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

October 29th, 2013
Guest Column: How about a little dissent on city council?

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I have learned so much from these two election seasons.

Fire fighters are concerned that first responder expansion won’t keep up with growth. Law enforcement had to choose between a pay raise or adding additional officers for Friday and Saturday nights at the Square. Texas State provides financial assistance because apparently TxSt is afraid it crime rating will go up rather than being a good neighbor and helping to police its own students downtown!

Indeed the hostility toward Texas State is palpable. Instead of taking it out on the kids, it should be taken out on the Texas State University System Board of Regents, who don’t give a damn about the footprint of Texas State on the people of San Marcos or make any contribution to pay for the expenses it incurs in San Marcos.

Thirty-eight percent — 46 percent by one statistic – of people in San Marcos are below the poverty line. This is what author Chris Hedges would describe as a “sacrifice zone”.

Nearly 30 percent are single moms with kids and nearly 40 percent of that figure single moms with kids under five years of age. Both Jesus and Pope Francis ask us to care for the poor, and Pope Francis says that the global economic system should work for people, not profit; that people should be the center of the economic system, not money; that money should work for people rather than the other way around. I am not Roman Catholic, but may I say that I agree with Pope Francis? And Jesus?

Unregulated, uncontrolled growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Fees for trees should be eliminated in favor of planting more trees. In my development, why can’t the developer put two trees in the front rather than just one?  And why couldn’t new neighborhoods and new gigantic apartment complexes be designed around a large central green areas with trees planted and places for people to interact in nature instead of cubicles?  Quality of life.

To get anywhere in San Marcos, it is hard giving directions to people. For instance, the new construction at Hopkins and Moore does not have a sign that says “Old Ranch Road 12”. The Interstate 35 highway signs have few of our city’s street names on them. Not Hopkins, not Guadalupe, not Wonder World. Does it take running for city council to suggest that these sorts of annoyances and nuisances to people of Hometown San Marcos should be attended to rather than, say, roundabouts?  Roundabouts?!

And global warming. Every development decision is a global warming decision. More, sustainable growth and both green areas and wild areas might be nice. What about requiring solar panels in every new development, whether commercial or residential?  Or buying acreage and putting in wind farms to reduce our carbon footprint which contributes to what will be catastrophic Global Warming Tipping Point sooner rather than later. Anyone notice, as I do when I swim in the river, that the river is low, that rains are infrequent, and that winters are now mild instead of filled with sleet and ice storms?

Worse, the oligarchs won’t let us have a straight up-or-down vote on referenda. They “Cape’s Camped” us last year with three contradictory props on the ballot instead of a straight up-or-down vote on whether to acquire Cape’s Camp and prohibit development in that flood plain.

This year, they are “Cape’s Camping” us again, with three confusing props regarding membership in the Planning and Zoning Commission. Instead of a straight up-or-down vote on getting rid of the real estate ownership requirement for membership on P&Z, we are presented with three different propositions, none of which address the issue I initially raised last year and I really raised in May.

If 75 percent of San Marcos people are renters and only 25 percent are property owners, then it would make logical, rational, democratic sense that 75 percent of the P&Z members be renters, not the mere two as proposed in Prop 2. Democracy is democracy. It’s okay to, say, oppose democracy in favor of perceived private interest. Neighborhood should be left along the way neighbors want. But I oppose anything anti-democratic, and the city council should have done better by us than by completely avoiding the real estate ownership requirement for membership on P&Z.

And where do these bonehead ideas like the Hopkins roundabout come from? Does anybody in officialdom ask the neighbors or the drivers what they might want doing something completely insane?  My neighborhood has a roundabout, but it is planned for. Not imposed. It works.

So I run for city council, noting that Prop 9 would have prevented me from running last year and this year. Can’t have any dissent from the oligarchy, can we?  Move here, spend your money, but you can’t run for council until after three years and you can never be on Planning and Zoning unless you own real estate here for three years. What’s up with this obsession with three years? Please vote: ”No” on Prop. 9 and vote “No on 1, 2 and 3. And be suspicious of the other props some of which seem suspicious to me.

As before, I was not running against Mayor Guerrero, I was running for mayor. And this time, I am not running against the thinking council member Jude Prather, or the Texas State career counselor Mason Murphy who does wonderful work counseling Texas State kids. I am simply running for council.

New ideas, different perspectives, pro-democracy, pro-regulated capitalism, even dissent — that sort of thing. I invite your consideration and your vote.

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Retired education assistant professor THOM PRENTICE is a candidate for San Marcos City Council Place 2 against incumbent Jude Prather, the Hays County Veteran Services Officer, and Texas State career services advisor Mason Murphy. All candidate have been invited to write a guest columns on subjects of their choice.

Read more in this series

» Guest Column: San Marcos at a crossroads by LISA PREWIT
» Guest Column: Taking San Marcos from good to great by MASON MURPHY
» Guest Column: How about a little dissent on city council? by THOM PRENTICE
» Guest Column: A lifetime of service, more to come by BILL TAYLOR

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4 thoughts on “Guest Column: How about a little dissent on city council?

  1. Hey Thom,
    I live in Kyle – not San Marcos. My view from here is that the development and realty interests in San Marcos will spend whatever it takes to get their preferred candidate elected. Good luck.

  2. I have been a resident of San Marcos for 7 years. I am a licensed real estate agent and a musician so my lifestyle affords me a unique opportunity to observe the agenda that has been set into motion. All of your points are valid and our current council and P&Z members have sold the town out. They and the Good Ol Boy Click are the Power Brokers of San Marcos who are pitting the University against the town itself.

    Our center of attention needs to be brought to a fine tipped focus on what is happening in San Marcos. Politics is more corrupt on the local level than ever. Your vote this election can change the course that our current council and P&Z members have set for us.

    Please understand that we are persona non grata in their agenda. No amount of logic or rational discussion will change their minds. We have gone to great lengths to be heard and they refuse to acknowledge our existence, except when its time to vote…

    The Economic plan is simple: By the Bedroom Student Housing. Bars. Fast Food Restaurants are great for the economy; the student loan driven economy – 8 months out of the year! The other 3 months of tourism that comes here is gone by sun down with little to no commerce going to the town. No job growth unless its minimum wage work.

    They have the media machine announcing to the world that San Marcos is now the fastest growing city in the country! The part of omission is that Texas State is the fastest growing university in the country while the towns population continues to decline, because of the no job thing. Oh and other thing is that we live in a TOWN not a CITY. There is a difference. All expansion and growth is strictly for the benefit for Texas State and our leaders answer to the puppet master of Denise Trauth since 2002!

    Our River is the oldest inhabited body of fresh water in North America Approximately 13,000 years and even this can not be acknowledged or protected! Our initiatives need to reflect the beauty of San Marcos not the total objectification that has been going on for so long.

    We are better than this. Like polar opposite better than this.

    The bright minds that call San Marcos home deserve better leadership. The Integrity and Ethics that is necessary to protect and serve our community is the minority and by voting for Thom Prentince and Lisa Prewitt this election, we can turn this ship around and set our sails for a better quality of life.

    As you cast your vote:

    Remember Sessons Creek. Remember Capes Camp. Remember Hillside Ranch. Remember Buie Tract. Remember Jaime.

    Nanu Nanooo!
    Pasqualee Rivette – San Martian.

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