Q&A: Get to know Maxfield Baker and Mark Gleason, candidates for San Marcos City Council Place 1

Two planning and zoning commissioners, Maxfield Baker and Mark Gleason, are running to fill the San Marcos City Council Place 1 seat, which is currently held by Council Member Lisa Prewitt. Prewitt announced in August that she plans to run for a Hays County commissioner seat in 2020.

Early voting starts Oct. 21. Election Day is Nov. 5.

A map of polling locations can be found here. A guide to the statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot can be found here.

See all Community Impact Newspaper election coverage at communityimpact.com/vote.


Maxfield Baker


Length of residency: 12 years

Top 3 priorities: protecting our water resources, incentivizing affordable housing, investing in small and local business opportunities

Why are you running?
San Marcos has become a victim of its own success and needs leadership that will stand up for neighborhoods and our water resources. As a member of [the] planning and zoning [commission], I have voted against developments that could exacerbate flooding as well as luxury student apartment complexes. As your City Council representative, I will continue to confront the perceptions surrounding our most divisive issues and work with the community to find solutions.

What experience do you have that prepares you to sit on City Council?
I’m a Texas State University alumnus (graduated 2012), then worked in human resources hiring and training San Marcos residents. I currently run a small business as a licensed massage therapist, and serve as a planning and zoning commissioner. An effective City Council representative leads by example, amplifies the community's voice and is ingrained in the local culture. My record demonstrates I am committed to San Marcos, and I care deeply about the success of our city.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city?
Affordable housing will be an issue our city faces for years. It’s a complex supply-and-demand problem, which will require a comprehensive look at infrastructure, partnerships and processes to bring solutions to market. At the core of this problem is the glut of rent-by-the-bedroom luxury complexes, which only serve a limited segment of our housing-vulnerable community. We must advocate for our cost-burdened citizens to deter displacement and encourage affordability.

How can the City Council best foster economic development?
The City Council should strive to spend locally whenever possible to enhance awareness of local businesses. When considering bids, among the deciding factors we should heavily weight the potential local economic benefits. San Marcos does have a diverse business community, so we should put them to work whenever possible. By offering benefits to local and small businesses, we will simultaneously inspire more people to bring or start their businesses here.





Mark Gleason


Length of residency: almost 20 years

Top 3 priorities: spend tax dollars wisely, promote fiscal accountability, and find ways to reduce our property tax burden; grow local businesses, support entrepreneurs, and bring higher-paying jobs to San Marcos; preserve and protect existing neighborhoods, rivers, and green spaces

Why are you running?
I am convinced that local government makes an enormous impact in each of our daily lives. I want to serve my community as a voice between local government and all those citizens of San Marcos who work hard every day to better their lives. I want to create a more cooperative working relationship between the city and the university. Above all, our rivers need protection from harmful decisions.

What experience do you have that prepares you to sit on City Council?
I am acting planning and zoning commission vice chairman. I have served on the neighborhood commission, capital improvement task force and participated in the development of Code SMTX. I have attended planning and development meetings and land-use conferences. After historic floods devastated my Blanco Gardens neighborhood, I was inspired to advocate for my neighbors. My own flood recovery and outreach enabled me to learn more about the needs of the entire San Marcos community.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the city?
The balancing act between responsible land use, environmental stewardship, protecting the neighborhoods, housing options and economic development.

How can the City Council best foster economic development?
We need to bring good-paying jobs to our city and find ways to reduce the property tax burden on citizens. Higher-paying jobs yield more opportunities for single-family homeownership, which the city is working hard to promote. Higher-paying jobs and an expansion of the property tax base will also relieve some of the tax burden on homeowners and small businesses.


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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