Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
Start Over

Voters Guide

Corpus Christi City Council District 5

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Gil Hernandez

  • Candidate picture

    Eric Rodriguez

  • Candidate picture

    Paul Thurman

  • Candidate picture

    Carlos Torres

Social Media

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?

I have a BBA from Texas Tech. I’m a Veteran; Naval Officer with 9 years of active duty service with tours in Asia and the Persian Gulf. I worked for Coca-Cola for the last 18 years with responsibility for all national accounts in south Texas. Currently, I have my own consulting business in the food & beverage industry. I was an RTA board member. I’m also the president of the Diamond Lake Masters HOA. Taking into consideration my experience in the military, corporate America, and local government entities, I have a broad range of experience and leadership that more than qualifies me.
We need to have more proactive policing. Unfortunately, we are lacking in the number of police officers compared to other like-sized cities. We need to try to improve our manning levels. Ideally, I would like to add between 10-20 patrol officers and 5 detectives. As this is an annual cost of approximately $2.5M, we’ll need to find recurring revenue without raising taxes. Our property taxes are already high as compared to like-sized cities. My hope is to find savings in the 380 agreements, vendor agreements, industrial agreements, plus identify possible public safety grants to fund this need.
Every initiative to replace or repair infrastructure requires money to pay for it. So, we need to ensure the city’s finances are in order to accomplish these goals without raising taxes. I also support the use of concrete for major roads versus asphalt. The life span of concrete is greater with less maintenance which makes it a better value over time. Unfortunately, our city has a history of neglecting the maintenance needed by asphalt. Because of the initial cost of concrete, we can't replace every street. However, we should replace every major road with concrete moving forward.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Aside from the past water boils and the ongoing waste water treatment issues, the city (via Mary Rhodes pipeline) has secured water rights for the future. However as the city and port industries continue to grow, we need to look ahead to ensure we have the water we need for the future. This includes looking at improving waste water treatment and desalination. If we do this right, we can secure water rights for the future and may have the opportunity to sell water upstream to other municipalities.
I am running for District 5 which is the main growth area in the city. We need to foster and ensure we plan for this growth. We have new homes and business going up, we have a new Del Mar campus planned on Yorktown, and we have continued development across the Oso. Traffic is already becoming more and more of an issue on Lipes, Yorktown, and Cimarron. We need to plan the extension of Rodd Field Road out to Hwy 286 now in order to alleviate the traffic in the future. We also need re-evaluate to the public safety needs in District 5 to ensure we have proper coverage.
I hold ten years of working experience for the Department Of Defense. My certifications focus in the areas of environmental management , storm water pollution prevention, contract management, process improvements and cost analysis.

I have also been actively involved in non profit organizations serving as Coastal Bend Young Democrats- Vice President, former Citizen’s Climate Lobby Chapter President and current Citizen’s Climate Lobby Environmental Congressional Liaison.
I would work very closely with the Chief of Police to focus on the hotspots. Analyzing those areas and identifying what is the root cause of the high crime rate. Focusing on how we can increase the patrol manpower in the those high risk areas.
1) Water line infrastructure 2) Roads already paid for that are not complete. 3) Proactive environmental programs to protect our waters and marine life.

