EDINBURG – When city council member Richard Molina was with the police force he was assigned to patrol the city council meetings.
It was then when the wheels began turning about one day becoming mayor of the City of Edinburg. Molina remembers wanting to rush into running for the city's highest office but was advised to get his feet wet being an elected official. After a successful bid for the city council and serving four years in his seat, Molina will now put his name on the Nov. 7 ballot to run for mayor.
“In order to become an official candidate you need to file a campaign treasurer,” Molina said outside city hall. “This makes me an official candidate for mayor.”
The council member said he will hold his seat on the council until the end of his term in November. With less than 13 months on his term state law allows him to keep his seat. Molina appointed himself as campaign treasurer. Officially Molina cannot file to run for mayor until July 22.
Molina's bid for mayor comes for many reasons.
He thinks the city is mismanaging funds and thinks the incumbent Mayor Richard Garcia is out of touch with the public and their needs. Molina also said he gets calls everyday about infrastructure issues.
“We have leaks, some at city hall and some at the library,” Molina said. “We're not prioritizing fixing leaky roofs at the fire department, instead other priorities that have come in place are building $35 million apartments.”
Molina also believes the system is broken. He said the position of mayor oversees both of our biggest accounts which are the city and the economic development corporation. Having that kind of power is too much for the seat he seeks.
Molina also thinks the city is falling behind with the times as he and his colleagues on the council debate one park, the City of Pharr is building nine parks simultaneously.
“Although we tout ourselves as doing more, I've seen it first hand citizens that drive around this town can see that we're are doing less for the citizens,” he said.
If elected Molina wants to remove the position of mayor from overseeing the Edinburg EDC. He wants people in there who specialize in business and know about development. Doing so will create the opportunity for other people to share their ideas.
Molina thinks the position of mayor does not mean you have all the ideas, it comes from the constituents.
To shake things up some more Molina will place term limits on a ballot if elected mayor to limit a person in office for only two terms. The city of Edinburg has had only two mayors in the past 25 years. The councilman wants a quicker rotation so fresh ideas can be presented to the citizens of Edinburg.
In all Molina knows it will be an uphill battle to unseat Mayor Richard Garcia.
“I'm not the favorite in winning the election,” Molina said. “As a matter of fact the current mayor has made comments that I don't stand a chance because of the fact I don't have wealthy people on my team but I know there's a lot more people out there that work hard everyday [like] school teachers, nurses, the policemen and firemen and there's more of those [people] than wealthy people.
“The reason I've decided to run for mayor are for those people, I've wanted to run for the common folk out there that get up every morning trying to make ends meet, they pay their sales tax, property tax and they just want to see better things happen with those monies.”