Candidates for San Marcos mayor, city council places 5 and 6 and other Hays County offices discussed topics ranging from the environment to the city’s development during the Oct. 22 San Marcos Area League of Women Voters debate at the San Marcos Activity Center.
Mayoral Candidate Thom Prentice opened with a show-and-tell, displaying a wooden dowel rod to demonstrate that land would be submerged under six meters of water if global warming continues.
Prentice began walking off stage as he talked. David Peterson, constable candidate and security for the debate, removed the wooden rod from Prentice. Walking around during the debate is forbidden for candidates.
“No, I like to walk and talk,” Prentice said after being requested to move back on stage behind his nameplate.
Prentice continuously touched on the topics of global warming, climate change and “toxification” of the atmosphere.
said the city needs to provide a change in behaviors that harm natural resources.
“Our goal is to really make sure we’re putting forth good ordinances and putting good laws in place,” Guerrero said. “At the same time, we’re starting as early as possible to provide that change in attitude when it comes to conservation and protection of our river.”
Melissa Derrick, city council Place 5 write-in candidate, said the city needs to do everything it can to protect the environment. Derrick suggested the city could eventually use xeriscaping, or landscaping with plants that need no water, to conserve water.
Ryan Thomason, Place 5 incumbent, talked about the issues of sustainability and the environment.
Thomason expressed the need for downtown development, while Derrick said she “has never been more alarmed” with the direction of development in San Marcos.
The Place 6 candidates addressed the issue of development. Greg Frank said he opposes expanded development. However, Place 6 incumbent Shane Scott said he wanted to put students closer to campus so they can walk instead of drive to class.
Frank and Scott both discussed The Retreat, the student housing development highly contested among residents.
Scott, who voted in favor of the construction of the apartment complex, defended his decision to expand development for multi-family housing.
“The first time I ran, all I heard was, ‘We want students out of our neighborhoods,’ so I gave you The Retreat,” Scott said. “The Retreat got people out of the neighborhoods.”
Frank said he wants to provide a voice for residents in neighborhoods.
“I think that (The Retreat) injected (students) into (neighborhoods) in a capacity that is extremely detrimental,” Frank said. “There’s so many people that are just talking about selling their houses and leaving, and those are the people we need to stay there.”