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Goliad's new mayor talks goals, transition

By Sara Sneath
June 9, 2014 at 1:09 a.m.

Anna Lopez Machacek, the new mayor of Goliad, left, speaks with, left to right, Donavon Cantu, 22; Kevin Milton, 27; and Valentine Arriazola, 50, about additions and repairs to Fannin Square in Goliad.

GOLIAD - Anna Lopez Machacek came out of retirement three months ago to run for mayor because she saw the need for a more detailed budget.

"If the budget is not detailed enough, it's a mystery to the public. I'm trying to take the mystery out of public finance," Machacek said.

A 2013 investigation by the Advocate found the city mishandled $1 million of public money. The mishandling of funds left some residents questioning the city's policies. The new mayor, who prefers hugs to handshakes, hopes to restore the city's trust in local government through unity.

A former Goliad County tax assessor, Machacek said she feels confident she can provide the public with more details as to where their tax dollars go and redirect money toward projects that will greater benefit the community.

Goliad residents have confidence in her, too, and elected her mayor May 10.

Machacek's first month in office has been all about trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible.

"It's like trying to sip water out of a fire hose. I'm trying to take in as much as I can," she said.

Though she has 32 years of administration and budgeting experience, she has little practice with municipal governance.

As she learns more about what her role will be in the community of Goliad, she wants to give residents a chance to learn more about her.

Origins

Born at the Goliad Hospital in 1962, she grew up on state Highway 239 southeast of Goliad.

Family

Married Daniel Machacek a year and a half ago. She has two adult daughters from a previous marriage and three grandchildren.

Job experience

Graduated from Goliad High School in 1981 and went straight to work for Goliad County Appraisal District. She worked for the appraisal district for 16 years before running for tax assessor in 1996. During the four terms Machacek served as tax assessor, she learned to be conservative with taxpayers' dollars, to connect with voters and give service with a smile, she said.

Leadership style

"My best friend describes me as patient and persistent with a positive attitude. I know that my ideas are not enough. I always believe that a leader is someone who brings the ideas of others together and makes them work. It's 'common' and 'unity' that makes community."

Goals for Goliad

"My first priority is to prepare next year's budget. I hope to find a less expensive way for some of the services that we are providing right now. Another goal of mine is to survey youth in the area to see what they'd like to see in their hometown and work toward that."

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