Q&A: Get to know the 3 candidates running for San Marcos City Council Place 2

Early voting begins Oct. 21.

Early voting begins Oct. 21.

Incumbent City Council Member Saul Gonzales faces two challengers—Devin Barrett and LMC (Lisa Marie Coppoletta)—in the race for San Marcos City Council Place 2. Gonzales is serving his first term.

LMC (Lisa Marie Coppoletta)

Length of residency: I have lived in San Marcos since 1986.

Top three priorities: balanced budgets, environmental stewardship, land-development code.

Why are you running?
Streets are congested, with construction lasting longer than timelines that contractors were allocated, making it difficult to get through San Marcos. I have a willingness to work with our local taxing entities (Hays County/San Marcos CISD) to work on lowering tax rates that maintain and protect our property values at the same time, ensuring affordability for our disabled and senior citizens on fixed incomes and our low-to-moderate-income families, thus maintaining the integrity and unique character of our neighborhoods throughout San Marcos.

What experience do you have that prepares you to sit on City Council?
My name is Lisa Marie Coppoletta, B.A. and M.A. from Southwest Texas State University in communication studies. I have taught speech communication for three decades at private [and] state universities and community colleges working with first-generation students, veterans and those with disabilities. I have been involved in San Marcos for 30 years. I served on the art commission and neighborhood commission.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city?
First, the money that the federal government gave San Marcos to help flood victims has not been spent the way it was allocated—for projects benefiting those neighborhoods by improving infrastructure—or has it truly helped the victims of the floods. Second, rules that are in place for due process need to be followed by council members so all stakeholders are on an equal playing field. The current communication situation between City Hall, the neighborhoods and the business community often creates division versus community-building on common goals.

How can the City Council best foster economic development?
Where are neighborhood small area plans rollouts? Where are incentives for builders with innovative, green design standards? Why must MUD, TIRZ, PID be attached to employment centers? Let's keep an equal playing field. Core 4 includes the city of San Marcos, Hays County, San Marcos CISD and Texas State University. I envision “The Essential 2: The Business Community and The Taxpayers.”

Saul Gonzales

Length of residency: I am a lifelong resident of San Marcos. I was born and raised here, attended San Marcos schools [and] live and work in San Marcos. My children and grandchildren also live in San Marcos.

Top three priorities: economic growth to increase our tax base and provide livable incomes for our citizens; support and protect our single-family neighborhoods from high-density apartment complexes; encourage affordable housing options for all citizens.

Why are you running?
I am running to continue to serve the people of San Marcos as I have for the last three years as a councilman. I want to do what is best for San Marcos—to provide growth and economic development while preserving the beauty, culture and heritage of the city.

What experience do you have that prepares you to sit on City Council?
I have served on the drainage advisory board for two years. I served four years on the zoning board of adjustment and seven years on the planning and zoning commission. Currently, I serve as the Place 2 city of San Marcos council member and deputy mayor pro tem. I serve on the workforce housing committee, rental registration committee and census committee as part of my council duties.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city?
Affordable housing options for all residents while preserving our neighborhoods and downtown community. Keeping a tax base that is reasonable and helpful for citizens is also necessary.

How can the City Council best foster economic development?
The best way to foster economic growth is to provide incentives to new businesses while maintaining a positive tax base and livable wages for our workforce.

Devin Barrett

Length of residency: almost four years, since August of 2016.

Top three priorities: better housing standards and affordable housing, cleaner river and a plan to keep it clean for future generations; more available parking throughout the city.

Why are you running?
San Marcos is a rapidly growing and impressive city that is facing a host of issues that come with these growing pains. These issues include housing problems, environmental issues and space, especially in the way of parking. I’m running to be the voice of all San Martians, and as a student at Texas State University, I believe that I will be able to foster a better working relationship between the university students and [the] local community.

What experience do you have that prepares you to sit on City Council?
I have been a member of the San Marcos Human Services Advisory Board for the past two years. Within this time, I have been able to learn a great deal about the issues that the city faces in terms of social services, with special regard to food insecurity and lack of affordable housing in our communities. This has prepared me to see how city policy impacts all aspects of life in our community.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city?
The greatest challenge that our city faces is housing. This city is growing, but our housing capacity and standards are not. This can be attributed to a number of issues, some of which are the predatory nature of student housing complexes that not only hurt students but all San Martians through the unregulated rates and standards in place currently.

How can the City Council best foster economic development?
The City Council can best foster economic development by supporting the local businesses in the city, first, and second, by bringing dependable and responsible industries to the city that won’t destroy the inherent beauty of San Marcos.

By Katharine Jose

Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


Nellie's provides one-on-one appointments for dogs who may have special needs. (Courtesy Nellie's Dog Grooming)
Nellie’s Dog Grooming now open on Old RR 12 in San Marcos

The grooming shop offers all-natural and hypoallergenic products.

San Marcos City Council voted to buy 102 acres not far from Windemere Farms, also along Sink Creek, in 2017. (Marie Albiges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Windemere Farms partners with Colorado River Land Trust to preserve property

The land borders Sink Creek, which flows into Spring Lake.

The project will bring water from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer to San Marcos, Buda, Kyle and other consumers in the region. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Alliance Regional Water Authority begins construction on Buda-Kyle segment of regional water supply pipeline

The $213 million project will eventually supply water for San Marcos, Buda and Kyle.

Complete Autoworks opened Jan. 6 in Kyle. (Courtesy Complete Autoworks)
Complete Autoworks now open in downtown Kyle

The new shop opened on Front Street on Jan. 6.

Texas Disposal Systems presented a symbolic check for $1.5 million to the city of Kyle. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Disposal Systems renews contract with city of Kyle, donates $1.5 million to veterans memorial

Kyle City Council renewed its contract with Texas Disposal Systems and accepted a $1.5 million donation from the company at its Jan. 21 meeting.

The second opportunity for the community to give input in the transit plan will be Jan. 28. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
The city of San Marcos seeks input from the community as it advances transit plan

Residents attending the meeting will have the opportunity to address the proposed transit redesigns routes and other concepts based on feedback from a previous community meeting back in Oct. 2

Residents of Hays County gathered Jan. 17 to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Permian Highway Pipeline opponents gather in downtown Kyle

Organizer Purly Gates said she hopes to make locals more aware of the potential impact of the project.

The new position will return Moreno to where she started her career in 1991. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Hays CISD hires Patty Moreno as first-ever fine arts director

Moreno began her career at Kyle and Tom Green Elementary schools.

Shipley Do-Nuts opened Jan. 22 in Buda. (Courtesy Shipley Do-Nuts)
Shipley Do-Nuts opens Jan. 22 in Buda

The doughnut and kolache shop opened on Main Street.

Melissa McCollum was hired as the new director of planning for Buda. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Buda hires Melissa McCollum as director of planning

McCollum has worked for the cities of Cedar Park, Georgetown, Bastrop and San Marcos.

The property has also been home to a minihorse named Shorty and a minidonkey named Spot. (Katharine Jose/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cross Plants and Produce closes Kyle shop and nursery

The owners have sold the property after receiving an offer on the land.

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