Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Corpus Christi City Council District 3

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    Roland Barrera

  • Candidate picture

    Eric Cantu

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    Margareta Fratila

  • Roland A. Gaona

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    Eric Lee (ET) Tunchez

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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?

Born and raised in the district, I have served the community actively for over 20 years. I served on the RTA board 8 years and chairman for 2. I serve or have served on numerous boards; local, state and national. They include public, non-profit and trade associations and I've chaired several. I understand budgets, finance, pensions and health plans. I’ve testified on numerous occasions at the Texas Legislature regarding our community, small business needs and issues related to access to healthcare. I am active in politics locally, statewide and federally.
We must address the issue of police department staffing requirements. Compromising the safety of our citizens, its visitors and those that enforce our laws is just not acceptable. From a financial perspective, we can not "cut" our way into prosperity. We must thoroughly review public safety needs and put forth and action plan to get there and stay there. We must then take a holistic approach towards the budget and every department to maximize efficiency. There is no one magic formula. The first order of business is to hire a city manager that will implement systems to execute the city's needs.
Safe clean water. We've come a long way from a year ago. However, we must be proactive in maintaining the infrastructure. We have a new water tower on the south side. However, we are not confident current infrastructure can support it. A more effective action plan must be put in place. Residential streets. Again, years of neglect have resulted in greater cost to infrastructure then a proper maintenance program. Technology. The current challenge with water bills is inexcusable. Inadequate preparation, research and troubleshooting are expensive and frustrating to citizens. Accountability is key.
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The new council must first hire an effective city manager that is creative, forward thinking and accountable. We must hold that individual accountable to implementing a 20 year vision to achieve that standard.
District three encompasses are large geographical area with undeveloped real estate along the west side of the district. Much of that area is industrial. With the new harbor bridge and the port expansion, we must be prepared for economic opportunities. We must also address the older areas of the district and do our part to keep the community beautiful, pedestrian friendly and safe. The largest source of wealth for most people is their home. Lack of public safety personnel, poor code enforcement, unkempt parks and walkways depreciate that wealth. We must do better for our citizens.
I’m honest, I live in district 3. I’m a hard working small business owner. I have no criminal record and have never been arrested. I’m a father that not only wants the best for his family but every family in the community should have opportunity for a good job, good home that is safe. I will stop at nothing to ensure that public safety is supported. I will make sure workforce housing is built & jobs are created. I'm not doing this to fill my pocketbook or of my friends. I am doing this because I truly care about my community. I want to make sure that my kids grow up in the best community.
There is no doubt that the police department is understaffed. I believe this causes issues across the board. If I am elected I want to work with other council members so they understand how important this issue is. And the potential the safety hazard for everyone in our city. It’s not just about numbers, it’s also about the safety of citizens and officers. I think we all need to work together to address this issue and find a way to make this happen. Bringing in more officers can help with the call load and can help reduce our state wide and nationwide crime rate.
1) Police Officers & Firefighters are “Human Infrastructure” as Public Safety is #1. I will focus on families across our community being safe by supporting Public Safety.

2) Focus on everything that is needed to help build housing that we can afford, throughout District 3. We need Workforce Housing in our city and we, District 3, have plenty of land to develop!

