2020 Runoff Mayoral Candidates


Click the buttons below to navigate between the different positions up for election.

2020 Runoff  City Council, Place 5

The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce continues to provide information to voters on where candidates stand on key issues.

The Chamber asked all candidates the same six questions. Candidates were given two minutes to respond to each question and were not provided the questions ahead of time. Answers from the candidates are in-full and have not been edited.


Mayoral Candidates

A runoff election has been called for the Mayoral race between Jane Hughson and Juan Miguel Arredondo. During the Nov. 3 election, Hughson received 44.75% of votes while Arredondo received 32.69% of votes.

COVID-19

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Would you support another shutdown if COVID-19 cases continue to climb?

“I’ve very, very concerned about the spread of COVID-19. But I think that we are going to have to depend on the federal government on some of this. It’s hard to see shutting down a business and taking away their opportunity to make a living and not providing them some relief, and the City of San Marcos can’t afford to do that, so we are going to have to look to the federal government for assistance on that. I think that we need to learn to live with some of this, we need to mask up, we need to learn to stay six feet apart when we are socializing. It’s really tough and I know that a lot of people don’t want to do that. But if we do it for just a little bit longer, you know the vaccines are on the horizon, there’s also better medications for those who do catch COVID, who do catch this nasty virus and so we just need to be very careful with masks and distancing and washing our hands. All of those are doable, distancing is free, washing your hands are free and masks are not terribly expensive. I’ve been very impressed with the creativity that a number of people have used because they are putting their company on their masks. They’re branding their mask, another opportunity for advertising that’s at a pretty low cost.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Would you support another shutdown if COVID-19 cases continue to climb?

“If COVID-19 cases were to continue to climb and we saw our hospital overrun with COVID-19 cases, as mayor I would support a shutdown. I think again, in the other questions that I have answered there’s always a balance that we can find that is supporting citizens with providing them with personal protective equipment, equipping our businesses to remain open even if we have some type of shutdown. But again, I think now more than ever we have to call in the experts in the room and we have to talk to our business community and we have to talk to healthcare professionals, because again I will admit that I can’t come up with a list of ideas that are perfect, but if we have the smartest people in the room talking it out, creating proposals and policy I would support a shutdown.”

Cite and Release Ordinance

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Do you agree with the cite and release ordinance approved in June as an ordinance versus a resolution?

“I voted against the cite and release ordinance because, first of all, I thought we should have done a resolution. If we had done a resolution we could have voted 7-0 in favor of the resolution and the police department was in favor of a resolution as I understand it from the police officer’s association. We could have all been in agreement and we could have gotten where we want to be with cite and release. But that’s not what happened, an ordinance written by an attorney not part of the city government, and this is the first time in twelve years that I have been asked to vote on an ordinance that was not written by staff that I can recall. So, there were some things that were some issues in it and even our city attorney said these are some issues and you need to consider this. We got most of them changed with amendments in the first reading and in the second reading all of that got undone. So, I am not comfortable with the ordinance as it is, it includes property crimes. As we talked in the meeting someone can steal a bicycle, as long as it is not over $375. They can steal a bicycle all the way up and down the street from everyone, they can do it day after day and they would only be cited and released. That’s a problem for me, that is not a victimless crime. That could be someone’s transport to work, that could be the way they get to school, it could be their only method of transportation, or maybe they are a one-car household and that’s how they get to where they need to be. Same thing if it was a lawnmower, that was one of the examples that we used. If it’s a lawnmower and you need to mow your lawn that’s one, but if that’s how you make extra money, or maybe that is how you make your money, having that lawnmower stolen, that’s not going to help you. So, at some point, people need to be held more accountable for their actions. As far as the small amounts of marijuana, that’s not a problem for me, cite and release those folks. Marijuana is probably going to be made legal this legislative session or the next one, that’s not an issue, and I think that may be the issue for most of the folks, but we needed up with the property crime too and that was a big problem for me. I think it’s important to note that other cities have not done an ordinance, they did resolutions if they did anything and I think that was the wiser choice.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Do you agree with the cite and release ordinance approved in June as an ordinance versus a resolution?

