Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3 | Kudos: +10
For the Record:
I would like to say thank you to my supporters, and to those who remain, that if elected, I will work equally and diligently to represent your issues and concerns in a forum of open and transparent city government here in San Marcos.
Concerning the LWV debate and the suggestion that I would immediately construct a reservoir, please let me say this: the comment was in response to a rapid fire question that required a solution and explanation all to be delivered within the time frame of one minute. This is a complex problem that will require years of study and group input, to determine the optimum course of action. More than likely it will require a combined number of approaches, as our water requirements increase, and the scarcity of water becomes more of a limiting factor on our continued population and economic growth. It was suggested to me in one of my water discussions with a resident here in San Marcos, who comes from West Texas, that a local limited size reservoir could be a solution. She pointed out that each town in West Texas had a reservoir, and why did we not take that approach here in this region. I replied that we had Canyon Lake and Lake Dunlap, but that we still had to pipe it to San Marcos and other than that, I did not know why the concept was not utilized more here in the region.
I only mentioned this in the debate as a possible solution, not as my concrete plan for San Marcos' future water needs. There are a lot of other valid approaches as well, to potentially consider, including those that have been mentioned right here on this thread. Please though,...I will always listen to any and all input,...just in case I might have the misfortune one day, to wake up and find myself to be indeed, without a clue.
As for the original topic of this thread, I would like to make the following post:
Thanks again for taking an interest in our city.
I have held back with my comments on the blogs here on-line in San Marcos, but in reading Mr. Arredondo's letter, and the comments and misunderstandings that it has generated, I feel that I must make an attempt to clear this up.
First of all, our city spending is out of control. Our city debt has doubled since 2004, and in round numbers it has increased from 40 million to 80 million dollars during these last four years. We just expanded this figure by another 4 million dollar corporate bailout at our last city council meeting, although it was by a 4 to 3 vote on city council with our current mayor breaking the tie, in favor of the giveaway. When it comes to our streets and sidewalks and neighborhoods, we have a hard time finding the money, but when it comes to padding the pockets of millionaire corporations and/or helping them out with their "mistakes" we always seem to be able to scrape up another million or two, to slide their way.
The point is that we need to cut back on our city spending.
In proposing a workable solution to this, when I began my campaign at the end of August of this year, I suggested a ten percent target budget cut from each department, NOT to include salaries. This was to be from EACH city department (water/wastewater, electric utility, public works, parks, etc.). In no way was I singling out the police department, and in addition, it is my intent to ?AIM FOR? this ten percent figure, but use logic, good judgment, and common sense as the guide. Endangering the public or ?cutting medical services for sexual assault victims? was certainly not part of my program, nor will it be. That is absurd. As I said, the spending cuts in ALL DEPARTMENTS will be made in terms of cutting the waste and excess, not the necessary public services. I hope that is clear to everyone.
The San Marcos Police Officers Association endorsed Susan Narvaiz in the late spring/early summer of this year, before I announced my candidacy in late August, so in light of that alone, there was never a question of whether they would back me over Ms. Narvaiz in this mayor?s race. I view the contents of Mr. Arredondo?s letter more in the context of a politically motivated letter, rather than one written out of true concern for the ?issues? that are mentioned.
I say this exactly because I spoke with Mr. Arredondo face-to-face at a neighborhood meeting on Franklin Street on October 19th, and answered these (his) exact questions on the issues of neighborhood safety, and his perceived concern of patrol officer cutbacks. At that time I ASSURED him that there WOULD BE NO POLICE OFFICER CUTBACKS, and that clean, quiet, safe, neighborhoods were at the VERY TOP of my priority list. He seemed to register this information, and yet the same queries are repeated here in his letter to the editor. I can now only speculate as to the underlying motive, and reason for ignoring my statement to him and conjuring up these unfounded concerns which are essentially at this point, non-issues.
I have the feeling that in addition to endorsing the current mayor, the San Marcos Police Officers Association reacted sensitively to my remarks at the ASG meeting. I was speaking in a context on specific issues that would be of particular interest to the 200 or so university students that were present in that auditorium. These topics included professional career opportunities for university graduates here in San Marcos, the 2:00AM bar hour non-binding referendum which Ms. Narvaiz put on the Nov. 4th ballot, the critically overdue need for bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian friendly streets, as well as the subject of neighborhood relations between our university students and the established homeowners and residents. I told the students in attendance there, that I would hold them as citizens and adults, accountable for their actions while they are living here in San Marcos, but on the other hand, they deserve equal treatment when they have contact with the police and our city departments and offices. I mentioned that I would emphasize a high level of professionalism to be adhered to, and I think that in most cases we have that here in San Marcos already. I mentioned in contrast however that when one of our departments does something that makes national news, it does not make us look good as a city, and can be embarrassing. Again, the concept of PROFESSIONALISM AT ALL TIMES is the key. When a remark is made to the respectful reply to a police officer?s question as to one?s occupation as being a college student, as in namely ?that figures...?, it is a breach of police bearing and professionalism, and those types of attitudes and actions should be addressed and corrected as a department philosophy, coming from the top down. In the incident that I am referring to, I DO indeed support the officer?s handling of the situation up to that point with the circumstances leading into that particular incident. We are all human and we can, and do make mistakes. I do feel however that professionalism is akin to body armor when it comes to one?s career. If a mistake is made, and one maintains a high degree of professionalism along the way, then that will go a long way in the forgiveness of that mistake. If however, the incident takes place in an atmosphere of unprofessional behavior, then that opens a multitude of opportunities for criticism.
And,...please understand; it is not my objective to criticize the San Marcos Police Department, nor any other department. It is my duty as a candidate for mayor to identify areas for improvement in the workings of our city processes, and bring them to light in accordance with the discussions and concerns of those constituents out there that I have been talking with at length over the past two months.
I would make the request that the readers of this letter use their own common sense and judgment about what is really at issue here, and take that information and knowledge to the polls. We DO need to make some extensive course corrections in our city government process. As I have said repeatedly, we are at a critical juncture in our city development. Our spending and our public debt are sky-rocketing, we as a city are now committing the equivalent of living on our credit cards, and we MUST tighten our belts now as a community. We are ALL doing this at the present on a personal level, and as a city we MUST resolve to take this measure that we all know in our hearts and in our overall conscience, that it is now time to face. This issue is crucial, and it is growing critically overdue, and is compounding daily and in fact at this very moment.
This in contrast and in reality is the clear and present danger that we now see, staring us squarely in the face.
Thank you for your time in reading this, and I ask for your vote and your support on election day.
David M. Newman
Candidate for Mayor of San Marcos, Texas