McAllen District #1 commission candidates discuss issues and qualifications

By Bryan Ramos

Futuro McAllen hosted the McAllen Commissioner District #1 Forum Thursday night in the McAllen Public Library Auditorium, allowing the three candidates in contention for the now vacated position to give the community a better sense of who they are and how they can help with election day approaching.

Former Commissioner Richard Cortez vacated his post after electing to enter the county’s judge’s race. The three candidates now vying for the position are Timothy Wilkins, owner of Sofie’s Saloon and CEO of CADTax Property Tax Consulting; Javier Villalobos, an attorney; and Joseph M. Caporusso, a podiatrist.

The forum included three panelists–Mitchell Ferman of The Monitor, Monica Stewart of Futuro McAllen, Davis Rankin of KURV Radio–who asked questions to the candidates on various talking points including declining sales tax revenues, drainage problems and issues regarding ports of entry in South Texas.

Each candidate expressed why they feel they are the right fit for the McAllen Commissioner position.

Wilkins said he has spent his entire professional career building experience in small business dealings is something that can bring a balance to the city commission.

“I’ve been interacting with all types of small business owners, developers, municipalities, taxing entities, all of those things are a wealth of information that I think I can bring the city commission, to bring a balance to the city commission with a small business mindset that I think desperately needs it,” he said.

Villalobos said he thinks it’s important to have somebody in position who will stand up when something isn’t right.

“One of the things I think I offer, and I think something very important, is the experience, the skill and the knowledge I have in the municipal arena,” he said.  Not just in the municipal arena, but in housing, economic development, that’s what I’ve done for the past 19 years. I want to put that to use. I know some of the pitfalls in municipalities, I know budgets, I know what I can do for the city.”

Caporusso said making the best decisions for the citizens of McAllen is his foremost concern.

“I’m running for city of McAllen Commissioner #1 for one reason and one reason only, that’s to try to help our great city that we live in,” he said. “I believe that I bring a perspective being a physician, a community leader and public servant and change the outlook of our commission somewhat.”

The last day of early voting is Tuesday, Jan. 16. There are three early voting locations for those looking to beat the crowd–Firemans Pump House at 201 North 1st, Palm View Community Center at 3401 Jordan Avenue and Lark Community Center at 2601 Lark Avenue. Election day is Saturday, Jan. 20.

The election day voting location for District #1 is Gonzalez Elementary at 201 East Martin Avenue. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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