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Pastor runs for Victoria City Council, wants to build trust

By Melissa Crowe
April 22, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 22, 2012 at 11:23 p.m.

Gene Rice

Name: Gene Rice

Age: 59

Occupation: Pastor

Phone: 361-550-6718

Email: rice@suddenlink.net

A Victoria church leader is looking for another congregation to direct: the city.

Pastor Gene Rice, 59, of Victoria, said he has the leadership that can help the council move forward as the city grows.

He will be on the ballot May 12 for city council district 2 against Josephine Soliz, whose son, Gabriel, formerly held the position.

Rice said his experience at the pulpit in the church he founded, as well as the lectern in philosophy and ethics classes at Victoria College, make him the best fit.

He said the biggest issue he wants to tackle is trust.

"All the other things are symptoms of trust," he said. "If there was more trust, we wouldn't be at odds with each other."

Those issues, he said, include taxes, the economic development corporation, the convention and visitor's bureau and the proposed wastewater treatment plant.

Rice said the council did its due diligence for the proposed plant.

He said the controversy is a case of mistrust.

"It's not about the information or the cost factor. It's about trust," he said.

He also said he wants to see the underused Guadalupe River developed with more restaurants in a riverwalk-setting.

He said he also wants to see more balance of sales and property taxes.

"If you depend too much on sales tax and they drop, you lose," he said. "If you depend too much on property values and they go down, you lose."

He said his conservative financial experience comes from founding a drug rehabilitation nonprofit and operating the Church at Spring Creek.

The city "will provide you with infrastructure, police and fire protection," Rice said. "Our job as citizens is to promote the city, pay taxes and ask questions."

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