Engineer hopes to fill gaps on council
April 23, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated July 3, 2012 at 2:03 a.m.
Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong said it himself: The city council does not have an engineer. That's something John Hyak hopes to fix.
Hyak is running for District 3 against incumbent Paul Polasek.
"I'm an engineer, I can bring a perspective to the council they don't have," he said.
As a lifetime resident of Victoria, Hyak has seen and felt the wave of growing pains hit the city. He wants to make sure established taxpayers are not receiving all the financial burden of maintaining and building roads, fire and police departments, water lines and other infrastructure.
"There's not doubt we're going to continue to grow," he said. "I want to be part of our future growth and development. There's not a question in my mind that I can do a good job."
Hyak said his position as the department manager at Formosa Utility Venture, Ltd. adds to his credibility.
"Budgets, safety and the environment, accountability and problem solving are things I deal with every day," he said. "In my job, if you're not accountable, you're going to be removed."
Along with that, he said he understands the permitting process involved in the proposed wastewater treatment plant.
The city can "off-set the additional cost of a hearing by moving the plant one mile," he said. By moving a mile, he suggested the city could save on the additional controls such as odor control and fees for attorneys and experts in the hearing.
Hyak graduated from Victoria High School, attended Victoria College and received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University at Kingsville.
He examines issues from a "numbers standpoint."
If each department reduced its budget by 1 percent, it would be a positive step to relieving the burden of hundreds of millions of city debt, he said.
"If we can get our debt down, perhaps we can talk about reducing our tax rates," he said.
While he believes in tax incentives, including tax abatements and 380-agreements, a a low tax rate can be a major attractor for businesses, he said.
"In giving Caterpillar an abatement, we're all paying for it," he said. "My dad owned a business here for many years, and he never got an abatement."
With an industry perspective, he examines everything in terms of assets.
"You treat the golf course as an asset, and subsequently we have to maintain that asset," he said.