Mason Murphy, candidate for Place 2 on the San Marcos City Council, sat down with The University Star to discuss his platform and the ideas he will bring to the table if elected.
TT: Why did you want to run for city council?
MM: Why I wanted to run for city council is, I have a background as a career counselor and I wanted to use that background, working with employers and employees to help bring jobs to San Marcos. I know the average income in San Marcos is around $26,000, but I believe we have to find ways to effectively address that. I would like to address that by working with small businesses to help sustain them and help bring manufacturing businesses to San Marcos, but also to utilize my background to go out and recruit businesses to come to San Marcos that will help to give our residents quality jobs.
TT: How do you feel you can use your experience at Texas State as a career counselor in a potential role on city council, beside helping to bring jobs here?
MM: Being in an education setting as an employee, I have an understanding of both the K-12 system and the higher education system. And how I would like to utilize my background is to work with the school system to help address the K-12 level issues of poverty by working with nonprofits and churches to create programs that will effectively address those issues. It’s just another way that I would like to utilize my background, even though city council doesn’t directly deal with the funding. That’s what the school board does. I feel that as a city councilmember, we should still be able to offer ideas and work with the community to develop programs to help our citizens.
TT: In your platform on your website, you say that you would like to address issues in the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. In your opinion, what are the biggest issues facing the district and how do you propose to fix those?
MM: It is along the lines of working with the students and addressing those issues of poverty, which some of those issues are helping our students with, for example, if students need a mentor. There are programs that are in place, but also continuing to develop those types of programs to help students, not only to mentor them from a personal perspective, like the Boys and Girls Club would, but also to help them with tutoring from an academic perspective. So I think there’s programs that exist, but (there’s) also ways that we can build on that. By helping students with both academic and personal issues, we would be raising them out of poverty in a small way.
TT: You’re running against an incumbent, Jude Prather. How do you feel about running against an incumbent, what do you think the challenges are with that?
MM: Well, I believe my opponent, he’s a really great guy, and one of the things I have to do as a candidate is to present my own vision for the city, but also be able to talk about my background and how I can effectively bring that to the city council. And what I mean by that is what I would want voters to do is to look at the ideas I propose and to look at my candidacy as if they were interviewing me for a job.
And so I believe I have the background, the educational background, I have two master’s degrees, one in higher education administration and one in public administration. I’ve worked in my field for 11 to 12 years. I’ve served on boards and commissions involving planning and zoning and infrastructure and disability awareness. I’ve also served on the Comprehensive Master Planning Committee. So I would like residents to look at my background and what I can bring. That’s what I can present as a candidate, my vision and my background and how I can effectively utilize that.