Wednesday morning, July 26, Jorge “Coach” Salinas officially filed to run for Edinburg City Council Place 1. Place 1 is an open seat because the current Place 1 councilman, Richard Molina, is running for mayor.
Salinas said he decided to run because, after 16 years of serving the community as a teacher and a coach, he thinks it’s time to “do this at a larger scale.”
One of his priorities is to investigate ways to lower Edinburg residents’ taxes. Salinas credited council member J.R. Betancourt for spearheading the recent three-cent tax reduction and said he would like to pursue ways to reduce city taxes even further.
“We should shoot for 15 cents,” Salinas said, “with a goal of getting at least a 10- to 12-cent reduction. Edinburg is growing. We have an IMAX now, we have the new Toros stadium, and we have Bob’s (Steak & Chop House). We need to put money back in our residents’ hands so they can go to these places.”
Another priority for Salinas is improving drainage and increasing the number of public parks.
“I live on the east side now, and if we get 20 minutes of hard rain, the streets are flooded,” Salinas said. “I know drainage improvements are in the works, but I will push to get them completed.”
Salinas said the west side of town where Longoria Middle School, B.L. Garza Middle School, several Edinburg elementary schools, and an IDEA Public Schools campus are located, there is no public park. He said his athletes always wanted the gates at the school left open so they would have a place to play basketball on the weekends. The rural parts of the city, too, need public parks.
“Where Brewster is,” he said, “there is nothing. The need is there.”
Salinas would also like to thoroughly review the employee study a consultant completed for the city to evaluate each employee’s pay and to look at incentive pay across the board.
Although there is a political split on the current commission, Salinas said he is not affiliated with either side.
“I’m an independent,” he said. Salinas hopes to meet with all of the current commission members in the coming weeks.
Salinas, an Edinburg native, grew up on the west side of the city. He has served the community and its children for 16 years as a teacher and a coach with Edinburg CISD, currently employed at B.L. Garza. His parents are Jose Luis (JL) and Arminda Salinas. He and his wife, Yovann, have two children, Brian and Kristen.