW, insisted on First Class. Come on folks!

  12. I agree with Kate, post all of the council members expenses and travel, and the mayor as well.
    I am sure Mr. Scott did not insist on travelling first class, he may have needed to be in Washington at a certain time, for a certain class or meeting or whatever it may be. As any of you who travel know, flights fill up quickly and sometimes all you are left with is first class. If the clerk bought the ticket then he/she must have felt that getting him to Washington on that flight was important enough for the cost.
    Remember – Shane Scott was the only council member to win an award last year which was earned by taking classes and having enough hours. He used his travel funds to further his education about being on council, isn’t that the whole purpose of these trips??
    You’ve got my vote Mr. Scott!

  13. I contacted the Meadows Center. The staff members I spoke to are not aware of the study Mr. Scott referenced. The Meadows Center does not have a Board, but there is an entity called the Upper San Marcos Coordinating Group that is associated with The Meadows Center; Mr. Scott is involved with that particular group.

  14. I wish that there had been a question about multi-family housing. It is nearly impossible to find a middle class house to purchase in San Marcos that is not near a student apartment community. I do think that we should have student apartments in San Marcos, I just don’t think that they have to be built in environmentally sensitive areas (Sessom Creek LJB area or along the San Marcos River) or in established family neighborhoods (like The Retreat). Since Mr. Scott has been on the City Council and they voted for the fop-five goals for the City – these developments mentioned here do nothing to “promote the middle class” or “protect the San Marcos River.” I do not know his opponent, but I am firmly behind my vote against Shane Scott for council. He doesn’t even vote in alignment with his own stated goals – how can I think he will look out for mine.

  15. PS

    “He used his travel funds to further his education about being on council, isn’t that the whole purpose of these trips??”

    Mr. Scott hardly says two words each meeting. He does not spread the knowledge. He has not been the watchdog he promised.

    And, the only film maker in San Marcos that has benefited from his election is Mr. Scott. What have you done for the art community lately?

  16. Shane, Just trying to find out more about you, I googled and found something you haven’t disclosed. At an address you give as 408 Lockhart St, German Elite is listed as a firearms dealer.

    Here’s what I found:

    Cheaper Than Dirt
    America’s Ultimate Shooting Sports Discounter

    Firearms License (FFL) Holder Network

    The Lockhart address according to google maps appears to be the back of your home. You’ve gone to some trouble to hide this and have not disclosed this source of income on any of your city forms. German Elite is listed only as a used car dealer.

    What are you trying to hide?

  17. Mr. Bateman, Scott or whomever you really are. I am sorry for bringing up a past you are trying to run and hide from. I can only imagine the internal conflict you must face every day knowing you have been lying to so many people for so long. Why would a reputable arms dealer as yourself want to change his name? hmm

  18. Buddy, please elaborate (i.e., fill the rest of us aren’t as good at investigation or history as you are). Sincerely, share what you know.

  19. Assuming Buddy & Waterloo are correct, that Mr. Scott has a FFL doesn’t matter to me, and shouldn’t matter to anyone. That he a) may be violating deed restrictions, b) may be violating zoning laws and c) has not disclosed this business does and should bother everyone.

    Mr. Scott, the public awaits your response.

  20. Winchester I agree, the fact he has a FFL is not against the law and I support his right to do so. What bothers me is why the name changes. I would really like for Mr. Bateman, Scott, ? ? to answer why the name changes, there may be a good reason. I will however continue to investigate. One other thing I am a little confused about is his car business. According to his campaign report he filed with the city clerk that business (wherever it is) makes over $100,000 a year. If that is true Good for him, I wish all small business owners in San Marcos would make that, but why the mystery as to where it really is and what it really does?

  21. I,too, wasn’t able to find any info about Mr. SCott and the Meadows Institute, or the purported data that supports building on the river bank, so I emailed him (per his request above) to please make that info public.

    He’s apparently no longer answering emails….

