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notdescript 11-03-2007 07:13 PM

Why the election matters

FACT: Too many neighborhoods have gone too long without basic maintenance.

-- Three years ago, the city budget was $89 million. Today it is $134 million. We pay for this increased spending through our property and sales tax. But neighborhoods like Victory Gardens, Rio Vista and the Wallace addition still go without basic repairs and upgrades to streets, sidewalks and drainage.

FACT: The numbers speak for themselves: We are getting further behind every year.

-- Our citizen-drafted Capital Improvement Program calls for an investment of
$187 million in streets, sidewalks, drainage and other infrastructure for 10 years. Excluding state-funded projects, we're spending only $5.9 million this year on capital projects. (It took a 6-cent property tax increase).

FACT: It's time for new leadership to take care of essential needs. Without making excuses.

-- To be fair, city officials tell us that some projects are in the works. Of course, we've heard it before — "Wait until next year or maybe the year after that." It's time to give someone else a try. You cannot re-elect change.

Jude Prather believes in getting back to the basics.

“No one can promise to fix all our streets, sidewalks and drainage overnight.
But we can do more —starting with areas that need it most.” -- Jude Prather

semi-native 11-03-2007 07:23 PM


Now, why is it that things are the way they are and how would you change that?

Also, I would question the numbers you cite for CIP as a lot is being done right now. Many of the projects are in design and right of way acquisition stages, which is not apparent when you drive through the city, but is necessary before pavement can be put down and does cost money.

I know that there is work being done on Post Road, there are new traffic lights, there is work being done on the Wonder World loop, there was the recent completion of the overpass on Wonder World, etc. I don't have a breakdown of every project and I don't know the details of the funding for each, off the top of my head, but I know that we (San Marcos) aggressively pursue outside funding, to stretch our dollars further and many projects are jointly funded. In fact, engineering is working on CAMPO grants to match our funding on a number of 2008 projects.

Can you provide some specifics? Has Bose voted against certain projects? Which ones? What was the background? Would Jude's vote for the projects have swung the decision in the other direction?

notdescript 11-03-2007 07:30 PM

semi-native. im about to go for dinner so ill get to this in a bit. on the numbers, i'll post the cip matrix i got them from. some projects like post road were part of previous years' allocations so arent reflected in CIP spending for FY07-08. (Also, the raw CIP number for this year is something like $51 million but that includes $45 million plus for the Wonder World Drive extension (the vast majority of which is state and federal funding.) Brad Rollins

semi-native 11-03-2007 07:55 PM

Actually, I believe San Marcos is putting up the money for the Wonder World loop and will be reimbursed for most of it, over a period of years, based on the number of car/miles traveled. Meaning, the more it gets used, the more the city gets reimbursed, with a lower and upper limit to the reimbursement.

So, it is costing us quite a bit today.

Also, I have heard from a couple of reliable sources that the mayor is contemplating killing all CIP projects to fund 110. Have you heard this? How would Jude counter such efforts?

notdescript 11-03-2007 11:34 PM

Here it is in black and white. While the city borrowed $45 million for Wonder World this budget cycle, we're not paying that much this year. Whatever the wisdom of the Wonder World wonder road, it can't be used as an excuse for neglecting neighborhoods that need regular repairs to basic infrastructure.

As an example of the neglect Jude wants to end, this chart shows the $1.4 million or so Rio Vista Street construction which the people there had to wait DECADES for and then only were approved for the project when voters ok'd the projects in a citywide bond. Then, Mr. Bose's council decided inexplicably not to fully fund Rio Vista in last year's budget. Thus they might see the start of work this year -- theoretically -- but they waited a year longer than they had to because of Mr. Bose's council. And neighborhoods shouldnt have to beg the electorate for what is theirs, what they paid for with their tax dollars. Brad Rollins

-- Wallace addition comes up in 09/10
-- Victory Gardens in 08/09
-- Both were approved in a bond election TWO YEARS AGO.

SOURCE: Page 350 of FY07-08 budget

notdescript 11-03-2007 11:51 PM

Also, if you heard the mayor was thinking about kiling all CIP projects, your source was not reliable. The mayor is running for re-election next year and it would be political suicide to do it; and we know the mayor ain't no dummy, whether you like her or not. Brad Rollins

semi-native 11-04-2007 03:55 PM

It may be suicide, but it is what I heard. In fact, some of the folks I talked to were scrambling to get some of the projects listed done before everything got reworked.

Who knows what's really going on? Maybe they were overreacting to some comment they heard. We've never seen that; certainly none of it on these boards.

At any rate, I would love to see some of those projects pulled in. That Wonder World loop is a big chunk of change until we start getting reimbursed, though.

Which projects would he pull in? Has he spoken with the transportation board to try to get a recommendation pushed up to Council from there?

What is Jude's position on the Northwest section of the loop (Craddock to 35)?

notdescript 11-04-2007 04:15 PM

Never heard of the northwest section of the loop and suspect that's a rumor set up to scare people. In fact, Craddock does not even connect to the Wonder World wonder road as people have been spreading around with dire predictions of Craddock Ave. becoming I-35 lite.

brete 11-04-2007 04:19 PM

The Mayor is the one who had the solid majority on council, including the student, and these things aren't done. She is also supporting your candidate, why should anyone expect anything different fom your guy?

notdescript 11-04-2007 06:04 PM

Mayor Narvaiz supports Jude but so do former Mayors Habbengraither, Chiu, Rodriguez, Cavazos and Etheredge. Narvaiz beat Habbengraither and Habbengraither beat Chiu. Jude seeks to be the representative of the entire community.

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