“I support the cite and release ordinance as approved by our city council and our mayor. I understand that there are a lot of concerns regarding whether it should remain an ordinance or remain a resolution, but if I were to be elected the next mayor of San Marcos, one of my first orders of business in my agenda would be to sit down with the brave men and women of our police department and those organizations who have been advocating for criminal justice reform and hope to build bridges and start a conversation, because now more than ever as we talk about what we can do as a community to build each other up, we have to realize that these adversarial situations of us versus them or if one group wins another group loses, ultimately is a detriment to our community as a whole.”

Economic Development

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Do you believe San Marcos is losing interest in economic development? What kind of companies would you target?

“I don’t think we are losing interest in economic development at all. We need economic development, we need the jobs, because when you have a good job, a full-time job with benefits instead of two or three part-time jobs, that means that you spend more time with your family, you don’t worry about not having health insurance, it just makes for a better, better life for everyone. The better the job, then you will be able to afford the housing at the prices that we have to offer. We need more jobs in San Marcos. The companies that we target are those that have good jobs and we need jobs at all levels, not just for people with engineering degrees, for example, we need jobs that offer opportunities for people who perhaps didn’t go to college but they are smart, they are ready to come to work and they can be great employees whether that’s manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, I’m certainly open to talking to anyone that can bring good jobs to San Marcos, that are good environmental partners for our area.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Do you believe San Marcos is losing interest in economic development? 

“I do believe that over the past several years, for whatever reason, employers, businesses, investors have started to look outside of San Marcos for opportunities to create jobs. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see the partnership, we see our neighboring communities announcing jobs coming to their towns, but not in San Marcos. And I would like to know why. I have my assumptions, but rather than saying what I think, if elected mayor I would like to look into why these business interests and these job creators are looking at communities outside of San Marcos.”

What kind of companies would you target?

“I am not an expert in business or in the industry, so I would lean on the professionals that we have hired and that our local organizations have put into place and gain their perspective insight, so whether that’s the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, our Mainstreet Association, our Downtown Association, again I would look at the smartest people in the room because I will not say that that’s me and get their input and inside and perspective when we talk about what kind of jobs we would like to attract to the City of San Marcos For the future.”

Housing

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Will you vote for or against housing built on empty or unused lots even when there is opposition from surrounding neighbors?

“In my seven years of Planning and Zoning Commission and twelve years of City Council, I have a voting record on zoning and I personally think it would be great to have those lots developed, but those lots need to be developed with compatible housing to what’s in the neighborhood. And, because we had some issues with our new zoning category, especially the CD 3 that allowed a number of different types of housing, we were not passing those because that’s what the neighborhood did not want, they wanted housing that was compatible with what they had next door to them. And the developers were wanting to build single-family homes, that was their intent. So, I suggested that we create the new CD 2.5 that is single-family only and that’s something that we can all agree on and that’s something that we passed the first one recently. So, we need zoning to be compatible with the neighborhood, but I think it would be great to get a lot of these empty lots from being sometimes kind of grassy and not so attractive for the neighborhood to get cute homes, or a duplex if it’s a duplex neighborhood, if it’s a neighborhood with maybe triplexes or fourplexes that would be fine, compatible with the neighborhood is what I would vote for.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Will you vote for or against housing built on empty or unused lots even when there is opposition from surrounding neighbors?

“Housing in San Marcos, now more than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic, is something our mayor and council have to be focused on. So yes, I would vote in favor of building infill development or housing on unused or vacant lots in the City of San Marcos. I understand that we have to weigh the needs and concerns of neighbors of adjacent properties, but if a private landowner would like to develop their property and provide housing for our community that is something that I would be willing to support and actively advocate for and in favor of.”

