Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

City Representative, District 1

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    Veronica Roni Frescas

  • Peter Svarzbein

  • Candidate picture

    Carlos F Corral

  • Candidate picture

    Rick Bonart

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Biographical Information

What should be the primary role of a City Representative?

What are your plans or priorities for future economic development?

How would you describe your commitment to governmental transparency?

Some people in our community say that we have traffic problems. What do you think? How would you mitigate those concerns or change the situation?

If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?

If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?

What is the primary issue of concern that motivated you to enter the race for Councilman?

If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

Campaign Phone (915) 637-9584
Twitter @VFrescas4Dis1
Education/Degrees Loretto Academy High School UTEP Bachelor's Degree Organizational and Corporate Communication
Professional Experience Public Policy/Governmental Affairs Director/Marketer/EPCC Continuing Education Instructor
Community Involvement El Paso Playhouse Board of Directors, President; 2014 - Present •International Association of Business Communicators; 2016 •Texas Victim Services Association, Region E, Board of Directors; 2008 •National Children’s Mental Health Campaign, Resource Group Member; 2005-2006 •Project Bravo, Inc., Executive Board; 2005-2010 •District Attorney Esparza’s “Help Hope Healing” Conference, PR Committee Member; 2006 •Rio Grande Council of Governments Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, Proxy; 2008 •PRSA (Public Relations Society of America, Executive Board Member); 2006 •United Way of El Paso, Allocations Committee Member; 2005 •Crime Victims’ Rights Council; Walk Event Co-Coordinator, Public Relations Chair; 2000-2006 •STARS (El Paso’s Rape Crisis Center), Vice-President Board Member; 1999-2003 •Carly Martinez “Race for Awareness,” Public Relations Manager; 1999-2004 •Domestic Violence Prevention Commission, Member; 2005 •St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-ALSAC, Executive Secretary/PR Asst.; 1994-1996
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Campaign Phone (915) 246-4778
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Campaign Phone (915) 549-2104
Education/Degrees Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television, and Film, University of Texas at Austin.
Professional Experience Business Owner of MindWarp, LLC for 11 years & President of Casitas Coronado Homeowners Association for 2 years.
Community Involvement Artistic Director of the El Paso Film Festival & Local Flavor Coordinator at the Plaza Classic Film Festival.
A City representative should understands the goals and aspirations its district residents and city homeowners. Having efficient forms of dialogue between residents and their city representative will always improve communication and transparency with city government. If a city representative can stay true and transparent, then can produce policy with positive outcomes for the people of El Paso.
District 1 is the largest in El Paso, and its growth calls for new leadership to bridge the existing gap between people, policy, and business. With initiatives such as the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, we are able to identify and meet the needs of residents while simultaneously allowing for business development and enhancement of our district’s quality of life. Furthermore, neighborhood infrastructure is the backbone of every city, yet in too many areas of District 1 the infrastructure is inadequate. I will ensure that the basic necessities needed for residents to increase economic growth are met. Through meetings with homeowner associations and community organizations, in addition to my own precinct visits, we will implement needs proactively. I will use my experience to improve city operations and ensure that our property taxes are invested and used to their fullest potential by leading with ideas that hold mutual interest to all homeowners, and business owners in our district.
District 1 votes with the expectation that their voice matters, not to be dismissed when tough questions arise concerning important issues and budget concerns. I will improve accountability for financial policy decision making, with, quality of communication that is effective in informing residents of fiscal events, bi-weekly district meetings & email newsletter with key community financial updates, and a user-friendly District 1 website that provides a summary of pertinent information for District 1 residents. A high-collaboration understanding leads to high-value creation policies. I will also invest my time in collaborating with other city council members and their residents throughout the city of El Paso, allowing District 1 to lead with ideas hold mutual interest to all homeowners and business owners.
With the “Go 10” project funneling traffic into our neighborhoods, the infrastructure in District 1 is taking a big hit. I plan on addressing residents’ complaints and concerns about our crumbling roads but also will work with other city representatives in developing new ideas as to how to alleviate and ensure that the basic necessities needed for residents to increase economic growth are met.
El Paso is one of the country’s largest cities, its growth sustained every day as more people call our city and our district home. With the influx of new residents and our desire to attract more people to our city, I would change and require our city to develop priority policy that outlines smart code, green space, and appropriate zoning laws based on smart urban growth.
My experience as a business owner spans over a decade, and includes local, national, and international clients. Producing for the film and television industry has provided me with a unique skill set which includes budgeting, negotiation, and advocacy for the City of El Paso. In the film and television industry, I learned that if you take care of your crew, your crew will take care of you. By fostering positive professional relationships with my fellow city council men and women, we will be able to mutually benefit our neighboring districts along with our own. As El Paso continues to grow in population and geography, so too will the opportunity to work with the wide range of community organizations that make up our city’s financial culture.
I’ve called District 1 home for nearly two decades and while some positive change has come to our district, far more residents and homeowners in the area have gone unheard and are underrepresented. I have watched as complaints about potholes and infrastructure problems in District 1 go unaddressed, and constituent calls go unanswered. It’s easy to say you want to listen to the public. It’s harder to follow through and communicate with all of District 1’s residents, including those with whom you disagree. Our district’s growth calls for new leadership to help the city’s transformation into a destination that bridges the existing gap between people, policy, & business. I’m ready to spend the time necessary to hear from District 1 and start solving residents’ problems, including the ones that don’t garner headlines.
If I received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, I would implement the funds towards are general fund, which would allow us to budget for police, fire, and infrastructure needs for the city of El Paso while giving property tax relief to our homeowners.
Campaign Phone (915) 549-5585
Education/Degrees BS UTEP, BS TAMU, DVM TAMU
Professional Experience Veterinary Practice 33 years
Community Involvement Over two decades of public service: 4 years on the Public Service Board, First Chairman Open Space Advisory Board, Second Chair City Plan Commission, Spearhead the successful Initiative Petition drive to Save Lost Dog Trails, Developed the Green Plan for El Paso.
There are actually three. 1. To resolve constituents concerns. 2. Legislate sound policy with an eye on the triple bottom line (economic, social, environmental). 3. Manage Councils only employee: the City Manager.
In the last two years there is no question, that lower taxes and less government regulation have improved our national economy. Hence we should do the same. SHORT TERM: We need to end litigation and complete QOL projects on budget. I would insist on a performance audit of all City departments to lower government costs. I would revisit the location of the MAC to consider a location in Durangito, it would be a better fit with a complete plan that includes a Mercado reminiscent of La Placeta. Then quickly pivot and redirect efforts to bring a “next generation” industry to El Paso. MID TERM: Tax cuts, better execution of projects, and stop additional borrowing for QOL without voter approval. Stop corporate welfare and concentrate on infill development. LONG TERM: Bring a next generation industry to town. The new fully automated UPS facility is an example of what to expect. Coordinate with schools to increase number of post graduate degrees. I owe my success to a post graduate degree.
I am self funding my campaign, I will not be influenced by special interest groups. I have a proven history of demonstrating my total committed to transparent, inclusive, and accountable government. I was the citizen advocate on the Public Service Board from 2010 to 2014. During my tenure I exposed unethical activity and successfully fought against a policy to prevent Board Members from speaking to the press. I took a lot of heat for these two very important stances. If I'm elected to City Council, you will see more transparency and better treatment of individuals attending meetings. Even when I don't agree with folks that have come before me while I served on various boards, I actually value and want citizen input before decisions are made.

