Mayor Pete Saenz kicked off his re-election bid Tuesday, May 29, with an articulate, clear-cut assessment of the leadership needed to keep the City apace with sustainable growth — growth that will in turn stimulate the local economy, invite public confidence, and provide the efficient delivery of city services.
Saenz asked for citizen participation to chart the course of the City’s future for the benefit of all Laredoans. He spoke of an era of professionalism and open government that would yield a diverse and thriving, economy; transparent, data-driven decision making; and an affordable, more livable cityscape.
He said that following the newly completed Viva Laredo Comprehensive Plan would take the City to its next level of growth and foster an enhanced quality of life for all Laredoans.
CITY HALL OPEN TO BUSINESS & CITIZEN INPUT
Saenz said citizen comments at City meetings are to be “valued and encouraged.” He said the doors of City Hall and the business of government should be open to all, including veterans, employees, contractors, business owners, educators, and Nuevo Laredo and other cities along the border.
He stressed the importance of a level playing field for City employees in the workplace and for qualified contractors who want to work with the City. He said that while existing businesses are much valued, the City needs to court new businesses to create diversity in the local economy.
Saenz said partnerships with local school districts, private schools, LCC, and TAMIU are vital in producing “the quality professionals that will meet current and future workforce needs.”
Addressing taxes, Saenz said, “Taxes and fees should not be raised unless it is clearly shown by City management that all other internal budgetary components have been thoroughly exhausted. We need a more effective and leaner government.”
Saenz said a secondary water source needed to be evaluated and brought before City Council for consideration.
The Mayor said continuing to support the efforts and consider the opinions and recommendations of the police and fire departments are “paramount” to public safety.
Saenz earlier in his announcement spoke tenderly of a childhood lived in the area bound by Mier, Marcella, and Springfield streets, and walking or riding a bicycle to meet up with friends at the Zamarripa raspa store.
He said he had been baptized and confirmed at Christ the King Church and had married his wife Meva Cadena there. “We built our home in South Laredo and raised our children there.”
Overcome briefly with emotion, Mayor Saenz said that Laredo has been a wellspring of many blessings and friends. “We love our City and community,” he continued.
He spoke of the recent “cycle of scandalous political upheaval, mischief, and embarrassment.” He said Laredo is “destined for something greater if only the right decision makers are at the helm.”
The Mayor cited personal attributes of “integrity; values of faith, family, and community; a no nonsense-common sense style of governance; and stand strong decision making.”
He said that though inroads had been made for positive change in how the City conducts its business, “much more needs to be done.”
He closed by saying he stood strong on his vision for Laredo’s future, his abilities and accomplishments, and his commitment “to have a City government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
The Pete Saenz for Mayor campaign headquarters are at 1501 Chihuahua St.