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Citizens move to recall San Marcos City Council members

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Disappointment over a decision to rezone some San Marcos river-front property for a combination park and student apartment complex has people organizing a recall of the majority of the city council.

Hundreds of people packed Monday's San Marcos City Council meeting. The clear majority opposed a plan that would rezone 70 acres known as Thompson's Island and Cape's Camp to create a 20 acre city-owned park and a 1,000-bed, student-centered apartment complex.

"It was absolutely energized and electric,” resident Lisa Marie Coppoletta said. “There was so many people in the foyer you could not even get into the building."

Coppoletta was so sure the voice of this crowd would be heard that she left the more than five-hour long meeting before the council voted.

"When I left that meeting I was absolutely certain that the presence of the citizens, in addition to all the letters that had been written over the past several months, would've persuaded our council members," Coppolletta said.

She was wrong.

The council voted 5 to 2 to approve the zoning change. Now, she's part of a large group organizing to vote those five council members out of office.

"Now we have a massive movement of the people to recall those elected officials," Coppoletta said.

San Marcos’ City Charter establishes the method of a recall. According to the charter, the mayor and two of the council members under fire are safe because they were elected fewer than six months ago. Any recall attempt on Mayor Daniel Guerrero and council members Shane Scott and Ryan Thomas will have to wait until June.

For now, the recall efforts will focus on council members Kim Porterfield and Wayne Becak.

"People from all sectors of our community are enraged quite frankly about this,” Coppoletta said. “We've been mourning for a week and now we're springing into action."

In addition to the recall, the group is still exploring ways to stop the apartment complex from being built. They say environmental, archeological and flooding concerns are all being considered.

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