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Old 10-23-2007, 10:41 PM  
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Kim Porterfield - Conflict of Interest?

kim porterfield is running for city council. She is employed with Texas State working as Community Relations Adviser or something down those lines maybe wrong on the adviser part of the title.

Is it just me or is that not a conflict of interest having a Texas State employee esp. their Community Relations employee as a city council member? i know we have had faculty before on the city council but this seems different. what do you think?
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:49 AM  
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I don't think it is. She does actually live in town, and has for nearly two decades, working for many groups other than the university. I think it only becomes a problem if she votes on an issue where she can directly benefit from the city's actions. Just as with any other of the council members who may own local businesses. I think it's about time the council had someone with that perspective. The adversarial situation between this town and the university is stupid. This is a college town. The university has been here nearly 100 years. We've had presidents go to school here, and the town acts as if they are ashamed of it. Something is seriously wrong in this town. We've got one of the larger universities in the state, but our poverty and high school dropout rate are above the state average. The university IS growing. They are developing world class research programs. Why is the town against this? It's not just Sagewood/Craddock (where I'll admit the most common plant is the crushed Bud Light box). There are people who want to act like this is a retirement community. The town should be growing with the university, not in spite of it. We will never be Buda/Kyle or New Braunfels. We are in no-mans-land between Austin and San Antonio. The university is what we have to grow this town in a positive way.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:03 PM  
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i don't think people have a problem with the university's growth but just the problems that come with it. if texas state keeps expanding their enrollment like they have been and zoning laws change it will push all the families out. craddock/sagewood will spread like a diease.

i find her stance on zoning conflicted because porterfield can run on any zoning platform because nothing will effect her personally. she lives in a deed restricted single family neighborhood. easy to campaign on something that doesn't effect you.

it's in the best interest of the university to get the zoning laws changed so students have can start moving into the neighborhoods more. from all her responses and her campaign slogan it looks like she's pushing for a zoning change which would be consistent to what the university wants. i think it's a conflict of interest because anything the university wants she is going to campaign for. the university doesn't really look out for non-students much.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:37 PM  
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I still don?t see it as any more of a conflict of interest than any business owner on the council being able to vote on zoning regulations. My point is that the university and the town should be working together. Having Porterfield on the council MAY help that. Maybe she'll bring a better understanding back to the university of what the issues in town are. It's a two way street. (she would be outnumbered 5-1 on the council) I don?t think she?d be a shrill for the strip-mall developers. I really don't think that Porterfield is going to start a campaign to change the current occupancy zoning rules. I don't think there is the support in town. Also, I really doubt the university has an agenda to get the occupancy zoning changed. (I don't think the University cares about it. It really has little impact on the University. Whether it has an impact on the students is another issue.)

And let?s be honest, Sagewood/Craddock is just the most recent progression in the town shifting the problem from some other neighborhood, instead of working to solve it. (or letting it deteriorate to this point again?) Sagewood is ugly. It is a problem, but everyone needs to take a step back and think about solutions instead of another reactionary band-aid.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:26 PM  
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her husband is a developer or works for one i've heard so i highly doubt she will be against developers.

i think you are right that the town and texas state should work together but i would hate to see san marcos engulf the town. the registration numbers are increasing fast and college students need places to live.

i guess we disagree on the town direction. i like san marcos and own a business here and i enjoy the current zoning laws and the peace it brings to our neighboorhoods. i think san marcos has more to offer than the university and we should not put all our eggs into one basket. to me without it in place slum lords could buy up property, lower our property values, then in return buy our homes when we move to get away from it. i mean who wants to buy a house in sagewood? it's obvious there isn't some quick logical fix to sagewood so it's only going to spread if the zoning laws are changed. i would hate to see that happen to san marcos and i think porterfield would support whatever texas state told her to support. it only makes sense the university is interested in getting housing for their ever increasing student base and the current zoning restrictions make that tough for students to move into the family neighborhoods.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:12 PM  
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We probably don't disagree as much as you think. I don't think the university should be the only thing in town. I would like to see more development of non-chain store/outlet mall businesses. But the university is a truth on the landscape. Not that you have, but I get tired of people acting like the university is dragging the town down. It's not, and it was here long before any of us. It's like moving next to an airport or train tracks and then complaining about the noise. It is one of the main draws of the town. It is something that the city should use as a way to draw healthy development in. Towns grow and change. We can't stop it, but we can have an influence on how it happens.

