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home : perspectives : hub city room by ron burke July 03, 2015

5/23/2014 2:54:00 PM
Runoff and rundown

Ron Burke
Staff Columnist

Early voting begins on May 19, and the spotlight will be on the critical race for Jim Wells County Judge, that pits veteran incumbent L. Arnoldo (Arnold) Saenz versus newcomer and challenger Pedro "Pete" Trevino.

Turnout projections are anyone's guess, but an election so close to Memorial Day poses a few challenges for candidates to push their supporters to the polls.

Both candidates are promising an aggressive last-minute pitch to garner a higher-than-anticipated voter appearance especially through early voting.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest subjects on the minds of voters are concerns regarding the agendas and priorities of Saenz and Trevino. There seems to be a growing consensus that in the remaining days prior to May 27, both of the candidates should present a more detailed presentation of their individual goals and plans they hope to pursue if elected.

Residents have been very forthcoming in sharing their general questions or areas of concern that they feel could influence their own choice for county judge. Among them are:

1.) How long do you believe it will take JWC to develop and implement a viable water resources plan? How could that impact our connection with the oil industry?

2.) How realistic is any plan for this county to be part of a regional water desalinization project?

3.) What are the cost estimates for any new water development plan and where would those funds come from?

4.) What steps would you follow to attract new or additional business or industrial firms to the county? How would you identify the most promising prospects, and what specific incentives might you consider proposing to them?

5.) How would you study the structure of the existing county government and what reorganization might you recommend to strengthen the accountability and transparency process of finances, contracts, purchasing personnel issues and all record keeping?

6.) What improvement should be made in the distribution of funds for infrastructure repairs and replacement? What factors would determine where and how those monies would be targeted?

7.) How stable is the health benefit plan for all county employees? What changes in either costs or coverage might be expected in the next few years? Can management of health care program be improved?

8.) Give at least two specific and comprehensive scenarios for courthouse renovations and/or expansion that you have envisioned and could potentially support?

9.) What would be a few of your short and long-term priorities with county
law enforcement and jail needs?

10.) How could you strengthen the relationship and communications between
all offices and agencies etc., of county government and between the various constituencies within Jim Wells County?

Campaign advertising filled with slogans and characterizations of candidates and opponents is a reality of elections.

However, in these challenging and uncertain times, it is especially necessary for voters to make sure that they have as much reliable and factual information as possible regarding their choices. Even negative information has its proper place if it is based on a candidate's past or current record and can be officially documented. Elections must be about ideas and performance.Voting for our elected leaders should be handled with more substance and study than guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar or what lottery numbers to play.

Future governance is a decision that requires careful thought by all of us. Our choices have lasting results that can effect our county for many future years. Make your selection and then make it happen by voting. That's the only way.

Love Chrysler of Alice

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