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Candidates talk trash at debate (Video)

By Melissa Crowe
Oct. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Oct. 19, 2012 at 5:19 a.m.

From left, Republican Gary Burns and Democrat Rey Herrera

Illegal dumping and overgrown ditches was a main issue during the Victoria Commissioner Precinct 3 candidates' debate Thursday.

While the Democratic challenger said more needs to be done to combat dumping, the Republican incumbent said it's already taken care of.

Democratic challenger Rey Herrera, a 63-year-old sheriff's deputy, said the roads in Precinct 3 are in bad shape and that cars are bottoming out on roads across the county.

In general, politicians are "trying to save money during election time to make the budget look good," Herrera said. "In the end, if you let all of that go, you'll pay for it."

Herrera said the county lacks in keeping the county road ditches mowed.

Republican incumbent Gary Burns, 59, retorted, saying he has "the best crew in the state."

Although his budget doesn't cover every road in the county that needs work, he said his is the cleanest precinct in the county.

Burns said he keeps ditches mowed year round, and if he gets a complaint about a ditch twice, he'll send a crew to take care of it. He also purchased inexpensive "game cameras" to catch dumpers in the act and used grant money and inmate labor to keep roadsides clean.

Herrera said he intends to pass county regulations to stop illegal dumping and increase neighborhood patrols to stop it.

"It's the perfect place for people to dump their old tires and couches," he said.

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