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The ‘Ole winter break’ special excludes many city residents

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Editor,

“The Ole Winter-break Special.” Its like the “Ole Summer Special” when City Council places on agenda items that are highly controversial and most people are out of town. These can take form as public hearings for discussion or for holding a vote. Pulling the Ole Winter-break Special corrupts public discourse process and taints decision making with profound impacts on human quality of life and the ecosystem.

I know why engaged citizens eject themselves from politics, because unless its election time they are usually ignored. Frustration and not being heard result in good, smart engaged citizens to walk away from the process. My work flow is to send an email and then send another and another and make phone calls. Ignored. It hurts me to write this letter, because I volunteered for some of these elected officials when they were challenger candidates. Now as incumbents playing from the same grimy game book and it stinks.

“Let them eat grapes!” Toxic ones is what the Dias just handed down an agenda with a clear goal to convert a low intensity parcel of land to heavy industrial, which would have a deleterious impact on neighbors including a teacher who has plans to plant a vineyard. But, politics tends to be an ever-shifting lattice of friendships based upon mutual ideologies these days.

Traffic will be literally the Woods times a million as this will be a transportation hub. The developer purports billions of dollars of commerce. These neighbors who are on the Dias docket to be annexed will receive no buffer zone, no preferred scenario amendment administrative process, and have been given no assurances on concerns this land can legally be annexed. Public is unaware of what the economic incentives and this should be discussed during public hearings. No discussion on the decibels of the construction once the final project ramps up.

Motion to deny passed and motion to approve failed by the Planning and Zoning commission for the rezoning of that land sends a clear signal to the City Council. They have made a mistake in their decision making during a closed door executive session.

Three back to back weeks in a row this item has come up as a zoning item and an annexation item — the annexation item before the Dias on two back to back Wednesday nights when traditionally there is a week break for neighbors to organize and city staff to gather more information. And, traditionally meetings are held on Tuesday nights raising concerns citizens might miss this agenda item.

During public hearings finally flood maps are being requested. A red flag. This was not discussed during executive session when the deal was cut.

The zoning and annexation items should be conducted with all transparency and due diligence. This is not happening. Throughout the entire process both PZ and CC have requested more information. The goal should be informed dialogue and decision making.

After making numerous attempts on Friday via phone and email, my request to restart the public hearing process for annexation of land in Martindale was ignored by both the City Manger and the San Marcos City Council. Please email the city council and request the restart the annexation process and pull the agenda item for Wednesday night.

Lisa Marie Coppeletta

San Marcos