Arnoldo “Guero” Cantu, who has served as mayor for 12 years, is seeking a seventh, two-year term during the May 10 city elections.
“I want to thank the voters for electing me for six terms,” he said.
Cantu says as mayor, he has never missed attending a city council meeting and has never accepted the $150 monthly paycheck for doing the job since being first elected in 1996.
He says he also has paid about 90 percent of total travel expenses from his own pocket when he has had to travel out of town on city business.
There is no city property tax; city revenue is generated from sales tax, franchise fees and fines, and for the past straight 12 years, the city has maintained a balanced budget, he reported.
Cantu says, “through the years, a lot of city improvements have been made, but I know there’s still more to be done. We’ve done a lot with the resources we have.”
Listed improvements he mentioned included the city having obtained a grant of almost $1 million for the city’s water department as well as a number of housing grants during recent years that have totaled more than $1 million.
He also said that within the past month, city and county workers have removed more than 60 tons of debris piled within various areas of the town.
“We’ve also been able to assist the Chamber of Commerce, in giving to the Round Up,” Cantu said. “We’ve given more than a total of $35,000 during the past years, funds that have come out of the local motel/hotel tax account.”
He also said the new location of city hall, which was formerly a medical clinic, has been completely paid for.
Large signs welcoming travelers to Freer erected on the roadsides of each highway entering into the town were installed in recent years as well.
The Freer Welcome Park, located east of the city at Highways 44 and 59, is another of the city’s accomplishments.
Local businesses have been generous benefactors to the project for which the city is very appreciative, he said.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. “Freer is a great place to live and raise kids.”
Cantu owns and operates Cantu’s Tire Center.
He and his wife, Edna, have three children and two grandchildren.
Candidates opposing Cantu in the election are Ernesto “Pancho” Lerma and Felix “El Gato” Hogan.