Victoria is a special place. In 1950, when I was born, my father was managing a grocery store here, but he wanted more for his young family. He took a job with Texas Concrete before a leap of faith to start his own precast concrete business. My father and his partners ran their business for the better part of four decades, and to my knowledge, never had a written agreement between them.
This was a magical time to grow up in Victoria. Our wholesome little community was full of energy. Our local economy was strong, and our downtown was bustling with retail and entertainment. Growing up, I saw first-hand that hard work and honest ambition could grow a career and a business in Victoria. Following this example, I founded an architecture firm here that today has 12 full-time employees and collaborates on major infrastructure and construction projects throughout the Golden Crescent and State of Texas.
I still believe that Victoria is a great place to call home, but our city has fallen behind in recent decades. We have not developed a sustainable base of higher-paying local jobs, several of our major retail and commercial businesses have closed, and we have difficulty retaining talent and attracting top-tier economic development. In my business, I work with communities and business leaders across Texas, and I know that today’s economy is growing more and more competitive.
If we want Victoria to be the kind of place where future generations can live their American Dream, we must address the challenges facing our local economy and lay a foundation for future success.
That is why I am running for mayor of Victoria. I know how to attract talent and grow a business in Victoria, because I’ve done it for nearly 40 years as an architect and business owner. Based on my extensive experience in public planning, infrastructure, and economic development, I have a four-point plan to improve Victoria’s economy and quality-of-life.
1. Upgrade our city’s aging infrastructure: We need to improve our roads, emergency services and basic utilities to create building blocks for high-quality economic development.
2. Create a climate for desirable retail growth: We can restore vitality to our retail, dining and entertainment sector through workforce development, targeted initiatives to fill retail voids and a comprehensive marketing plan to drive growth in local sales.
3. Attract high-quality industry to expand and diversify our economy: In today’s economy, we must compete to bring high-quality industry to Victoria so our citizens have more opportunities to advance their careers locally. We can do this by making strategic investments in infrastructure, community partnerships for educational and workforce development and smart policies that make it easy to start and grow a business in Victoria.
4. Faithfully steward our city’s finances and your tax dollars: By investing in economic growth, we can reduce the property tax burden on homeowners. As a business owner, I will strive to run our city like a well-run business with balanced budgets and fiscal discipline.
In the May 4 city election, I ask you to hire me for a very important job. This job cannot be accomplished with sound bites, slogans, handshakes or wishful thinking. It requires an intimate working knowledge of public planning, infrastructure, codes, ordinances and economic development.
One of the candidates in this race has suggested that a mayor does not need this kind of knowledge, saying that’s what a city manager is for. It has also been said the city needs a good cheerleader as mayor. Yes, a mayor should be a city’s chief advocate, but from my professional experience, I know that successful cities don’t just have good cheerleaders at the helm. They also have serious leaders with a deep understanding of their city’s challenges and a strategic plan to address them.
I have the know-how and a plan to get to work on Day 1 meeting the challenges that face our city. My entire professional life has been dedicated to helping businesses and communities grow and prosper. I respectfully ask for your vote so I can put these skills to work making Victoria’s future as bright as its storied past.