Not everything is peachy here, but we'd be much better served complaining about the students less and figuring out how to use the presence of the university to bring higher paying jobs to town, instead of just developing another strip mall/chain restaurant/outlet mall. The university should start considering how it's growth will impact the city, and the residents here should figure out how to make the changes positive.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:29 PM  
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Actually, between the river, the hills and some of the stuff we have because of the students (bars, restaurants, etc), this town would beat the **** out of Kyle, Buda or New Braunfels (which I think is a dump and exactly the opposite direction we should be moving). The commute to Austin or San Antonio is not nearly as bad as you would think and people drive a lot further all the time.

There are problems that we need to address and they all go together: good jobs, affordable housing, better balance between property owners and renters, better relationship between the university and the city, better relationship between the students and the "residents" for lack of a better term.

It's all dysfunctional and each piece feeds the others. No, the students are not the only problem, but they are as much of it as the rest of us. I should not have to pick up beer cans and fast food wrappers every Saturday morning, listen to stereos blaring and cars skidding through the stop sign at the end of the street in the middle of the night, marvel at drunks driving over mailboxes, boulders, stone walls and anything else that gets in their way, picking up dead pets on the side of the road, wondering when it will be someone's kid, etc, only to have some ******** on Sagewood tell me that I should have known better than to buy a house near "party central".

You're tired of hearing the students get blamed? Me too. I'm also tired of hearing that they are not part of the problem and the rest of us are unreasonable, meanwhile, nothing changes.

Yeah, there's plenty to be fixed around here and it all feeds into itself. It's a damn shame.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:29 PM  
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Semi-native,
You are right, and I don't mean to insinuate that all the students are perfect. They aren't. Sagewood is an eyesore and safety issue. They obviously need to be taking harder classes if they have that much time to party. I don't have any problems with the cops writing drunk driving tickets like crazy there. I think the city should fine both the renters and landlords who don't keep up their yards (these codes already exist). The out of control parties should be shut down. I just don't like being lumped in with the rest of those ya-hoos. I own my house. I get along with all my neighbors (well except for the bigot behind me who built his company off of contracts for the university and then says how bad all the students are. I don't talk to him much). As I told Norton, we probably don't disagree as much as it seems, but we are probably both touchy about certain issues.

Have you driven 35 N at 7am? It stops in Buda... I don't want anything to do with sitting in that. I know people DO drive that regularly. I'm just glad I'm not one of them right now.
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:40 PM  
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I didn't like being lumped together when I was a student, either and I don't agree with it now. Truth be told, there are several houses on my street that are rented by students and some of them are over the limit for unrelated tenants and I really don't care. Nobody cares and nobody complains because they are good neighbors.

As soon as some fraternity letters show up in the front yard or some other problems arise (not that I think they will), everyone will care and they will be out on their asses.

I commute to San Antonio every day, so yes, I've been on IH35 at 7:00 plenty. The drive to Austin is worse, for sure, but I worked up there for a time too. You should try commuting from New Jersey to New York.

There was a time I commuted because I loved living in San Marcos. Now I do it because I am too stubborn to give up on this town. If there were more jobs here (jobs that pay over $50k), I'd work here, but I'd still be pissed about the other stuff.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:46 PM  
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It seems to migrate back to sagewood: the current poster child for city-university relations, doesn't it?

As far as Proterfield goes, it seems like she has some potential for conflicts of interest, but not in the attorney general sense. Many of the councils watchers understand what happens when developers or their spouses get on council. If Sagewood happened in the late eighties, under Kathy Morris, you pretty much have your answer. There are other examples, like the courting of AMD where the city would give up recently acquired water rights to bring them, but Sagewood hits home and is current.

Her work at the university is also a potential problem. She may provide another information conduit to the school, but more likely it will be from the school to the city. We've had that before in former mayor Billy Moore. Anyone remember Comanche Wells? Techinically not a conflict of interest, but it was clear the man was an instrument of the school before being elected agent of the City. I don't want that situation again, and if you understand that one, you know city-university relations are what they are.

As I've said before, since she has the mayor's support, she's suspect. We don't need another vote for that agenda, and the only thing that would be worse is two...
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