A lifelong resident of Robstown is looking to make fiscal responsibility a priority for the city as he seeks the office of mayor.
Fifty-year-old Victor Orona is a former trustee with the Robstown Independent School District. He and his wife, Eva, have been married for 29 years and are raising their 13-year-old godson.
Orona is employed as an independent auto insurance adjuster. He also volunteers time to the Robstown Little League and St. Anthony's Church.
"My idea here is that I'm here for a reason and the reason is to give back to the community, not just in one way, but in a lot of different ways," Orona said. "We as a whole, as a community, we're supposed to help each other to proceed forward."
Orona criticized his opponent, incumbent Mayor Rodrigo Ramon Jr., and the current council for what he considers to be wasteful spending and poor decision-making. He said that despite the council spending more than $140,000 on trips to China over the span of three years, there has been little payoff for Robstown and its citizens.
He also pointed to the city's inland port project, which has thus far not attracted any companies to invest in the land.
"We have not seen any kind of progress in our town, other than we see that they start getting things done during election time instead of throughout the years," Orona said.
Orona said the time and money spent by the city to woo foreign investors would be better utilized assisting local businesses and their owners.
Promoting local growth, rather than relying on outside investment, will help Robstown in the long run, he said.
"There are a lot of companies here that need the help," Orona said. "It makes it difficult to believe what their vision is. We have a lot of commercial property that's stayed empty."
Another item Orona disagreed with the mayor and current city council on was the decision to use a $5.65 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to pay for a new city hall. Orona said the mayor and council were wrong to approve the loan, and the subsequent Certificates of Obligation issued as collateral, without approval from the voters.
"They (mayor and city council) are not the only taxpayers in this community," he said.
Orona said if given the opportunity to serve the citizens of Robstown as mayor, he would work to include the public more in future decisions that could affect the city as a whole.
"We need new ideas and we would like to hear the people's voice," he said. "I would ask for their vote because I'm here for them. The council that's been there, they've been there too long."