Mercurio Martinez III will run for the District III City Council seat that termed-out Council member Alex Perez Jr. will vacate at the end of this year.
The Laredo realtor will run in a field of six candidates that includes Perez’s wife Christina, Anastacio Barrera, Manuel D. Osorio, Ruben Salinas III, and Abraham Lugo.
Martinez is a 1985 graduate of St. Edward’s University with a degree in marketing and finance and is also a graduate of the Real Estate Institute. He is a certified buyer’s representative and a certified seller’s representative who has logged continuing education hours in ethics and real estate law over the 16 years he has been associated with Swisher & Martin Realty.
Martinez said he believes his background in banking and real estate has primed his acumen of contracts and enhanced his skills at negotiations and consensus building.
“Good information and communication are vital to any elected official who has committed to work for the greater good. I have that to offer. We are one community. We can learn to trust each other, listen respectfully, and work together,” he said.
“I’m running for this position to be part of the solution, to find ways to work together as a Council,” Martinez said, noting that he is a proponent of Robert’s Rules of Order.
“I can sit on the sidelines as a positive person who knows many good people who want to make this a better community, or I can jump in and network the goodwill and good intentions of those people into public participation,” he said.
Martine said he wants to continue to add to some of the positive projects in District III like Slaughter Park, the TIRZ, and the Chacon Creek trails. The river vega from the Chacon Creek trails to LCC has such great potential for parkland, green spaces, and nature trails.” The same is true, he said, of the Zacate Creek route from the Haynes Recreation Center to Lake Casa Blanca.
“I think most of us are in agreement that a virtual wall on the river vega is the best way to address the federal government’s plan for deterring illegal entry into the U.S. Let’s clean the vega of Carrizo and make it parkland from the Haynes to LCC and beyond that to AEP,” he said.
“Federal funds could be found to manage and maintain it and to document the traffic there. The presence of local and federal law enforcement there will keep safety at the forefront,” he added.
The candidate said that he would work to clean more neighborhoods in the Heights and in South Laredo.
“Much of the work ahead will be shaped by having to re-think how to deal with the $14 million dollar shortfall the City faces in declining oil and gas revenues. We will need to be much better stewards of tax dollars,” he said.
Of sustainable downtown revitalization, Martinez said, “The traffic flows are unfriendly and counter-productive. That needs to be addressed and so do incentives for private/public partnerships.”
Martinez said his family’s history of public service in Laredo and Webb and Zapata counties is both legacy and mandate.
His grandfather (the first Mercurio) — a rancher, an educator, a learned historian, and an archivist of documents that told the family history along the same arc that followed the history of the settlers of Guerrero Viejo, San Ygnacio, and Zapata — was once treasurer of Zapata County.
Martinez III’s father, Mercurio Martinez Jr., served three terms as Webb County Judge from 1990 to 2002.
Candidate Martinez has served as committee chair of the City Board of Adjustments and chair of the Webb County Appraisal District Review Board. He has also served on the City’s Telecommunications Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Ethics Commission.
He has served as president of the Laredo Board of Realtors, and is affiliated with the Texas Association of Realtors.
His civic undertakings include serving as president of the International Good Neighbor Council, the St. Augustine School Board, and the annual WBCA Jalapeño Festival.
Of his upbringing in Laredo, Martinez said, “We were raised with a lot of love and respect in an extended family. It was built into the men to be courteous, to be caballeros, to open doors for women, and to respect the land.”
He said that his character building as a boy included digging fence postholes and the work of rounding up cattle.
“We have always been bound by the history of our ranch. Though it is arid land, it is beautiful and rich in what it gives in sunsets and in the sighting of wildlife. I am a careful steward of land, water, and natural resources,” Martinez concluded.
Martinez and Judith García Martinez have been married for 29 years and are the parents of sons Milan and Moises and the late beloved Mercurio Martinez IV.
For further information on the Mercurio Martinez for City Council District III campaign, to volunteer, or to contribute to the campaign, call (956) 237-8282.