We can achieve all three goals by adopting a five year Infrastructure Management Program. The Infrastructure Management Program (IMP) is a five-year rolling program which focuses on the maintenance of Corpus Christi’s Infrastructure. Service needs are identified city wide and are scheduled for street maintenance, drainage maintenance, sidewalks, traffic signals and storm water pollution prevention.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Corpus Christi is ranked 5th in the state of Texas for the most containments in water at 11 containments and ranked 17th nationally. The Industrial District consumes 20,000 gallons of water a day. A Desalination plant would be able to supply the demand of water the industries need. I have a new water line project ready to be implemented, this would replace all old water lines with new pvc lines. This project also brings a potable water system, which is 100% clean renewable drinking water. Together the desalination and potable water system can co-exist with the citizens and industry.
District 5 has concerns dealing with the roads in the timely matter of which they’re completed. The citizens have been taxed multiple times already to solve this issue and they’re not seeing results. Water management and quality is of course another major issue. The citizens have lost all confidence in the City water management. It’s time we reevaluate our leaders in those departments and what they have achieved and what they have not. I have the seasoned experience and certifications to correct both of these issues when elected into office, it’s time people are held accountable.
I decided to run for City Council because I believe Corpus Christi needs strong effective leadership. Experienced individuals whose common goals are the betterment of our city and not just temporary distractions. I offer both with my resume of political experience and activism, including supporting our County as Executive Director of the Nueces County Republican Party.I believe in common sense government, that can offer vision without raising taxes; public safety without breaking the bank; and find new ways of funding needed services including public private partnerships.
I think we need to look at funding for more police officers for our city. We also should be supporting community approaches to crime prevention and law enforcement, including neighborhood watches, partnerships with police and greater citizen involvement. I think we need to be promoting more personal responsibility and broader social responsibility in our policies and programs.
Our current city council has made enormous advances in fixing our streets and looking at ways to improve our infrastructure, but there is still much more to be done. First, we need to not only look at fixing our streets but maintaining them as well. We need to secure the funds for the future so that regardless of who is in office, our tax dollars will be used for what you intended them to be used for. Second, we need to seek opportunities to coordinate and leverage both public and private capital investments and leverage new technological processes for new and existing public infrastructure.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Corpus Christi residents have dealt with water quality issues — including four water advisories the last few years and that's unacceptable. And most recently we're dealing with problems with billing. Stories and personal accounts of water bills skyrocketing seem to be coming in daily. At some point enough is enough, trust in our water department has been depleted to the point of exhaustion. We need insure that our focus is the availability as well as the cost efficiency of safe drinking water for all our residents from District 5 to the Island.
The south side of Corpus Christi is growing exponentially. We need a strategic plan that serves as a five year road map for the City that articulates community goals, ways to measure success and aligns work across projects and departments. I want to move this city forward by promoting economic development initiatives that will expand our tax base and help keep our taxes low. I want to completely revamp the development services department to make it easier for small businesses to get started and to get permits in a timely manner. I want to move forward with wastewater and other water projects.
I recently retired from the Corpus Christi Fire Department (CCFD) after 32 years of service as a “public servant” to the citizens of Corpus Christi. I was also Association President for the last 16 years of my career. I have attended many City Council meetings over the last 30 years as a firefighter, leader and citizen. I am very well versed on the General Agenda of a City Council meeting and have participated in almost all Agenda items during my CCFD career. Once I retired, I decided what better way to continue to serve the citizens of this city than to run for City Council.
Corpus Christi Police Department has not kept up with the national police staffing averages. Currently, the CCPD has 1.39 officers per 1000 residents, yet other peer cities in Texas and across the nation avg. 1.66 or higher per 1000 residents. It is obvious the CCPD is understaffed and that is a contributing factor to the higher crime rates in Corpus Christi in both categories than the Texas and National crime rates. If elected to City Council, I would make this item a top priority issue with the city manager and other council members by advocating for increasing staffing levels.
Public Safety: I would address the staffing levels of public safety in efforts to maintain them at a safe level for the citizens they serve.

Streets and related infrastructure: I would continue the ongoing infrastructure programs that have been approved and voted on but would look at more innovative and modern ways to address future street paving projects and related infrastructure.

Water Supply: I would continue with the present program the city and other entities are looking at regarding “desalination” and continue water conservation measures that do not adversely affect our citizens.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Average, because while there is an endless water supply off our coast, we still have not figured out how to take advantage of it. It is great to hear the city has finally gone past the “study” phase and is actually pursuing the process of “desalination”. I am also concerned because with the two lakes that we get water from and the Mary Rhodes pipeline included, we are still having to implement water conservation measures at times. These issues must be revisited to make sure we are doing everything correct in taking full advantage of the resources available to the community.
The first concern I would address would be the increasing growth to the southside of the city in District 5. I would make sure we are doing everything reasonably possible to keep up with that massive growth in providing infrastructure and public safety to the citizens that are moving into that part of the city. The second issue I would address would be the resurfacing and paving of the streets and related infrastructure in the entire District. I will be addressing the ongoing and future “street projects” in the district to make sure they are being done correctly and within their timetable.