San Marcos master plan to focus on young people

The City of San Marcos is developing its first master plan that focuses on the social and physical development of children and young people.

Scheduled for completion in June, the youth master plan aims to provide a long-term vision for the city's efforts to improve family, community and school support, with the eventual goal of building a stronger future for San Marcos residents.

"We want physically and emotionally safe kids," said Bea Flores, co-chairwoman of the master plan steering committee and director of student services for San Marcos CISD. "We want them to be socially and civically connected and academic or vocationally productive. I think a lot of things that we don't see with our kids is that they are not socially or physically connected. We have a lot of students that come through our system and somehow miss that."

The City of San Marcos began developing the plan in August 2012, designating $50,000 for consulting services and other expenses. Gage Sears, a committee co-chairman and San Marcos High School senior, said he hopes that in the future, the master plan can be used as a model for other cities to consider.

"We envision the youth of San Marcos to be proud of our educational institutions," said Sears, who is also a member of the city's Youth Advisory Council, which includes students in the city's public, private and home schools. "To be able to participate in successful youth centers, both social and recreational activities, and to be able to live in a clean, safe environment and home life."

The committee's third co-chairman, San Marcos First Baptist Church Pastor Mark Newton, said everyone in San Marcos is responsible for the wellbeing of the city's young people.

"We have a great need to provide for our children and youth," Newton said. "The big picture is to take shape, take aim, target action and track the progress."