Salinas, who took 49 percent of the vote, is facing Jaime Gutierrez (31 percent of vote) in a runoff election on June 21, with early voting to take place June 9-17.
Although Guerra campaigned for improvements he saw that were needed in the city, he decided to support five-term Mayor Salinas after meeting with both Salinas and Gutierrez to assess which candidate he could support in the runoff.
Guerra said, “(Gutierrez) has a very big heart, but I didn’t feel that he had the capabilities of running the city.”
Asked what strengths he saw in Salinas as mayor, Guerra responded, “I would have to say that his experience is there. He knows all the things that are going on in the city of Mission.”
But, he added, “We’re going to hold his feet to the fire in the things that we discussed” to help the city and to try to get those things accomplished for the people that voted against him.
Guerra said he met with both candidates for an hour and a half each – Salinas on Friday and Gutierrez on Monday – to determine who he should support.
In his meeting with Mayor Salinas, Guerra said he discussed needed infrastructure for Madero, looking for ways to help citizens on the west side of the city, upgrading city parks, and looking into a citywide Wi-Fi system so students could have access to help with their studies.
“Those are the things that we really want,” Guerra said. The mayor said he would work to follow through on some of these things.
“I did talk to Mr. Gutierrez last night for an hour and a half,” Guerra said Tuesday, “and unfortunately he was not able to give me the information I wanted for my constituents: The ability to run the city in a direct and a professional manner; The ability to work with the other cities and city councils…(and) at the level of Hidalgo County. I didn’t feel that he had those qualifications.”
Guerra added, “(Gutierrez) has everything there…but unfortunately not the part that we really need, and that is the heart and the intellectual part that is going to be important for Mission and Mission’s future.
“Even though I had said we need a change — I have to endorse the mayor,” said Guerra, prompting spontaneous applause from the roomful or Salinas supporters, including most, if not all of the Sharyland ISD Board of Trustees and other elected officials a community leaders.
Salinas responded, saying, “I welcome the doctor to come on board to help us. I am willing to bring him onto any of the boards that we have.… We have about 100 people (serving on various city boards). I want him to be one of them if he wants to really get involved and help us” make the city a better city.
Salinas reminded those present that much has been accomplished during his administration over the past 16 years, but there is more to be done. Addressing Guerra’s concern about city parks, he said the city just recently completed the construction of two gymnasiums and two swimming pools for use by the public as well as the Mission Boys and Girls Club. This was done at a cost of about $5 million. The mayor said he would get together with the community and the city’s Parks Board to assess future needs for parks as the city continues to grow.