I would advocate for allowing citizens to place items on the Council agenda by merely giving them to the City Clerk as has been done in the past. My office will make time for any constituent wanting to meet with me.
It is a huge problem. Better coordination with TxDOT. A very simple game changer would be to insist work on Mesa and other major roadways impacted by the freeway projects occur during the night. We must have a better way to organize construction projects on City streets as well. There are opportunities to do projects simultaneously rather than sequentially. This would stop the aggravating “they just dug it up” syndrome.
Technically the biggest issue I would address is actually in the subdivision code not zoning. Specifically Section 19.10.050 is a huge loophole that allows waivers from street improvements, such as sidewalks, bike lanes and rights of way… "if 50% of the properties within a quarter mile don’t have those improvements the applicant can be granted a waiver”. This provision is abused and keeps new developments from meeting these important safety standards.
1. Stop borrowing to increase the scope of QOL projects without voter approval. 2. Performance audit of all City Departments to reduce costs and increase efficiency ( I estimate a 10% savings of $80 million/year) 3. Terminate TIRZ 10, 12, 13….in the last 6 months council will approve these incentive packages that will divert $500 million in public general fund dollars to the private sector for a whopping 36 years. These TIRZ will actually stifle competition and negatively affect our ability to fully capitalize on a growing tax base. TIRZ will limit our ability to incentivize other businesses that might want to locate in those areas.

The City’s financial future. There is a fixation on QOL projects while ignoring the basics. We are seeing the perfect storm of tax and spend policies that are creating a financial bubble. The City, is borrowing too much, giving away too many tax dollars in incentives, and poorly executing projects. Bubbles are deceptive; because they appear to work right up to the point when they don't, and the resulting pain is off the charts. We can fix this, before it happens.
I would create 4 “Shark Tank” like high tech innovation grants. Innovators need money. We would hold a competition and give 4 companies $250,000 each, based on merit, with the caveat that they must have 3 employees and move to El Paso for at least 5 years. The “buzz” would be incredible and project a new image of El Paso as a the place embracing "high tech" .