Robstown Place 2 City Councilwoman Arlene Rodriguez believes economic development is at the forefront when it comes to her motivations on the city council. She is seeking her sixth term in office.
Rodriguez is a graduate of Del Mar College and works at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline. She is married with three daughters. Rodriguez has worked on committees with the Coastal Bend Council of Governments to see that Robstown reaps every economic opportunity available in the area, whether that means business development, joint activities with neighboring entities or grant possibilities. Rodriguez, who will be facing challenger Rosalinda Covarrubias in the May 14 City Election, is a member of specialty committees within the Coastal Bend Council of Governments, as well as the Housing Corporation.
"I'm fully involved in economic development. I have a great desire to revitalize not only Main Street but our thoroughfares, which are Avenue J, Main Avenue and Avenue A," Rodriguez said. "For a long time, when I first came on the council in 1997, we had a whole bunch of empty buildings. Now, we're getting them filled up and getting property sold. We're getting people interested in being here again."
She says companies located in Corpus Christi, just like those located in Robstown, pull from the same employment pool.
Therefore, a business venture gained by one is also a positive benefit for the other, in terms of employment opportunities. She said the communities of Nueces County are interconnected in this way.
A CBCOG study could lead to grants that will strategically funnel funds into several areas of the Coastal Bend, Rodriguez said. She said along with economic development and housing, one of the city's biggest priorities is the railroad.
She said city officials would like to see the inland port on the southside of Robstown, but there is also the issue of noise pollution from the trains to contend with.
"At 3 a.m., my husband and I have counted 120 honks of the train, and they're consistent.
It's been a big desire, since 1997, to move the railway along Avenue A around the town. The City's master plan developed in the 1960's actually called for such a move," Rodriguez said.
"I'd like to see it done in the next two or three years. It's annoying. I know it's part of the safety system, but they don't have to honk like that because we have other safety measures in place," she added. "But they're saying it's not enough because there are so many accidents and the state requires them to honk and all this other stuff. That's one of my biggest priorities."