The city of San Marcos has created an initial action plan for how it will administer a $25.08 million disaster recovery grant stemming from 2015’s two destructive floods. The initial plan has allocated 50 percent of the funds—about $12.5 million—to infrastructure projects aimed at improving drainage. The plan also calls for a 30 percent allocation—about $7.5 million—to go toward housing projects, which could include elevating homes out of the floodplain and offering buyouts to homeowners.

The remaining funds would go toward planning and administration of the grant.

Although City Council created the initial action plan, it is still subject to amendments should a majority of council members wish to make changes. So what do the candidates for San Marcos mayor believe should be done with the grant?

What do you believe the top priority should be as the city begins administering the $25 million disaster recovery grant from 2015's two floods?


brannon-photo Sam Brannon, candidate for San Marcos mayor[/caption]

Brannon: This is a highly complex issue, and I don't know that the answers are as clear, or even all of the questions at this point. I've talked to somepeople who feel desperate in their situation, and who feel like victims of past council decisions, so I think the top priority will be transparency, and balancing the need to move swiftly with making sure that we are being good stewards and providing aid where it’s needed most.






Jacob Montoya, San Marcos mayor candidate Jacob Montoya, San Marcos mayor candidate[/caption]

Montoya: I believe the top priority should be assistance to the homes and businesses directly affected by the floodwaters.  If we're not here to serve the people then why are we here?







mayor-gacis-mug Cherif Garcis, San Marcos mayor candidate[/caption]

Gacis: Housing and rebuilding infrastructure. We need to stretch those $25 million as much as we can to cover the $118 million estimated total needs from those devastating floods. We need to help people back on their feet and provide the services and access they enjoyed before. It's been a year already, and few unmet needs have been addressed to date.





Ruben Becerra, San Marcos mayor candidate Ruben Becerra, San Marcos mayor candidate[/caption]

Becerra: First, make sure residents have recovered. Second, ensure emergency services are well equipped and funded. I had family in Houston when the storm hit our region. Unfortunately, Houston did not receive the same level of care our community provided our citizens. Finally, I would like to make sure we have all drainage options utilized.







John Thomaides John Thomaides, candidate for San Marcos mayor[/caption]

Thomaides: Job one is getting families impacted by chronic flooding back into their homes with reasonable assurances that they won’t be displaced again. Accomplishing this means keeping floodwaters from entering these neighborhoods in the first place and getting it out quickly if it does. I have been a part of the recovery effort from day one and a member of the council that brought $25 million back from Washington, D.C. to help fix this problem permanently.

Candidates are listed in ballot order.