La Joya commissioner eyes mayor’s seat

La Joya Commissioner Mike Salinas got his start in public service by getting involved in community events.

And he continued that service after he was elected to office in May 2011, running on a slate with Mayor Fito Salinas, of no relation. In his four years in office, Salinas said he’s been involved in annexations north of the city, served on the planning and zoning commission as McDonald’s and Stripe’s came to town and helped cut the budget.

20150710 Mike Salinas 1Among his accomplishments, Mike Salinas said a couple of years ago, he took on the full burden of the city’s Easter event, giving out hundreds of baskets, thousands of eggs and a few dozen bikes. He’s also excited to see the park on Military Road under construction. At one point, it was a baseball park, where he played Little League.

“It’s a more impoverished community down where I live,” Mike Salinas said.

Now, Mike Salinas has his eye on the highest seat on the city commission, announcing his bid for mayor on social media last mongh. He soon plans to announce two candidates who will run on a slate with him in the November election.

Mike Salinas said he wants to regain the trust of the community as he’s seen anonymous Facebook pages level accusations of corruption at the current administration. He still agrees with the mayor and other commissioners on some things, but they have their differences, Mike Salinas said.

“With all this stuff that goes on, it seems like people don’t have any trust in their local government anymore, in their elected officials to some degree,” he said. “You’ve seen the Facebook stuff and all the trash talk that’s going around … it really enticed me to come out and try to do my part and try to regain the people’s trust.”

In recent months, the city of La Joya has caught heat for instituting permit fees for amusement machines establishments. Mike Salinas said he agrees with them, but the city needs to have more oversight over the businesses and make sure city ordinances are being enforced.

“Yes, it has brought money to the city, I’m not going to deny that. It would be best to bring more genuine business to the city,” Mike Salinas said. “I think it would benefit the city. I’m on the fence on that one. I see the good that it has done as far as we need to find a funding source, but I’m not sure that was the best one.”

If elected mayor, Mike Salinas said he wants to see the city hire a grantwriter to actively look for money to improve the community. He also said the city needs to build up its police force as well as the public works office as the city prepares to expand to the north. Other needs Mike Salinas wants to address are sewer and drainage improvements.

“I’m a homegrown, deep-rooted person here in the community. I’m also a military veteran,” Mike Salinas said. “I strive for the best. I hold myself up to the highest standard, and I would hold everybody else up to those same standards as well.”

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