And, yet, their visions for the future of the city vary widely.
Candidates for Palmview Leadership are Joe Chapa for mayor, Mario Garza in Place 1, Alejandro Cantu in Place 2 and Albino Villarreal in Place 4. All of whom have never run for an elected office before.
Palmview Proud candidates are Jerry Perez for mayor, Arlando Nacianceno in Place 1, Jose “Hoss” Hernandez in Place 2 and Ricky Villarreal in Place 4. Perez resigned his seat of 18 years as the Place 1 alderman to run for mayor, and this is Villarreal’s first bid for re-election to keep his seat.
Joe Chapa moved to the Palmview area 22 years ago to be close to McAllen. He owns a business selling vegetable seeds to Bayer CropSciences.
Chapa wants to bring a businessman’s mentality to city government and hire a grant writer to boost funding.
“You can not earn $10 and spend $20,” he said.
Chapa served on the Palmview Crime Stoppers Board for 12 years before he, along with Cantu and Villarreal were kicked off. Chapa remembers giving out $15,000 in scholarships to the three high schools in La Joya ISD and the Palmview Spring Fest through Crime Stoppers.
“We’re trying to put back the community like it was,” Chapa said, adding that he’s focused on the police department.
It doesn’t feel like members of the police department are part of the community, Chapa said. And people aren’t speaking out in fear of retaliation, he said.
“I’ve heard a lot of complaints from neighbors,” Chapa said. “We don’t feel like they’re with us.”
Palmview Proud Mayor
Jerry Perez has served on the city council for 18 years and has lived in Palmview since 1979 when he was in grade school. He is the executive director of support services for La Joya ISD.
In the time Perez has served, he’s seen H-E-B come to town, the Boys and Girls Club expand and the police department grow.
“It’s time for me to step up to the plate and demonstrate my qualities, my education, my experience,” Perez said. “I think I can show that we can move the city to the next level, a level where we can prosper.”
As mayor, Perez wants to help the police chief create in-house ambulance service, which he hopes will mean faster response times to people in need. Services currently run through the county. Still, he said, he’d need to look into funding.
Also, Perez said, he wants to meet with folks at McDonald’s to see what it would take to get a restaurant in the city.
Palmview Leadership Place 1
Mario Garza moved to Palmview about 20 years ago because he wanted to stay close to his parents in the western part of the county, but stay within the La Joya ISD. He’s an owner-operator for Fed-Ex ground shipping.
About 10 years ago, Garza said he approached slates run by Kino Flores and Sergio Muñoz Sr. because he wanted to run for office, but they wouldn’t put him on a slate because, “I’m a straight-forward guy.”
Now, Garza said, pointing out the members of Palmview Proud all work for La Joya ISD, Palmview Proud is going up against the entire district.
Garza plans to focus on economic development as a member of the council.
“A lot of businesses are going down, and there’s a reason for all that–our community doesn’t shop Palmview,” he said. “We can help our city grow.”
Palmview Proud Place 1
Arlando Nacianceno has lived in the Palmview area 28 years. He’s a teacher at Hope Academy in La Joya ISD. He started out in the maintenance department of the City of Palmview.
He moved up to dispatcher and then moved on to public information officer.
“Eventually, I said, ‘You know what? I want to give back to the community,’” Nacianceno said.
After that, he went back to school to get a college degree and started teaching.
“I know what the city needs,” he said. “We need more progress.”
Palmview Leadership Place 2
Alex Cantu has lived in Palmview three years, and grew up in Sullivan City. He’s a coach with Treviño Middle School in La Joya ISD and a businessowner.
He wants to focus on beautifying the city, and he’d like to see the creation of a library and sewer system. Cantu also said he wants to install speed bumps in neighborhoods.
“I’ve seen a lot of things, a lot of corruptions, that’s been here in the city,” Cantu said. “Our city right now has declined services-wise, street-wise, lighting-wise.
He said city and school district politics are being mixed. People’s jobs have been threatened.
“I’m a perfectionist. Our community’s small,” Cantu said. “With what we have now, we need to expand, but we need to make it look nice and presentable.”
Palmview Proud Place 2
Jose “Hoss” Hernandez is running for office for the first time. He grew up in the Perezville neighborhood, which has been annexed into the city. He’s the bus parts manager for La Joya ISD.
Though this is Hernandez’s first run for office, he said he’s helped with other campaigns and been involved in politics.
Since he’s been alongside other candidates for years, Hernandez said he’s seen where he can help out. For example, he wants to bring a local chapter of the Boys Scouts to Palmview, and he wants to put focus on the Boys and Girls club.
“I’m a citizen here and I want to help out bringing in business,” Hernandez said. “Now that we know our sewer system is coming in, I want to promote our city.”
Palmview Leadership Place 4
Albino Villarreal has lived in Palmview 30 years. He moved to the area to start a furniture store.
“The people that are in office right now, they don’t care,” Villarreal said. “They don’t care about the people, to be honest, so we decided to run and see if we can make a difference, and I think we can.
“I don’t know why they don’t want to let go of the bone. They don’t want to let go, but at the end of the day something’s going to happen because if you’re doing something wrong, it’s going to catch up to you.”
Villarreal plans to focus on the Boys and Girls Club, where he already volunteers as a baseball coach. A lot of children can’t play because they owe the $25 fee, he said, adding that he wants to help them.
Palmview Proud Place 4
Ricky Villarreal, an educator in human resources for La Joya ISD, has served on the commission since 2010. His family has long been involved in politics as his uncle was mayor and his dad ran for office in the late 1990s.
“This was in the making for almost a year,” Villarreal said of the slate. “It’s something we meticulously and prudently decided to do, and we’ve got a good home grown team. We moved her in the early ’70s. The city has changed from rural to urban, and part of that was Jerry and myself.”
After taking office, Ricky Villarreal said he pushed for greater oversight of employees, putting hourly employees on the clock and eliminating cash transactions at city hall.
He wants to look out for big and small businesses to invest in Palmview.
“There’s property that we would like to invest in. Our goal is to raise the quality of life for the people in this community,” Villarreal said.