Rodriguez makes second run at post

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Juan Rodriguez Jr. is making his second run at the Pct. 1 Justice of Peace post and said he wants to update the office by improving the truancy program and by being available to the community.

"This is a follow up to my first justice of peace (campaign)," Rodriguez said. "This is my second attempt and I feel I can bring the most recent, up-to-date programs and legislation that affect the (office) that can be implemented."

Rodriguez said students with truancy problems need to be overseen at home, but sometimes also need direction from the JP and the schools.

"We need to help the parents. It's their responsibility to raise their children, but sometimes they need some help and guidance," he said. "We have a huge problem when these young men and women are not being supervised properly, and ultimately they end up in the courts."

He said if elected, he hopes to work with the schools and school board members to curb truancy.

"I've had good experience working with kids and that's where I can make a difference," Rodriguez said. "We need to address it and catch it early."

He said his 10 years of legal experience working for a law firm in Edinburg has given him the knowledge to work in the court as a Justice of the Peace. Rodriguez said communication would be the key to have a successful court.

"To me it's very important to work well with our JPs and our commissioner's court and all the other Jim Wells County elected officials," he said. "And that's something that I practice on a regular basis anyway."

He said his father, the late Juan Rodriguez who served as Alice police chief, instilled public service in him.

"He instilled in me to become a public servant and to serve the community," Rodriguez said. "That's what I saw growing up from my parents - helping people and serving."

Rodriguez is married to Eliana Trevino, and they have four children, three daughters and one son.

He graduated from Alice High School in 1990 and the University of Texas-Pan Am in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in communications.

He said being accessible to the community is one of his priorities.

"Being accessible, it's basically a 24/7 responsibility in this office," Rodriguez said.

He said as a businessman and community leader, he knows he can serve the community and the families of the county.

"Overall my intentions are to serve the public, seeking out new ideas to serve this community for my family and others in the community," he said.