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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

City Council postpones city comprehensive plan consideration, discusses social services funding

Star file photo

At its Dec. 19 meeting, San Marcos City Council agreed to postpone the second reading of “Vision SMTX Comprehensive Plan” to provide time for public outreach and discussed the grant allocation policy of the city’s Human Services Advisory Board (HSAB).

Vision SMTX Comprehensive Plan” is a vision document, by the decision of the council, intended to replace the plan approved in 2013. MIG, Inc. created it along with the Downtown Area Plan for over $341,000 of the city’s funds.

The council has been considering the “Vision SMTX Comprehensive Plan” since February 2023, holding public hearings and developing alternative drafts. On Nov. 6, 2023, the council postponed the second reading to Jan. 16, 2024, but on Dec. 19, it decided to push the final vote further to the end of the outreach campaign which is an undetermined date.

City Manager Stephanie Reyes said the council would still discuss the plan on Jan. 16, but it will not be the second reading that has been “tabled” for two months.

“We’re trying to be transparent and let the public know what is going to be on the Jan. 16 meeting,” Reyes said.

Mayor Jane Hughson said postponing the second reading is something the city needed to do to conduct extensive outreach.

“When we passed the motion [on Nov. 6], it was to postpone, and I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, that was to postpone the second reading,'” Hughson said. “We just said we want a council committee to go do some stuff, and that was not going to work.”

The council also discussed the city’s HSAB funding policy for their annual grants, determining the grace period on their performance reports.

Many councilmembers, such as Alyssa Garza, were ready to show some grace for non-profits. In contrast, other councilmembers, such as Matthew Mendoza, advocated for stricter reporting and more transparency.

“They’re already overworked and underpaid, doing the Lord’s work,” Garza said. “Folks stick around for these jobs, not because it’s a lucrative endeavor.”

Garza also said she would like to see such effort to achieve accountability when the council talks about funding the city’s departments.

“Per my calculations, we spent $322 per resident on police, $218 per resident on fire, $41 per resident on public works. And we spend $7 per resident on social services,” Garza said.

The recommendations the council developed on Dec. 19 will go towards the Human Services grants guidelines, and after the staff produces a new document, the council will vote on it.

The San Marcos City Council meets at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit the City Council website.

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