City of Driscoll mayoral candidate Melissa Rodriguez believes many of the issues facing Driscoll at this time stem from a lack of leadership.
"The past two years have been rough. I feel like we need to restore compliance in city hall. We've had a lack of leadership there," Rodriguez said. "We've lost five officers, two administrators and several public works employees. We haven't had a city audit since 2008. I don't think the city is being progressive or moving forward, based on what's been done in the past."
Rodriguez, a current commissioner on the Driscoll City Council, has lived most of her life in Driscoll. Rodriguez graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood in 2000. She taught previously in the valley, the San Antonio area and in Corpus Christi. She is married with one son and one daughter.
In order to bring confidence back into city government, Rodriguez said what Discoll needs is a master plan and more citizen involvement.
"I can't just make a decision based solely on myself on what the city needs. If I'm not getting their feedback and input, then I would just be doing things for selfish reasons, and I can't do that," Rodriguez said. "I love input. I would love to hear people speak up more. Even if you don't agree, as a public official, you have to listen."
Rodriguez said all decisions should be based on the majority and not on individual needs. She said she is focused on transparency and in letting residents know what is going on at the city level. She reminds city employees often that they should pretend to work in an office with glass windows, because everyone should know what they are doing, she said.
"There should be no hiding, no special favors. What I do for one, is the same for everyone else,' Rodriguez said. "I recently had an ethics reform pass just to keep the city's business transparent. A lot of people who were doing business in the city were in relation to someone else. I don't like that because it makes for a bad city."
Under new ethics reform, city officials are unable to do outside jobs for the city, and those with personal connections to city officials are limited in what they can do for the city.
Rodriguez took issue with a pervious practice of taking bids on a job, and then going with the bidder who was not the lowest due to the relationship between the company and city leaders.
"Transparency and avoiding conflicts of interest are two things I stand for," Rodriguez said. "I try to stay away from conflicts like that or things that may come back to bite the city later on."