(Note: Candidates Yolanda Alexandre and Erica Reyes-Rubalcaba did not respond to our questionnaire.)
Name: Joel Garcia
Occupation: Major of Correctional Officers / Texas Department of Criminal Justice Private Facilities
Years in Community: Life Long Resident of Raymondville, Texas
Community Involvement: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parishioner, L.C. Smith Elementary PTO President 2018-2019, Willacy County Crime Stoppers President 2018, Willacy County Little League Softball Coach 2013, 2018, 2019
Family: Laura Garcia (Wife), Children Joel Garcia Jr., Kimberly Ann Garcia, Miriam Garcia & Jose Garcia
Question 1: How would you describe the city’s current financial status, including the property tax rate, assessment levels and overall development and direction of the city?
Raymondville is currently on an upswing when it comes to our current financial status. We took a major hit financially when we had the closing of Wal-Mart & MTC plus a few other smaller businesses closing. But with the recent opening of Tractor Supply & the booming businesses of our small boutique businesses & new restaurants & other small businesses, it has helped swing that pendulum back in the right direction. In the up coming years we will see this pendulum swing higher as we get thru these abatements that are in place to attract big business. As internal & external developments continue to occur for the better, Raymondville will continue to move in the right direction of progress.
Question 2: What are the city’s short-term and long-term infrastructure needs and how should city officials address these matters, specifically financially?
For starters, our local economy needs structure. By fixing this, it will fix a long term problem which is city revenue via sales tax revenue. Being a small community we really have a lot of local mom & pop businesses, especially restaurants. We do have some small retailers but we need more. As a community we need to be able to furnish all the needs our community has & will have in the future, Which can be considered a long term infrastructure need. As a commissioner, I will work hard to help execute this along side my fellow commissioners & mayor. Another thing is the development of a small business organization. To strengthen our small business to stand strong & grow as bigger businesses enter our community. As we can prove our local economy can grow, so can those seeking to have a business within our community.
Another issue is creating a more organized community involvement forum. Other towns & cities have a Parks & Rec division that creates local activities for the community to be involved in with their children. This can fund itself and also allow the city to write grants for funding such activities. In the long run, this can create a more community involved environment for our families & build lasting relationships with city leaders.
Question 3: Other than what has already been mentioned, what other issue faces the city of Raymondville now and into the near future?
Another important issue our city faces now & will in the future if not addressed is housing. We need places for young families who are not on government assistance to move into and live comfortably. And we need either apartment buildings, duplexes or other small rentals available to not just our local families but for those future residences who will be moving into our town once bigger businesses start setting up shop here. They will transfer employees here to open new businesses, but we have no places readily available. We need to address this now so when we are ready, we are. We can’t allow those possible new residents to live outside our city & drive in because their earning income will be spent outside our city. So we need to work on plans now to accommodate this current & future need.
Question 4: Why should voters choose you in this election?
I’m dedicated to my hometown & I’m always striving for a better Raymondville. I’m committed & I’m in it for the people. I will work hard at all that I set myself out to do. I will listen to our community & will ask the hard questions when need be for a better understanding for our community. Everything I was brought up by my loving parents & have continued throughout my career (commitment, integrity, hard work ethics & understanding), will continue if elected as commissioner. I stand by & for my community!