  22. I found a “Public Participation Plan” for the Upper San Marcos Coordinating Group from the Spring of 2012 on the web. This group was “initiated” by the River Systems Institute at Tx State in 2009 to provide input from stakeholders. This document gives a brief history of the development of the group.

    In June of this year, Scott was appointed by the City Council to represent the City Council on the Upper San Marcos Coordinating Group. (motion made by Prather, seconded by Porterfield, passed unanimously – minutes from June 5, 2012).

  23. While I agree with Shane’s decision to not post on this thread, I do want to clear up some of the personal attacks made against my fiancée. The firearms store previously mentioned is not yet open which is why no income has been reported. Shane’s property is zoned commercial/residential, there are no zoning laws being violated. As for his name change, that was a very personal decision that Shane made in his early 20’s, over two decades ago. I can assure you it had nothing to do with his FFL as ‘buddy’ tried to suggest. For any further questions please feel free to email him, he will respond. Thank you.

  24. These are not personal attacks. They are attempts to try and find information that will reveal the character of the candidate, what his personal philosophy is, and how this might impact his future votes on council – so people can make a more informed decision. If he is going to continue in politics, and you are going to marry him, you will need to grow a thicker skin. I understand it’s not easy. But being under a microscope goes with the territory of being a public official.

  25. Ms. Jones,
    Mr. Scott owes it to the citizens of San Marcos to issue a press release.
    He is an incumbent. It is only fair and ethical to be transparent. He has been paid a stipend and traveled extensively on the taxpayers backs.
    Regards, LM Coppoletta

  26. Ms. Jones, Ms Coppoletta and Knight bring up good points. The fact you came to Shane’s aid while it may be admirable, I am not sure you helped his cause. Because the way Shane has ignored these issues I am afraid the scrutiny has just begun.

  27. Amber, I don’t think you were being thin-skinned at all. I appreciate the information. I’m not sure how much you follow these threads but Lila & Lisa are two of the more emotional posters. Good luck to Shane. He doesn’t owe anyone a press release, he just needs to focus on winning. To do that he’s better off staying above the petty fray of the bickering fringe represented in this comments section.

  28. Mr. Scott’s, advocacy on substantive matters is as much a moving target as his modus operandi answering genuine citizen concerns, guided by research. First, he answers online. Then, says will answer e-mails. Then, Ms. Jones posts. Please, give us a cohesive way to your open door policy. Nice try on the spin, one who does not post real name, for whatever reason. Issue a press release please. Or, do we all have to e-mail one by one all of these questions? Will Mr. Scott be at the debate on Monday night?

  29. To anonymous SMsince95:
    I would like to know what was “emotional” about any of my posts. Seriously? Is it because Lisa and I are women? Geez. Nothing I have posted was “emotional.” Nor Lisa – not that I always agree with her. It has been factual. I have made no personal attacks. Called no one silly names. Please explain how you would characterize this as “emotional.”

    And for the record, I am not now “emotional.” I am just “irritated.” Stop being a troll. And just address the issues.

  30. When you tell Amber “you will need to grow a thicker skin.” it is patronizing, demeaning and emotional. Nothing in Amber’s post implies she is hurt or thin skinned. And it has nothing to do with your sex – both of your past posts speak for themselves. And you both might as well give up on the concern over anonymity. Most boards offer it and most people take advantage of it. Any feeling of superiority you have for having the luxury to post under your own name is unfounded. This argument has been beat to death on this board.

  31. I was being honest with her. Not emotional. She was being emotional. Not me. Not Lisa. It is tough being in politics. And I get that. Very hard questions are being asked about her fiance. But no one has gotten “personal.” If you want to see personal attacks – go over to the Greg Frank thread. They have gotten very “personal” over there. LOL Maybe you can stand up for Mr. Frank’s wife and family.

    I’m thinking — we won’t be seeing you do that….

