City council approves first reading of cite-and-release ordinance, COVID-19 eviction ordinance

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San Marcos City Hall.

Daniel Weeks, Assistant News Editor

San Marcos City Council met for their regular meeting online over Zoom April 7, passing the cite-and-release ordinance, passing an action giving relief to tenants facing eviction and discussing additional funding for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.

The council voted 4-3 in favor of passing the cite-and-release ordinance during its first reading. Council members Jocabed “Joca” Marquez, Maxfield Baker, Mark Rockeymoore and Melissa Derrick voted for the ordinance, while Mayor Jane Hughson and council members Ed Mihalkanin and Saul Gonzales voted against. For more information on the vote, check out the story here.

The council approved an ordinance requiring landlords to provide notice of intended eviction action before issuing a vacate notice. This ordinance also gives tenants 90 days to solve the violation before vacancy. The action is an emergency measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If a landlord provides a proposed notice of eviction, a tenant will have an opportunity to cure overdue rent, fees, or other charges associated with the tenant’s lease before the tenant loses housing, which will reduce person-to-person contact with individuals outside of the tenant’s household,” the ordinance reads.

A discussion was held regarding the potential for amending the city budget to focus funding on personal protective equipment (such as face masks) and tests for COVID-19. The discussion resulted in allowing City Manager Bert Lumbreras to spend additional funds and the scheduling of future off-week meetings to discuss an ordinance and observe reports.

After the 30 minute comment period, the livestream of the council’s April 7 meeting experienced technical difficulties. Viewers on the city’s website were unable to see or hear the council members’ discussions and votes until agenda item 23, approximately an hour after the internet outage. Audio was still accessible through cable channels.

The full video was posted the following day on the San Marcos City Council video archive.

San Marcos City Council meets every first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. over Zoom and can be view on its website. The agenda can be accessed through the Agenda Center on the City of San Marcos website.


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