Commissioner candidate hopes to unseat incumbent
May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
Editor's note: The Advocate is profiling candidates in the May 29 primary election. This profile features candidates for the Republican Party nomination for Victoria County Commissioner Precinct 3. The winner will face Democrat Reynaldo "Rey" Herrera in the November general election.
A lifetime Victoria resident, inspired by Glen Beck and the tea party movement, wants to take back county government.
Gary Charbula, 53, said his platform for Precinct 3 county commissioner is reeling in taxes and spending.
"Everybody knows we need taxes for agencies, bridges and roads, but it seems spending has gotten out of hand," Charbula said. "Instead of sitting in the background, I decided to put my hat in the race."
Charbula is running against incumbent Gary Burns in the May 29 Republican Party primary.
Charbula has no prior experience serving in office or on local committees and boards, but said his experience as a small-business owner make him a good fit for the job.
Charbula owns GT Electric and has worked 23 years as a self-contractor with as many as eight employees.
During that time, he has worked on million-dollar projects for area schools and city/county developments.
"I see stuff that can be more efficient," Charbula said. "We can get by with a Chevrolet instead of a Mercedes Benz."
His top priorities are to control costs, streamline county agencies and implement projects for local children, specifically a water park.
"There's no sense in overlay in government where we could streamline it," Charbula said.
He also said he wants to address inventory tax for small businesses by reducing or eliminating it.
"You have to keep paying for it year in and year out," Charbula said. "How many times do I have to pay for that computer and desk?"
As the county continues to grow, Charbula said his focus would be on expanding and dividing bottle-necked roads.
"You can already see it's going to be a problem," he said.
Loop 463 between U.S. Highway 59 and Upper Mission Valley Road is a specific road he wants to tackle.
He said he wants to see ordinances enforced on abandoned homes and vehicles.
"We've got $100,000 homes with old, abandoned trailer homes next door," Charbula said.