TxDOT retiree wants to go from highways to county roads

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

May 3, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.

A recent Texas Department of Transportation retiree wants to use his experience from building highways to build county roads.

Danny Garcia, 50, of DaCosta, is running in the May 29 primary election against five other Democratic candidates for Victoria County Commissioner Precinct 1.

Garcia retired in August with 31 years as a transportation specialist at TxDOT.

During his career, he developed a training program for new civil engineers and inspectors and contributed to the $950 million DFW Connector Project.

"I've built highways, I can build county roads that last," Garcia said.

Garcia said he is running for commissioner because he believes he can make an improvement on what is already being done.

While he views his state transportation experience as an asset, he said, "Roadways, bridges and drainage aren't the only things a commissioner does."

"Sure, you're their voice, but it's their county," Garcia said. "You're working for them."

If elected, Garcia said he expects to spend the bulk of his budget on salaries, materials and equipment.

But to compete with higher-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, Garcia said he would review county employee benefits and, if there is funding and quality work, raises funded through grants could help retain county employees.

One of his goals is addressing littering on U.S. Highway 87 and state Highway 185, near the dump. He said he wants to see tighter enforcement of existing litter laws, including requiring tarps on trailers, and creating inter-local agreements to keep the highways clean.

As for two recent issues in the commissioners court - aggressive dogs and sexually oriented businesses - Garcia said he would support regulations.

He said with the county's growth, the court will need to pass regulations that will "nip it in the bud."

"If you start off tough, you can back off a little bit," Garcia said. "Big Brother can't have his finger on you all the time. You can set ordinances, but the Constitution allows a lot of these freedoms."

"If you're complaining about something, that means I missed something," Garcia said.



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