April 4, 2019 500 AM
Those that know me are aware that my desire to run for city council is not new. I’ve thought about it for several years and I only wanted to serve if I could genuinely commit to attend every meeting and see to all of my duties and responsibilities without the entanglements of other engagements. I’ve thrown my hat in the ring as I feel compelled to serve the community which has been remarkably generous to my family and I. Since March of 2017, I’ve been fortunate and grateful to have served as the secretary of the Presidio Municipal Development District, which granted tremendous insight into officials, projects, fund allocation, and various other inner workings of our city. With your support I hope to gain more of this experience and extend my continued service from the PMDD into our city council.
I have taught in our school district 18 years and been assigned to courses including World History, World Geography, Texas and US History, as well as serving as a facilitator for students enrolled in History 1301 and 1302 at William Soza Early College High School. Currently I am employed at Lucy Rede Franco Middle School and am teaching U.S. History at the eighth grade level.
I was schooled in our public education system here in Presidio and graduated in 1997. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas Tech University in 2001. I am a life-long, proud member of our community who strives to volunteer as much of myself as time will permit. I’ve coached or assisted coaches in the Presidio Youth Sports Association. The last two years I served as the secretary to the Presidio Municipal Development District with our Executive Director, Brad Newton, worked with two different Presidents of the board including Rogelio Zubia and Jake Giesbrecht, and was exposed to many of the city’s functions, needs, developments, etc.
Areas of need include fiscal responsibility by our officials, as well as aesthetic improvement to our community, which may attract more visitors and potential employers. To that end we have Joe Portillo and his staff to thank for the upgrades to City Hall while remaining true to a budget. Little things like that do not go unnoticed and may encourage business owners to do the same when the work of tax dollars is visible. Allocation of funds towards what most benefits all citizens of Presidio is crucial, as many are concerned with tax increases and their return on that investment.
I try to attend as many of our local events as possible and my absences to any are usually due to travelling with my wife and children as our two daughters and son compete in both athletics and academics. I run Edit-Body Fitness with Moises and Francisca Olivas, my father and mother. We viewed an exercise facility as a much needed service to our community and are proud to say it keeps our youth in a positive atmosphere.
As a fully employed teacher and co-owner of a gym, I cannot boast of a surplus of spare time. I spend most of it with my wife, kids and am blessed to have my grandparents, parents, and siblings live within ten minutes of me. My three kids’ school work and extra-curricular activities make up a substantial portion of that spare time. I exercise regularly, read more than my wife thinks I should and enjoy grilling out frequently in our, practically, year-round weather for it.
I am running for office because I feel there is a need to bring a different perspective to the table and one that would perhaps be representative of people who feel they have not been heard. I want to make myself accessible to people who want their opinions shared and represented.
My professional background has widely ranged from managing a farm, guiding people on wilderness courses that involve backpacking, whitewater, and mountaineering. For well over 20 years, I have been a passionate advocate of community supported agriculture, experiential education, sustainability and effective communication. I am a teacher, a student, a friend and a professional at those.
I have accumulated well over 130 semester credit hours at several colleges across the nation but I have never settled to acquire a degree. I believe education is a journey, not a destination. Do you have a library card? Keep Learning!
I am qualified to be a city council member because I am a very capable communicator who inquires about things from all aspects and can discuss concerns with solutions instead obsessing over the problem. My ability to listen to the opinions and concerns of others and have them be expressed at the city council meetings is where I feel most qualified. I will make myself accessible to the public so they can have their voice brought to the table. And most importantly, I live here.
I believe the biggest issue that needs fixing is the dynamic at the city hall. I feel there needs to be a more supportive team for the city administrator and the city employees. I would like to see citizens of Presidio be content with the city infrastructure such as the roads, the water, and waste management and to do that we need to establish a reputation that garners people’s trust and confidence. We need to remove the attitude that “good enough” will do and that it will be done “mañana.” We need to make sure that everyone is doing their job in order to make the collective effort more efficient.
I am currently working on getting a community garden in town. This is a project that is slowly making progress with the collective effort of the City, the Big Bend Regional Hospital District, the Presidio Independent School District, as well as the Saint Teresa Catholic Church . I volunteer at the Presidio Elementary School where I teach students about planting seeds and growing food. We are learning everything from seed to harvest. We have started our first flats for the spring and will eventually transplant them in various places. I feel we need to emphasize to children that real food is grown in a garden and not laced with high fructose corn syrup or stuffed with ingredients one cannot pronounce. Growing food is rewarding and healthy.
In my spare time, I walk my amazing dogs in the desert, I dive into great books, and I put to paper my stories, thoughts, and ideas. Life is outside the box.
I would like to mention that because I was born Deaf, I have learned to deal with adversity. These circumstances have allowed me a better understanding of what it is like to be marginalized and/or what it feels like to have little or no representation. I have the experience it takes to effectively communicate and find solutions to problems, Juntos Podemos!
I am running for office, because I wish to be in a position in which I can represent and advocate for my community. Many residents have needs, but unfortunately, lack assertiveness to come forth and: request what they need / want, and say no to what they do not want or need.
I currently provide services as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC); I have worked in EC-12 Education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. I have also taught dance, music, and worked as a Stylist. I have also worked as a Career Counselor for Workforce Solutions.
I hold an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Cosmetology; BA-Music Education, M.Ed.,- Counseling; will graduate in May with MA -Educational Leadership. (Hold numerous certifications and Licenses).
I am from Presidio, and I have learned that Presidio is a place you either love or hate. I love it! I came back several years ago, with the vision of giving back to my community. And what better way than to advocate for the residents and their needs; city improvements to fulfill dire needs. There are many issues that need to be ‘fixed’. Not to say they are not being addressed; however, the City-to-resident communication is not at its best. I advocate for transparency, veracity, and timely information while allowing residents more ownership of their community and the decisions made. Another issue that needs ‘fixing’ is resident participation; I intend to encourage more to attend and actively participate in the meetings and events. People are good at electing who they want to represent them; however, they are not very good at following through to see that the person they elected follows-through with their ‘promises’ and represents them and their interests well. Monitoring and helping safeguard our community’s resources and its potential as an economic engine is definitely something that needs to be ‘fixed’.
Besides from actively participating in the Children’s education for the past years, I am part of the Rotary Club, Presidio Foundation Education, and formerly served as President to the Presidio Municipal Development District (PMDD).
I engage in self-care activities such as: playing piano, singing, reading, weightlifting, personal and Spiritual growth and furthering my education. I also like to help as much as possible wherever and whenever the need arises.
I grew up in Presidio and returned several years ago. I have provided many hours of pro-bono services in the betterment of people’s lives and the community. I am honored with the opportunity to run for City Councilman to serve, represent and advocate for the needs of my community. I also want the public to know that I possess well-rounded knowledge and experience in many areas which allows me to help problem-solve and advocate for others; specifically: social justice.