Former city councilman wants a seat again

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 24, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2012 at 11:25 p.m.

Lewis Neitsch

Lewis Neitsch

Former councilman Lewis Neitsch keeps talking about economic development.

With his background on the City Council and his tenure with the Victoria Sales Tax Development Board, his priorities include making the city more attractive to developers, supporting higher education and being proactive in planning for growth - including streets, sewer and noise pollution.

He will face incumbent David Hagan in the May 12 election for District 4.

"I guess I talked myself into joining the hunt," he said.

Neitsch represented District 2 for 11 years, until he lost in 2009 to Councilman Gabriel Soliz.

"I think Victoria, five or 10 years from now, will look at this decade as when DuPont was built," Neitsch said. "The explosion of Victoria's economic conditions went from zero to a lot of new rooftops and new businesses."

With the Caterpillar plant and its related businesses, as well as oil and gas production, Neitsch said there is potential to do more economically.

"I just feel like I can do a better job than my counterpart," Neitsch said.

Neitsch serves as president of the local sales tax development board of directors, which spearheaded the city's business parks and supports Victoria College's expansions.

"When developers come to the city, we should welcome them with open arms," Neitsch said.

He questioned whether developers would come to Victoria without incentives such as tax abatements, and how to promote existing businesses through 380-agreements.

If a new business is eligible and denied a tax abatement, it sends a message to others looking at Victoria, Neitsch said.

He also said Victoria College's proposed Emerging Technologies Center is a "win-win" for the city.

"We want people to get their education here and have a good job here," Neitsch said.



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