Jose Velasquez is hoping to bring new ideas to the Robstown City Council to help change the perception people have about the community and its residents.

Velasquez, 30, is a 1999 graduate of Robstown High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in chemistry and biology, from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. A lifelong resident of Robstown, Velasquez currently teaches physics at Carroll High School, while also coaching middle school football and junior varsity soccer.

"After growing up in the town, you see the perception in town that we have a lot of bad apples in the area," Velasquez said. "But there are some good people here. I want to do something to change that (perception)."

The Robstown native said he would like to see the city partner more with the Robstown Independent School District when organizing community cleanups. Giving the youth an opportunity to have a positive impact on their hometown would go a long way, Velasquez said.

"I just want to give back to that same community," he said. "The change has to start within the community and it means having pride."

Velasquez said he is unhappy with the current council's work on the street improvements project, primarily its lack of progress into the city's south side.

"I think it's like a third-world country when you're going from one area to the other," he said. "I think that's wrong."

In addition, Velasquez said he felt the city was spending taxpayer money inefficiently with overseas trips to China and issuing more than $5 million in debt for a new city hall. Those funds, he said, should have gone towards paying for improving existing services rather than adding more debt to the city's taxpayers.

Velasquez said he considers himself to be fiscally conservative and, if elected, would like to see city government streamlined and run more efficiently. That would include cutting personnel, if necessary, he added.

"I don't see them (Robstown City Council) doing anything positive for the community," Velasquez said. "You're elected to do a job for the constituents, the people who put you in office."

Velasquez said the building of a new city hall during the current economic climate is an irresponsible move on the council's part.

"If it's to help the community, that's fine, but I don't think a new city hall will benefit the city overall one bit," he said. "I don't even know why anyone would build a new city hall at this moment in time."