Businessman takes third shot at Victoria City Council

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 21, 2012 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated April 21, 2012 at 11:22 p.m.

A third-time Victoria City Council candidate wants more in-depth research on a proposed wastewater treatment plant.

Victoria businessman Emett Alvarez, 50, is running against incumbent Denise Rangel for the District 1 seat. In the race for the council position, Alvarez has taken a hard stance against the incumbent in the proposed wastewater treatment plant on Hand Road.

"We need to revisit the hard questions and see the data and analyses," Alvarez said. "The city needs to sit down with the neighborhood and come up with a settlement," Alvarez said.

For him, settlement means relocate the proposed plant away from the nine residents living within a quarter-mile of the plant.

Alvarez was largely attracted to the race by two near wins in previous council elections.

"It keeps you interested because you come so close," he said. "I lost (last time) by 40 votes."

Alvarez, who owns Revista de Victoria, a monthly newspaper, said he wants to be an advocate for South Victoria.

"I feel South Victoria has been under-represented and has had very little voice in the City Council," Alvarez said.

Other issues he wants to address are improving streets and drainage, reducing noise pollution and creating quiet zones. He also wants to survey businesses and cut spending.

"We're under pressure to do more with less," he said. "Let's just stick with priorities and the needs."

As a cost-saving matter, Alvarez said, he would not have supported raises for new employees as the current council did this year.

"They're still doing on-the-job training," he said.

He said he would increase the city's competitive standing on projects that bring jobs.

Tax abatements are "a policy across the nation to entice industry and jobs," he said. "It's part of the overall project."

If any business qualified for an abatement, he said, they would deserve it.

He said he wants to implement a revolving small business loan fund for existing businesses to support improvements and expansions.

Alvarez grew up in Victoria, and after graduating from Stroman High School, he earned a business administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

"The key is reaching out to our citizens, get them directly involved," Alvarez said.

He said he wants to work on building trust with voters.

"We have a lot of growing pains," he said.



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