Narvaiz's letter to the University Star
I tried to post this under news in response to the "apology letter" article. It has not yet been approved although my post on a possible election re-examination, submitted at the same time, was posted.... I love this freeflow of information thing....
This was copied to Gaylord Bose and Betsy Robertson but not addressed to them.
October 31, 2007
I am writing to ensure that my remarks at the ASG meeting on Monday, October 29, 2007 are reported to the community completely and to set the record straight about my statements. During my talk I never “called out” any one person by name, but I do realize that the media likes to use attention-grabbing headlines.
After an official request to attend the ASG meeting on Monday, I began my time with my “real” wand. (Yes, I actually do have one.) I asked if anyone from your paper was present and offered them a live photo of my wand and me. A good friend of mine, former city council member (elected when he was a student at Texas State in the 70s), former Texas State University System Board of Regent Member, writer, and businessman gave this wand to me a few years ago. He said I might need it sometime and I did! Shortly after being elected mayor, during the early debate on the location on the hotel, I used it to end Mr. Bill Cunningham’s remarks after his three-minute time limit was up at one of my first meetings. It certainly added levity at that time and I feel it did that at the ASG meeting.
Next, I began to explain the council-manager form of government and the process by which road projects are scheduled by staff after monies are appropriated and funded by council. I shared more on the hotel location discussion how no two council members can change the vote on any issue and how the people on the prevailing side of a vote can bring back an issue for more debate or discussion which is what I did to offer an opportunity to move the hotel/conference center and request that the private landowner allow the people to vote on the property he owned in order to preserve it.
A specific question asked about the possible multi-agency task force at the debate was addressed. I stated that at our last council meeting, we received a report from our Asst. Chief of Police about the entire plan that is being developed in response to the Sagewood situation. The task force was one of the items that is on their list of possible long-term solutions, but was not on the table at this time. Is it possible that it could be a discussion later as an option for the council? Yes. Do we have details on it now? No. Will elected leaders have to make a decision about this in the future? Yes.
I was asked questions about economic development. I gave the example of a local company that has been mentioned by many candidates and explained how the council incentive packages are developed and at what point they come to the public agenda. I illustrated how this deal almost was lost as the current council tried to change the negotiated deal in public, caused the cost of a proposed location to increase once they knew the location was important to retaining this company, and why I voted no on the deal in the end. We talked about the region, the cooperative efforts to land good-paying jobs, and the competitive nature of the economic development cycle.
I was asked my opinion on the Star’s endorsement of city council candidates. I stated that I was not there, did not know the questions, did not hear the answers, and did not know if the entire editorial staff was present and the process used, and therefore could not comment. I did state when asked by a student what my position on endorsements was, that I believed they were an important part of the political process.
Other issues asked and answered included the history of the Texas State Student Liaison position, the change in the election cycle to November, the SF-6 code, the important decisions the council will be making over the next six months; hiring of a city manager, Economic Development Director, Planning Director, accepting a Downtown Master Plan. I shared what I believed to be the pressing issues that have huge impact on our cities long-term viability; growing poverty, increasing underemployment, closing the gap in education, workforce retraining of our current citizenry to raise their standard of living in the global market place and much more.
During my time with ASG, I observed their entire meeting and the good work by the Senators. I was impressed by the debate of issues that addressed items ranging from student fees for athletics, the bus routing at apartment complexes off Wonder World Drive and the desire for more food service choices on campus.
Many Senators requested suggestions of how they can help the city address poverty, education-related challenges and economic development. I offered ideas starting with encouraging them to stay in San Marcos after they graduate. We had a great exchange. I expressed to the Senators my appreciation for their interest in governing and how this was preparing them for something in the future and that I counted on them to educate themselves on the pros and cons of an issue and draw their own conclusions.
I shared with them that I believed it was their generation that could put this country back on track, having a true representative government that could have impassioned debate and reason together with the decorum they displayed that night. The question is will they take on the challenge?
I know they will and I have renewed faith and hope in this next generation of leaders and the potential and possibilities they bring to the table.