Refugio mayor touches on long city involvement history, future of town

Mayor Ray Jaso talks about his time serving the people of Refugio.

Refugio Mayor Ray Jaso has been a staple in the small town since the early 1970s.

Jaso, a Refugio resident, was elected onto the city council in 1972, where he has had a say in the growth of the community.

One of Jaso's first successes was bringing cable television to Refugio.

Forty-one years later, the town has grown with businesses popping up and flourishing on both sides of U.S. Highway 77, including a Best Western, a diesel truck stop and a frac sand plant.

In 1997, Jaso was elected mayor.

Jaso's re-election last week means one thing: two more years at the helm, giving him a 16-year run as mayor by 2013.

Why do you think you were re-elected?

"The silent majority. They are the people who put me in there the first time. We are making improvements, that's what they want. We'll see how my health holds out."

As mayor, what are some of your plans for this next term?

"We are moving slowly, but we are moving in the right direction. We have new businesses coming into town, that are bringing jobs. We want to put these businesses on the tax roll. We want to continue bringing more businesses, and find houses and units for people coming in. We have land on either side of U.S. Highway 77."

What are some of the biggest issues facing Refugio going into the next term?

"TxDOT is the big issue. We don't need a bypass. They have segment meetings that get the town involved. We have 24,000 cars going down the highway everyday. People stop by for gas and food. We can't afford a bypass."