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


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