LETTERS

Letter to the community,

Alice Echo News Journal

My fellow citizens of the great City of Alice, as your Mayor Pro-Tem, I have had the firsthand experience of working with a wonderful team of dedicated public servants in our city staff and of course, my fellow council members.

When I took my council seat back in February of 2018, my mission was to represent my hometown, my fellow citizens, business owners and city staff as the voice of reason. As the prior years had been marked with turmoil and dismay, it was my great hope to bring us forward in a positive and productive light - the way that our great city deserved to be.

Some of the challenges faced since I joined this Council involved addressing sensitive and controversial decisions; however, once politics were put aside for the greater good, solutions were found. Along with my fellow council members and our dedicated city administration, we have continued to persevere and find the positive light at the end of what appeared to be a dark and endless tunnel. That is what our great community has always done, persevere. Together, we have continued to progress in spite of a period that can be seen as the City’s worst economic downturn in our oil and gas industry – attributed primarily to global and national factors which were beyond anyone’s control.

In addition to the decline of our local oilfield industry, our great city has also weathered two natural disasters, as well as persevered throughout a debilitating global pandemic which further compromised our ailing economy. Working together as a council and staff, our exemplary response to these disasters and COVID-19 would serve as a model to the entire Coastal Bend community.

I take great pride in the trust and honor that has been bestowed upon me in the capacity as Mayor Pro-Tem. Alongside my fellow council members and staff, we have worked to better our community and its citizens with the following projects:

  • Secondary Water Source (Ground Water) - Currently in the second stage of development and working on our water sales agreement. Given that we do not own or control our own water source, our water supply has become very expensive as we are at the mercy of another entity, especially in light of our current drought situation.
  • Endpoint Security Agreement - Money-saving major reorganization regarding our technology infrastructure and Cyber Security inadequacies which had been overlooked for a very long time. By moving to a Cloud-based digital backup server, we are saving money on servers, updates and critical Cyber protection.
  • Incode10 – Migrated to a more streamlined and efficient Municipal Software System. The new software allows for improved communication amongst the departments, which in turn, creates less downtime, and in addition, makes it easier to create interdepartmental reports.
  • Two New Fire Trucks – The negotiated purchase of two new “demo’ fire service trucks (one large Rescue/Utility Truck and one Quint Ladder Truck) yielded big savings and served to replace our existing outdated trucks that require more expensive maintenance and repairs due to their age.
  • South Side Fire Station Upgrade – Built a new garage to house the New Fire Quint Ladder Truck.
  • New Fire Station Created – Retrofitted the Fire Training Center on Stadium Rd. to create a third Fire Station.
  • Multi-Use Center/Natatorium – Negotiated a management agreement with the YMCA to limit our financial exposure as well as future financial losses with the Multi-Use Center/Natatorium.
  • Water Authority Improvements – Working on creating a much-needed back up transmission line from Lake Findley to our City Water Treatment Plant.
  • Lease Fleet Vehicles – Negotiated a lease agreement to replace our aging fleet to minimize costly future maintenance.
  • Performance Services - Contracted Performance Services to replace all existing water meters from manual read to radio read. The install and implementation of the new water meters will allow customers to monitor their usage, as well as save the city money on staffing requirements.
  • Asphalt Zipper Purchase – More modern street repair equipment is vital to methodically overhauling our aging residential streets as well as assist in major street repairs. City crews just started working on their 3rd street project.
  • P&S Hospital – Supported (via resolution) a housing project to demo the P&S Hospital; thus, removing yet another neglected eyesore from our community.
  • Rialto Theatre – After years of neglect, we made the dilapidated structure safe and sold the building space so a new private business could be created in its place.
  • Wastewater and Water Grant Agreements – Continue to pursue all applicable water and wastewater grants, as well as working hand-in-hand with the County to procure much needed water and wastewater grant funding.
  • Public Safety Grant Agreements – Continue to pursue all applicable grants to keep our beloved APD and AFD equipped with new and reliable state of the art equipment.
  • Airport Layout Plan – In the process of updating an Airport Layout Plan which is a requirement of grant funding.
  • Air Tankers – Our airport is currently housing two Texas Forest Service air tankers to help with brush/grass fires in our area.

As the elected governing body, we play a vital role in securing the financial security of our great Hub City, shaping the path for future generations. Our primary objective is to provide you (our citizens) with a hometown to be proud of, while carrying ourselves with exemplary dignity and working in harmony with one another.

As a dedicated team with a shared goal in making our community strong and prosperous, my fellow council members and I have demonstrated nothing less than the utmost respect for one another. Our example of genuine humility has greatly improved the morale of city staff, created unity within our community and quelled the needless drama that once overshadowed City Hall. I consider myself blessed to have spent the past two years working side-by-side with such noble council members and City Staff.

Your voice is important and only you can decide who you want to represent you. We are here because of you and will continue to serve you. Early voting began Monday morning and will end on April 27th. Election Day is on May 1st.

Respectfully,

Robert Ray Molina Sr.

Mayor Pro-Tem of Alice