Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Corpus Christi City Council District 2

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  • Candidate picture

    Sylvia Campos

  • James (TC) Chadden

  • Candidate picture

    Ben Molina

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    R. J. Torres

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Biographical Information

Describe your credentials and life experiences that qualify you to hold this office.

Both property and violent crime rates have decreased since 2016. However, Corpus Christi's crime rates are still significantly higher in both categories than the Texas and National crime rates. How will you address this issue if elected?

What are your three (3) top priorities for public infrastructure maintenance and expansion in Corpus Christi, and what will you do to support them?

How would you rate the capability of Corpus Christi to provide water for drinking, irrigation, and industry in the next 20 years?

Explain your answer.

In your opinion, what concerns must be addressed in your district during the next two (2) years?

My credentials and life experience to hold this office is simply. I am a passionate, concerned U.S. Citizen. We are all qualified to run for office. I have a profound interest in making our City more transparent and effective. I have lived here all my life. I have seen and been affected most of my life by the decisions our previous City Council have made all these years. We have asked for street repairs, decent sidewalks most of my adult life. We have asked for better parks, shade, affordable housing and numerous other things.
I will address reducing Crime and Violent Crimes by utilizing our Neighborhood Crime Watch Program. We can reduce crime by getting to know our neighbors. Most crimes are done by someone close. We can also promote more Police officers moving into high crime areas and offering an incentive to relocate there. Also purchasing Shot-Spotter Technology https://www.shotspotter.com/technology/. Also start a community and police bridge forum. Get police officers more directly involved in the community.
The 3 top priorities for public infrastructure would be: Neighborhood Street repairs Neighborhood Sidewalk Repairs Replace Greenwood Wastewater Treatment plant. This would be paid by either ending Our Industrial Agreement Contract or at least asking they pay their full 100% of the water bill. They are given a 40% discount and do not taxes instead pay a fee. We can end contract that should only have lasted 7 years re-negotiate in public view or input from the public.
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We are capable of providing enough water if we plan well. The Industrial District on the other hand does not. It is not enough that they use about 50% of our water and at a discount! They want more and want us to pay for it. I say if they want more water than they should pay for it.
We disparately need storm water repairs, neighborhood street repairs, and sidewalk repairs. Our parks, Our Senior Centers need investing. We lack economic incentives for our district, our homes. The Industrial District receives a 4 year moratorium on their improvements and yet we taxpaying citizens get no incentive when we up grade or do a little improvement. I would like to initiate a sweat equity program to help incentivize home owners to do home improvements. We need to end the double standards.
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I’m Ben Molina, Your Friendly Neighborhood Councilman! I proudly serve as Council Member for District 2. My wife and I have been married for almost 14 years and have 2 children. I’m also a small-business owner, having served the Coastal Bend since 2000. I have been actively involved in our community for many years. My leadership experience includes serving as President of Habitat for Humanity, President of the Westside Business Association, the Board of the Young Business Professionals, among many boards and committees. I’m also graduate of Leadership Corpus Christi, Class 42.
I have been endorsed by the Police Officers Association, as well as the Fire Fighters Association because Public Safety is important to me. I voted in favor of maintaining the 63 Officers funded by the Crime Control District which funded the additional 8 Officers. It is important to attract and retain top talent and continue to provide excellent training, which is why we worked to ensure that the Police Academy remained in operation. I'm currently working towards additional funding sources for more Officers, tools, and equipment that would increase operational efficiency.
Streets - We've increased the design life from 20 years to 30 years so that streets are built sturdier and last longer. We've implemented the Preventative Maintenance Program and programmed money for residential street rehabilitation and reconstruction. With much of that work occurring in District 2. Water- We have a Superior rated system now, due to continuous improvements made to our treatment plants and will continue to improve with new water towers. Waste Water-We've implemented a program to systematically replace wastewater lines and manholes to reduce water intrusion.
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This Council has placed the City of Corpus Christi in an excellent position for the future. For the first time ever, we have an agreement in place that charges Industry more for their water use. Revenue collected will be utilized to fund additional future water sources, including desalination, groundwater, and surface water. We are also in the middle of permitting and making preparations to have a desalination plant "shovel ready". We are looking towards future needs and taking steps to secure water for Economic Development opportunities and create sustainable sources for our residents.
In District 2, we need to continue focusing on Public Safety including Animal Care, Code Enforcement, and Parks, all of which I'm currently working towards. It is important that we have continued steadfast, proven leadership in order to continue moving forward. As Your Friendly Neighborhood Councilman, I work hard to remain easily accessible and highly responsive to the residents of District 2 and will continue to work hard for you and your concerns.
I was born in Corpus Christi and grew up in Kingsville, Texas. I played baseball and graduated from Robstown, Texas. I continued to play baseball at the collegiate level and graduated with a Bachelors in Business Management from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. I then went on to Texas Southern Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas and graduated early from law school. I live and work in District 2. I’m qualified because I have the passion to advocate for District 2. I have always heard “Corpus Christi has so much potential”, and it’s time we see it.
I will address this issue by increasing the number of police officers we have on our police force. I would also encourage more neighborhood togetherness. I believe if we raised the quality of life for everyone in Corpus Christi, we could help prevent crime through creative measures such as education. I would also look to increase jobs in Corpus Christi by contracting with companies who do business with the city to make jobs available for local residents.
My top 3 priorities are more efficient and effective decision making, a short term plan and a long term plan for roads, and a safer city. I would look to implement creative problem solving and provide innovative ideas to City Council. We need to stop looking to “Bonds” to be the solution and we need to rework some of our contracts.
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Desalination is a start to providing water to local residents, but this will take more time before residents begin to see benefits from desalination. The residents of Corpus Christi deserve clean water that is safe for consumption and this city deserves more transparency when the water is not safe for drinking. I believe the City needs to be more prepared for natural disasters, especially those in disadvantageous positions.
District 2 is a district made up of hard working individuals, who value their homes, and their hard earned money. I believe taxes, such as water and property taxes, need to be addressed in a reasonable manner for each and every citizen. I believe District 2 sorely needs updated roads and better drainage throughout the district. I would like to see the city work more cooperative with citizens to fix sidewalks and roads.