Election Q&A: Get to know Jane Hughson and John Thomaides, candidates for mayor of San Marcos

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In June, Jane Hughson stepped down from serving on City Council to challenge incumbent Mayor John Thomaides.

For more Q&A’s with candidates from Hays County, San Marcos, Kyle and Buda, visit: https://communityimpact.com/section/vote.

Jane Hughson

Length of residency in San Marcos: 32 years continuous residency in the city, total of 58 years in San Marcos area

Why are you running? I believe I can be an excellent mayor for our city. I have the leadership ability, integrity and commitment to do the job and do it very well. I have spent the last 30-plus years of my life serving the city of San Marcos through public and community service, and I am ready to serve as mayor.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city? Steady growth and change will continue, and we must address the growing needs of our community through building infrastructure, promoting private development of new housing options and encouraging new businesses to provide a wide range of jobs using economic incentives when necessary. At the same time we must protect our neighborhoods, protect the river and protect our quality of life. We must also recognize many residents are in low- to
moderate-income brackets.

Why do you believe you’re the most qualified candidate? I listen to our residents, and when there are differences of opinion, I try to find the common ground on which we can agree. I have extensive experience on public service and community service boards, which provides insight into how to deal positively with our city’s steady growth and change. See www.janehughson.org for the list of boards on which I have served as president, officer or member.

What do you believe the city should do to protect neighborhoods and have adequate
housing for students and families? Our new land-development code, Code SMTX, addresses neighborhood protection and promotes new options for homeownership. It allows for small lots and cottages to increase the number of homes that are affordable for residents. We have a number of processes to provide a close look at what changes can mean to an existing neighborhood.

What do you believe are the top priorities for San Marcos? The City Council has set five priorities for the upcoming year: workforce housing, public transit, stormwater issues, city facilities, and strengthening partnerships with governmental and educational entities in the community. Addressing these priorities, as we address the growth that will we will continue to experience, will improve the city that we call home and add to our quality of life.

John Thomaides

Length of residency in San Marcos: 25 years

Experience: mayor two years, council member 13 years, mayor pro-tem five years

Why are you running? It’s been an honor to serve our friends, neighbors and your family as mayor of San Marcos for the past two years. I’m running to keep San Marcos moving forward. A fast-growing city presents many challenges that require experience, leadership and vision. If re-elected I’ll continue to champion sustainable development, support our small businesses, promote affordable housing and build on my record as a defender of our unique natural environment and neighborhood quality of life.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city? Our city has a significant number of families with incomes below the median wage for our area. The impact of this is felt at our food bank, medical facilities and in our schools. Fortunately, over the past two years, we’ve welcomed an additional 3,000 new jobs to San Marcos. With inevitable increases in population I’m committed to finding ways to facilitate better-paying careers for our current and future citizens.

Why do you believe you’re the most qualified candidate?  The mayor of our fast-growing city must go to bat for San Marcos day-in and day-out. I have the experience of working closely with San Marcos CISD, Texas State University and Hays County as strategic partners to tackle the challenges we face as a city. I work hard serving on the CAMPO board so we receive our fair share of transportation funding. I also initiated the Corridor Mayors Coalition to increase collaboration in our region.

What do you believe the city should do to protect neighborhoods and have adequate housing for students and families? I have a record of fighting for our neighborhoods and against incompatible development while on council. As mayor I spearheaded the passage of a new land-development code, Code SMTX. The code will guide new development, consider the unique characteristics of each neighborhood and provide housing options for everyone. We must continue to follow our code and implement our community-based master plan that considers the housing needs for both families and students.

What do you believe are the top priorities for San Marcos? My top priorities center on keeping the momentum we’ve built over the past two years and continuing to move forward. That includes creating opportunities for more housing choices at all price levels and fewer hassles for small businesses as well as protecting our established neighborhoods, the San Marcos River, and the culture and charm that make us unique. I’ll continue the tireless work to attract quality employers with benefits and advancement opportunities for our friends and neighbors.

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