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Council resolution would oppose death of George Floyd

Monday, June 15, 2020

The San Marcos City Council will consider a resolution that both opposes the senseless death of George Floyd and supports San Marcos Police Department’s policies on the use of force with an addition of a required annual policy review.

The resolution will also require that during these annual reviews, SMPD updates their use of force policies “to minimize the risk of injury or death of citizens who come in contact with the police and to reflect the values this community places on treating all people with dignity and protecting the sanctity of human life.”

The draft highlights SMPD’s use of force policies, including that they voluntarily report serious use of force data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that they have terminated and brought criminal charges against an officer who was using unlawful and excessive force against a citizen in an internally reported incident.

Their policy prohibits “firing warning shots, firing at moving vehicles unless continued operation of the vehicle presents an imminent danger of death or bodily injury, and requires officers to identify themselves as law enforcement officers and to state their intent to shoot, if the situation allows this, prior to discharging a firearm and only in situations when an officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect the officer or others from an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury.”

They also state that their training program does not allow for the use of choke holds or restraints designed or intended to restrict a person’s ability to breathe.

In other business, there will be two public hearings including one related to the addition of project costs up to $2 million for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 5 (Downtown TIRZ) and amending the interlocal agreement with Hays County to reduce the City and County’s contribution rate of the tax increment from 70 to 25 percent for one year. This was one of many cost saving measures discussed during budget work sessions. 

The other public hearing will be related to the proposed projects and programs for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  has allocated $847,904 for the 2020-2021 program year. 

There were five project applications received from non-city entities: from Centro Culturo Hispano de San Marcos, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Habitat for Humanity and the Southside Community Center. 

Centro Culturo Hispano de San Marcos proposed a $388,461 project to make the Historic San Marcos School building more accessible and energy efficient through renovation. 

Court Appointed Special Advocates proposed a $60,000 project to recruit and train more caseworkers to advocate for abused and neglected children that have been removed from their homes. 

Habitat for Humanity proposed a $23,656 project to fund educational workshops and one-on-one counseling to improve financial capability and confidence and prepare for successful homeownership. They also proposed a $151,000 project that would pay for land acquisition for home construction that benefits low to moderate income families. 

Southside Community Center proposed a $100,000 project that would pay for repair and rehabilitation of substandard homes that would be a service project for youth groups. 

The city entities that proposed projects were Code Enforcement, Parks Department and Community Initiatives. 

Code Enforcement proposed a $125,000 project that would pay for demolition of substandard or dangerous homes and a $45,000 project that would repair substandard homes to remove code violations and safety hazards.

Parks Department proposed a $125,000 project to extend the ADA walking path, install updated playground equipment and add a skating area. They also proposed a $25,000 project to determine the dollar amount and work needed to renovate the Dunbar Educational Building. 

Community Initiatives proposed a $84,000 project to pay for homebuyer assistance including down payment and closing costs for low to moderate income potential homeowners. They also requested $144,000 to provide technical assistance to the funded projects and provide administration work. 

There will be a public comment period on the draft action plan from July 5-Aug. 4, when city council will have to approve the action plan and the proposed projects and programs.

Additionally, the city council will consider approving a $9 million contract to begin renovations for the SMPD building. 

They will also vote for final approval on an ordinance that will prevent the policy and purpose statements of the San Marcos Code of Ethics cannot be used as the basis of an ethics complaint filed against city employees and officers. This means that ethics complaints must be made based on violations of other sections. The ordinance was originally brought forth by Councilmember Joca Marquez to prevent the San Marcos Code of Ethics from being used as a political weapon.

Related to COVID-19, council will consider approving an ordinance to extend the temporary waiver of the percent late charge and interest charges for delinquent Hotel Occupancy Tax payments. 

They will also discuss summer marketing efforts for the Convention and Visitor Bureau as well as consider an agreement to redesign its website for an amount of $102,700.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666