Gregory councilman's bid for mayor a success

Posted: May 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm

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GREGORY Residents will see different, but not quite new, leadership as former councilman Freddy R. Garcia prepares to take over the mayors seat and former Mayor Tino Zambrano sits on the council.

With two years left on his council term, Garcia resigned to face Mayor Victor Lara on Saturdays ballot. The gamble paid off as he won with 44 percent of the vote to Laras 36 percent. Councilwoman Joyce Salinas also ran against Lara and received 20 percent of the vote.

Garcia, 37, is an information technology technician with H-E-B. He was born and raised in Gregory.

He and other citizens have been frustrated, Garcia said, because they were left in the dark on city activities. For example, he said, the city did not release information on finances, and it was unknown what was going in and what was going out.

I also had been big on code enforcement and abandoned lots and we just didnt seem to be going anywhere with that, Garcia said. I would bring up concerns and it seemed like nothing happened.

Former Gregory resident Juan Hernandez Jr., who served on the council several years ago, speculated Lara lacked experience and had personal problems that concerned voters, he said. Lara was arrested in December on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Thats PR; thats representing the city, Hernandez said, adding that Gregory is entering a new era with the $1 billion Tianjin pipe mill plant on the way. There are new jobs coming in and the city needs direction for infrastructure and housing development.

Hernandez said its easy for candidates to talk big before coming into office. They want to change things and make them better.

But theres no budget for it, he said. When I was there, our hands were tied. You just have to help people as much as you can.

Garcia said he has talked with each member of the council and they have the same priorities: improving infrastructure, drainage and fire hydrants. He also plans to focus on code enforcement.

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Gregory councilman's bid for mayor a success

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May 15th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

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