Driscoll Mayor John Aguilar said his fiscal conservatism is a step in the right direction for the community, and he is running for re-election to complete some unfinished business.
Aguilar said the city in previous years was taken in the wrong direction and feels there is still much to be done after only one term as mayor.
Aguilar married a Driscoll native and moved to the city seven years ago. He is currently attending Del Mar College, taking coursework towards a business degree. Before his first term as mayor, Aguilar served one term as a city commissioner.
"We don't have a lot of resources first of all. We have to be able to go to local agencies and tap into those resources to get better services for our community. We have a really small tax base because we are a poor community, bottom line. So, we have to work with the limited resources we have," Aguilar said.
Aguilar said during the latter half of 2010, Driscoll was headed in the wrong direction. He said finances weren't where they needed to be and his request to the previous city administrator to hire a finance director was ignored. Aguilar said the finance director's job is to bring the finances in order and be able to relay to the council where the city's finances are so officials could then plan for next year.
"That didn't happen," Aguilar said. "Now we've brought in an accountant, and we should be able to do the audits, which will help us go out for grants. Audits weren't being done with the previous administrators that we've had."
Aguilar mentioned several grants he'd like to see through to fruition. One energy grant could bring as much as $42,000 to the city. Another one pending would go towards infrastructure improvements on the east side of the city.
Aguilar also pointed to the G Street Refurbishment Project, which would be an effort with Nueces County to see the street refurbished from one end to the other. The county's participation in the endeavor is due to the street's use as a connecting point between two county roads. There is also a HOME grant that the City of Driscoll could apply for, that might assist local homeowners, Aguilar said.
"I think we should be able to keep taxes down. Financially, we are not in any condition to pony up the money to pay a grant. We just don't have the finances to go out there and do anything," Aguilar said. "We need to seek better services for our community. I can't change anything that has happened (in the past). I just have to work with what we have."