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City Council discuss poverty, climate action and hate crimes

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The San Marcos City Council met Monday to hold discussion and to approve an 18-item agenda, including a presentation on poverty in San Marcos, the council’s implementation on a Climate Action plan and a discussion with Police Chief Chase Stapp on preventing hate crimes.

Here are some highlights of Monday’s meeting:

Thomas Longoria presentation on “Understanding Poverty in San Marcos, Texas: A Comparative Perspective”

Thomas Longoria, professor of political science, brought to the council’s attention the poverty growth rate in San Marcos, with a census that was conducted on students in San Marcos as well as non-student residents.

Longoria said the essential question to his research was looking at the effect students had on the poverty rate and statistics in San Marcos.

“The former City Manager reached out to me, as did folks at the Greater San Marcos Partnership,” Longoria said.

Longoria said the increasing population in Austin plays a factor into the poverty that inhabits San Marcos.

“San Marcos might be one place to find more affordable housing,” Longoria said.

Council members were impressed with Longoria’s findings and work on studying these trends, and how they can accommodate for everyone while creating new jobs and housing.

Longoria and Council expressed their readiness to work together to further study the issue and see what can be done from the perspective of city government to fix the the poverty issues.

Climate Action Agreement

Mayor John Thomaides discussed a Climate Action plan that does not exist currently in San Marcos.

“When the U.S. Federal Government pulled back from the Paris Climate Agreement, a lot of mayors across the country decided to really revaluate and decide as cities, that some of these same goals might be able to be accomplished,” Thomadies said.

The plan’s proposal calls for lowering green house admissions and taking the different elements of the Paris Climate Agreement and making them workable in San Marcos. Thomaides instructed staff to begin developing a plan.

The mayor also plans to partner with the university to come up with solutions for becoming green friendly.

Chief Stapp discusses hate crimes

Police Chief Chase Stapp talked on community outreach within the police department to help develop a trust among locals. Stapp explained that the reason hate crimes aren’t prevented is because of this relationship between officers and citizens of San Marcos. Stapp said law enforcement is working to build that relationship so that citizens can feel comfortable to report such heinous crimes.

The council generally meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at City Hall, however this meeting was moved to Monday due to National Night Out.

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