3) Make sure everyone knows District 3 is Open for Business! We need to adapt utility plans to meet the needs of businesses that want to open up in District 3 and CREATE JOBS in District 3 for everyone!
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Good steps that began in the summer of 2016 got us back to a water system that is again at a TCEQ Superior Rating. However, i score this Average because the city is entirely dependent on surface water supplies. Until we diversify with either desalination or ground water, we are dependent on rain upstream in our watershed.
My priorities are to help the people of District 3 through supporting Public Safety, increasing Workforce Housing & Job Creation. I will work with fellow Councilmembers to appropriate funding to help staff our police and fire department adequately. Working families in District 3 will be safe when we add officers & add firefighters. We need to continue to make sure we help construct workforce housing for families in District 3. Every working family deserves to live the American dream of home ownership. I want to help create more jobs in our area. District 3 is open for business!
I have a Master Degree in Horticulture from Bucharest, Romania. Because I grew up in a Communist country, I have had an abiding interest in politics and political theory, and have been involved in politics all the years I have been here, as a member of the Republican party..
Corpus Christi has a much higher level of poverty than most cities. So you have to expect higher crime levels. While one owes to do the best one can with the local resources available, it is realistic to understand that Corpus Christi will probably NEVER have less crime than say Austin does. The most successful way of fighting crime is to get people into good jobs that pay enough money to support them. Refinery jobs do a lot for our community. People who want to help the city the most will be looking for ways to encourage new jobs to be found here. Improve the job outlook, fight crime.
The new harbor bridge, the rework of the SPID freeway, and the major road improvements are the three most important infrastructure projects going on now. These people know what they are doing, and on the City Council, we help them best by staying out of their way. If the highway department asks for the city to help, I would be glad to help. Improvements to Staples Street are already in progress. But we don't really need to second-guess these people all the time. They are professionals.
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The Mary Rhodes pipeline solved long-running problems with Corpus Christi's water supplies. In the future we will have adequate water for most purposes because of that. But at some point we may need to acquire more East Texas water to ship here on that pipeline. One just has to stay alert because even though adequate water is always needed, sometimes the definition changes as to how much is an "adequate" supply of water. A city seldom finds that "use less water" is a long term solution to anything.
We are all in this together. What's best for the city serves my district. Right now citizens in my district are concerned about the disruption caused by the rebuilding of a traffic artery, Carroll Lane. No matter what is said about that, time will have to go by before it ceases to be an issue. To fix future traffic, one has to accept more of a problem with current traffic. Patience is good.
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I am a life long resident of Corpus Christi from the Molina neighborhood. I am the eldest of 3 children and was raised in rough circumstances. Through the grace of God and help from my mother I was able to obtain an Associates art degree at Del Mar College, an bachelor of science degree from the University of Houston-Downtown majoring in Criminal Justice. I am the founder and executive director to a non-profit organization called Stop Bullying. I have now been able to craft policies within Stop Bullying that raises awareness of bullying in our local school systems to protect children.
There are 5 factors in which crimes are committed. Environment, socioeconomic status, education, parenting, and dieting. If elected I would advocate to strengthen our job force by supporting less taxes to enable more businesses to employ high skilled and valuable jobs that will enable residents to feed their families. I will also be a leader for educational programs set forth by non-profit organizations that help the public raise the reading levels in children at home and schools. With the help of other city leaders I will advocate for rehabilation for violent criminals in our city.
There is not just one priority, they're all top priorities in regards to public infrastructure.. Of course the potholes on our streets need to be paved in the correct conditions for asphalt to hold. Working with the streets department supervisors, city manager, and the public, to work on efficiency, Sidewalks and drainage concerns will go hand and hand with the streets department and engineering to help alleviate complaints. As for expansion, I will work with state representatives to expand our runways at the International Airport to allow larger jets to land and bring more tourism.
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With the works of permits already in action for 2 separate desalination plants in Ingelside and Port Aransas we are well on our way to providing an adequate water supply for industry in the Corpus Christi area. We need to continue to support the implementation of a desalination plant for our city. This will help with the current conservation initiatives for irrigation and drinking water. If desalination is implemented this will be great for farmers and petrochemical companies, thus creating more jobs that our area desperately needs.
In the next two years, the concern for tourism must be addressed to allow more revenue to be generated to alleviate the high property taxes of residents. The Corpus Christi International Airport only has 2 runways that are composed of asphalt and should be concreted. We should expand our runways for larger jets to land and bring in tourism to our district. Also the congestion of traffic along Staples Street should be discussed. The most important issue of job creation needs to be at the forefront almost immediately to create high paying and skillful jobs and more wealth within our district.