I am fully retired. My current commitments are to my family, my dog Konnan and to my new career, that of City Representative for District 7.
4) IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO REVOKE ONE ORDINANCE IN EL PASO IMMEDIATELY UPON TAKING OFFICE, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
There are many ordinances and so many of them need to be reviewed. As of right now there is not one ordinance I would revoke without the input of our community. I realize that there are standing committees and adhoc committees that have and continue to address our ordinances. In the past there have been consolidation and removal of outdated ordinances. What needs to be reviewed are the ordinances that involve small businesses such as the sign, building or vacant building ordinances. Are these ordinances creating a prohibitive business environment? We need to create ordinances that are more business friendly but do not revert us back to the unattractiveness of our old downtown.
5) DESCRIBE A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
The greatest moment that changed my life is when my first child was born. I was newly married and 20 years old. I had just started to work at the company as I mentioned previously, as a shop floor sweeper, when my daughter Mary was born. That moment changed my life. All the things that my father and mother taught me came into focus. I knew that I would need to work hard and give all that I had to care for my new baby and my young wife. I had no idea what I was really in store for. My daughter was born with a disability. My wife and I were young and on our own, we couldn’t run back to our parents for help. So we stood together united and moved forward. Together and united. That moment truly changed my life. The end result is that I have become more patient, more disciplined, and more forgiving.
6) IN WHAT WAYS IS EL PASO ON THE RIGHT TRACK, AND IN WHAT WAYS DOES IT NEED TO CHANGE COURSE?
I believe that El Paso is on the right track. We are growing and we want to improve our quality of life. Every great city has great parks, a great downtown and great neighborhoods. We are moving in that direction. However I feel that we are not using our common sense when we approach the decisions to move forward. We need to be more patient but act with some intensity, not haste nor rash but with a pragmatic and deliberate effort.
The course change we need to make is with our decision makers. We need to include the citizens of our community. Listen, yes truly listen to them. Our currently city leaders are not listening, I truly believe that. An example of that is the method of which our city leaders pursued the baseball stadium. We rushed that effort, now it has been recently explained to me by a current city representative that the cost of the stadium could be as much as triple the cost what was stated last year. We may end up paying about $136 million for the construction of a 9 thousand seat stadium. Was the best decision we could make? I guess will now in the coming years. The baseball stadium issue is in the past, we (our city) will move forward. I will make certain that it will be a success and that we push for a vibrant downtown to go along with the new stadium.
Also, we need to raise the bar on not only our quality of life but on the job market. Economic Development is my number one priority and job creation is at the forefront. As I mentioned in a previous question, I feel that the best way to improve our community is to pursue better jobs for our community. Our standards are too low for our community to really grow. We have grown to accept low to medium skill jobs for low to medium pay. This is not good enough for our community. The integrity of our community is at play here, who in the last 8 years has really pushed and brought the required jobs we need for our community – the answer is no one. I feel that it will be my job to push for those jobs that we badly need in our community.
7) IF ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU BALANCE THE NEEDS OF FAMILY, YOUR CAREER AND YOUR OFFICE?
Well as I did before I retired, the balance of family and a career is a careful thread to stand on. When I worked for the 52 years that I did, I balanced my career and family with lots of communication. I seldom missed an event that my children had; like a track meet or a school event, a graduation or a birth of a child, grandchild or great grandchild. Remember I stated that I missed only two days of scheduled work in my ENTIRE career and I almost never missed an event that any of my children had. Keeping a schedule and communicating with my wife and children and also with the owners of the company, made it possible for me to make those appointments.
What is evident is how my wife and I worked together to be successful. A successful parent or leader will only realize their efforts are fruitful when their children or employees are successful. All of my children are successful in their fields of work. All but one have their masters degrees with one working on her doctorate. Only Mary did not go to college, but she in her way is a success.
8) WHEN AND WHY DID YOU COME TO EL PASO (IF APPLICABLE)?