Classifying Non-Profits as “lobbyists”

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Do you support classifying non-profits as "lobbyists?"

“The Ethics review Commission brought to us a lobbying ordinance and the city council has talked about it several times. What we have mentioned each time is that it should not be a problem and nobody should have to register as a lobbyist as neighbors talking to neighbors, or if it is a zoning situation and they want to comment on it. And in addition, non-profits is one of the things that we said at our last meeting, we don’t want them to have to register as lobbyists. That just doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense to me, I’m still kind of questioning whether we need the full lobbying ordinance at all, but I can see at times when it might work, but for me, that’s for big business, that’s for big developers, it’s not for the people that we talk to every day, the people you talk to in the grocery store, it shouldn’t apply to them. And so when it comes back to us that is what I will be looking for to make sure that it doesn’t.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Do you support classifying non-profits as "lobbyists?"

“I do not. Now more than ever as our mayor and council discusses lobbyist and even lobbying reform, we see citizens of all races, ethnicities and economic backgrounds getting involved in their local government. I would not want to see the Chamber of Commerce or its members become or have to be labeled as registered lobbyists or the San Marcos River Foundation. If we were to start labeling citizens as lobbyists, I mean that would mean the teachers in the ISD who I represent on our school board or the students, or their parents, in a similar fashion would need to also be labeled as lobbyists. I think an engaged citizenry, especially in local government is critically important and I would not want to create obstacles for folks to get engaged and to weigh in and advocate for their perspective to elected officials.”

Innovation Initiatives

Read the candidates full answers below.

Jane Hughson

Do you support STAR Park and other similar innovation initiatives at Texas State?

“I think STAR park is wonderful, I’ve had the opportunity to tour it several times, and it’s where a lot of innovation is taking place, and it’s where businesses can start and prosper and grow. What they do at STAR Park, the management is wonderful they are looking for innovation, but they are also looking to pair up some of these innovators with perhaps some people with degrees in finance and communications so they can build out the full company and I think that’s a great idea. The director of STAR park is always involved in the Greater San Marcos Partnership ventures, so it’s good to have them around and letting us know what STAR park can do, I see that as a very good weaving economic development and STAR park together and, I would certainly support whatever we could do in that ventures.” 

How will you leverage these organizations into positive outcomes for San Marcos?

“Continue with the Greater San Marcos Partnership and promoting the STAR park as much as possible as that is one of the attractions that we have. And then of course when they outgrow STAR Park, let’s hope that they will stay in San Marcos and see what they can do.”

Juan Miguel Arredondo

Do you support STAR Park and other similar innovation initiatives at Texas State?

“Yes, I support STAR park and as a Texas State alumnus and as a second-generation Texas State bobcat, I’m a big supporter of our hometown university as our economy drastically changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to leverage every resource and asset that our community has and one of those is Texas State. As the university evolves and changes the way in which it delivers instruction, we have to be cognoscente of the fact that a lot of our small businesses, boutiques, restaurants rely heavily on the university population. So now more than ever, whether it’s STAR Park or it’s Texas State or it’s students or     faculty and staff, we have to do more to strengthen those relationships because we are in a very co-dependent and symbiotic relationship with Texas State University.”

How will you leverage these organizations into positive outcomes for San Marcos?

“As a fifth-generation San Marcos native and as someone who matriculated through our public school system and Texas State University and whose family has ties to the business community, and like I said as a multigenerational San Marcian, I feel like I am uniquely positioned to serve as our next mayor to leverage the constancies’ that have historically been involved in local government whether that’s the business community or whether that’s the neighborhood community or environmental interest, but to strike a balance between all of those things and advocate for jobs for Texas State alumni, but also multigenerational citizens in finding again that middle ground when historically previous mayors and councils have been elected by one group or the other. And we have factions take control and then something happens and elected officials change and we have this back and forth tug of war if you will and that doesn’t serve anyone in our community, so again I am running because I think I can leverage those relationship and those partnerships for positive outcomes for our community.”