  32. I find it ironic that the people nitpicking travel records are the same ones wanting to waste $5 million on purchasing parkland that has already been offered for free.

    I guess fiscal responsibility is only an issue for certain candidates, eh?

  33. Mr. Scott came forward when there was confusion over his identity before. It was a media event. Please help me understand why he is now unavailable.

    Looking fwd to the quack science on Thompson’s Island being clarified Monday night at the debates.

    Cape’s Camp is this Tuesday before the P&Z.

    Please issue the press release. The longer you wait the more questions will come up.

    Mr. Scott, your few anonymous friends don’t outweigh your responsibility to the voters and the tax payers who have funded your travel and stipend.

  34. PS

    It’s quite ironic SMsince95 employs the word “emotional.” Because that is exactly the word used about 20 times last Monday. “I’d like to see the staff recommendation about Cape’s Camp so I can make an intellectual vs. emotional argument against the development.”

    The developer was allowed to submit his data all the way to Monday for the Tuesday meeting.

    After 20 calls, finally at 4:15 PM the information was provided to members of the public.

    The meeting was posted on Friday PM outside without enough time for the City Secretary to post the data online. For a Tuesday PM meeting. If COSM genuinely wants input then a little more lead time would be wonderful. Considering that y’all called the board members starting Tuesday to see if it worked with their schedules.

    Why so scared to use your real name SMsince95? You’ve only been here since 95 after all.

  35. got to love a discussion that starts political and ends with kooks. Maybe they are closer related than we want to admit

  36. Stop it! That’s the kind of bullshit talk that delivers our elections into the hands of people who don’t give a damn about us. Local politics matter. The am radio crap doesn’t.

  37. OK Lila, read the posts as they come in. Obviously, at least to me; my response was to Rodney as to “kooks” trust me, they rule the AM airwaves. Has nada to do with SM politics. Humor.

    Or in the alternative, back off.

    Again, humor. If you don’t get it, my bad.

  38. All politics are local. The saying is, think globally, act locally. That’s why some of the local elections are so interesting. But major media doesn’t give a flying f*ck about local politics; it’s only the bottom line with them. That’s why things like the Mercury are important.

    Oh for the good old days of pirate radio in SM

  39. Sorry. My bad. Took me awhile to cotton to the Abe Lincoln quote. Maybe because it wasn’t all that significant anyways.

    But I do agree that the SM Mercury is important. Just sorry I missed the missed the pirate radio days….Maybe it should be brought back…There is nothing on am these days worth listening to. And trust me, I know. I have a radio in my car that I am just hoping someone will steal….

  40. No harm, no foul.

    SM’s pirate station was great. The local government even had props for them.

    Try KTSW, they can be fun. I loved the comment the other day about The Clash. DJ was stunned they came from the late 70’s; and I thought, I got my copy of London Calling from Sundance the week it came out.

    The real deal is an open market place for ideas. Don’t have to agree with them, but we need top share them.
    So, SM95, Dano and the rest of you, god speed.

  41. There used to be a sanctioned radio station, that was shut down after third party candidates kicked backside on the radio debates/shows……ahh good times!!!

    Looking forward to that press release. See you tonight Mr. Scott with my questions.

  42. Which reminds me…what ever happened to public access vs. government access television here in San Marcos Mr. Scott. Do you remember that conversation? And, all the videos you were going to make for the animal shelter. I saw one you made. Were more cut to help the critters?

  43. It was good to see you today Mr. Scott. Thank you for being a good sport and taking a photo. Nice use of humor regarding the debate.

  44. Dano, all I can figure is that you do not watch P&Z and Parks Board and Council meetings, so you don’t understand what parkland is being offered for free, and what the citizens are hoping will be purchased. And you may have also not understood what money is available from Leah Tract. And how the endangered species habitat in our river enables us to get grants for riverside parkland. Let’s get together so we can talk and you can understand the issues. You know how to reach me. Or see me at P&Z tonight.

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