The University Star is endorsing Place 5 incumbent Ryan Thomason for a second term on the San Marcos City Council.
Thomason is practical in his approach to student housing development, which has historically been a hotly contested issue. Thomason believes in putting student housing close to campus. This would give more students the opportunity to walk to school, thus helping to alleviate traffic problems in the city.
Most recently, Thomason voted “yes” to the Sessom Creek development, which would have put student housing right across the street from the new North Campus Housing Complex. That proposal was voted down, but the fact he understood the positive impact it could have on students was encouraging.
It is no secret parking is a source of continual frustration for students, and trams can get cramped at peak times. Putting more student housing close to campus could alleviate these pressing problems as the university continues to grow at an extreme rate. Residents were overwhelmingly against the Sessom Creek development for some legitimate reasons, but these issues are not cut and dry. Ultimately, more good than harm could have come out of the development in light of these transportation issues.
Thomason is also for developing and renovating the downtown area of San Marcos, some of which is in desperate need of a facelift. Thomason’s experience in the construction business, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Economic Development Board demonstrates he has an understanding of how to accomplish that goal.
Thomason also opposed the complete ban of alcohol in all city parks. The draw of drinking beer by the river brings in thousands of tourists each summer, and the city council’s decision to ban that activity was overreaching. Again, Thomason was outvoted, but at least he stuck to his guns yet again.
Melissa Derrick is not a bad choice for council, but appears to be a one-issue candidate. Derrick is focused on keeping single-family housing from being rezoned to multi-family. It is important that the needs of both students and residents are balanced, but Derrick appears to only consider the latter group.
Derrick’s eagerness to participate in democracy as a resident is a good quality. Her willingness to step up and run for a council seat is admirable, especially when the incumbent’s views concerning development did not align with her own. However, she does not understand a significant portion of San Marcos is composed of students, and their concerns cannot be ignored.