City of Robstown's town hall meeting: Here's what to know.

Robin Bradshaw
Nueces Country Record Star

The City of Robstown held a town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 8, to address community concerns and answer questions residents may have. 

The meeting was held at Diaz Park and was organized with a presentation from council members and ended with the mayor answering questions on his intentions and goals for the city. 

Here are some of the highlights from the meeting: 

Councilmember Mary Ann Saenz opened the meeting and discussed the Public Works Department's new equipment including the new firetruck and three John Deere mowers.

She explained her role as president of Pride of Robstown, a non-profit organization formed to improve the area with economic development that includes success with community efforts. The organization assists in economic development, clean-up projects, fundraising, and donations with the purpose of attracting business and establishing pride to the area. 

Councilmember Mary Ann Saenz

Councilmember Nelda Sanchez took the podium to speak on the Boys and Girls Club that closed in 2017.

"At this current time, the building of the Boys and Girls Club is deteriorating and the few years it has been unoccupied. Hurricane Hanna, February's winter freeze, and the last month's territorial rain has not helped matters because the roof leaks and the air-conditioning does not work," Sanchez said."The building's contractual obligations are challenging due to it being a non-profit organization intended for local kids. The offset of demise for the club was when the 21st Century program was implemented in area schools that mirrored many of the same programs but at no cost." 

City leaders are looking into solutions to resolve the unoccupied building sitting there vacant.

Councilmember Nelda Sanchez

Councilmember Cordelia Bosquez discussed the Robstown safe room project also known as The Dome. The project, started in January 2013, was intended to be a safe place for residents to evacuate in case of a storm.

The timeline of the project included money wasted without completion of the project, funds used inadequately, and poor business decisions made by previously elected officials, according to Bosquez.  

The infrastructure frame still remains as a structure but efforts have not moved forward on the plan to demolish or seek funding for another project to house the facility. 

Councilmember Cordelia Bosquez and Fire Chief Javier Zapata

Councilmember Candace Rodriguez addressed the Diaz pool and summer dates. The pool which is under maintenance due to damage from the winter freeze is expected to be re-open by mid-July.

"I understand the pool is an important issue especially since it is summer for the kids. We are looking to extending hours and finding innovative ways to support it staying open longer even after the summer," Rodriguez said. "Maybe senior water aerobics or any ideas the community may have- I would love to hear." 

Rodriguez also presented the new businesses in the area including Ray's Cafe, Vitality Tea, Quick Stop and a new Dollar Tree. 

Councilmember Candace Rodriguez

Councilmember Jimmy Morales tackled the topic of the area's brush pick-up. The topic had multiple community complaints that were answered with the common thread for the community to have patience.

Brush pick-up is currently two months behind due to weather patterns and being a truck down. The department is currently changing the staff scheduled as shift work to utilize the equipment they do have operating to accommodate the maximum pick-up.

"For now, if a resident's trash or brush is not picked up during the scheduled time frame leave it out it will be picked up at a later date," Morales said. 

Councilmember Jimmy Morales

Councilmember Victor Orona Jr. discussed the city audit that is behind due to a 2017 technical problem where data was lost. The current CPA is collecting data from the lost time frame in 2017. Once that data is collected, the 2017 city audit will be conducted. The estimated time he stated was 60-90 days. Once that task is completed the back audits from 2017-2020 will be completed. 

The meeting ended with Mayor Gilbert Gomez answering questions and expressed his continued dedication to the city.

"I am a retired Police Chief of Robstown and thank God I am retired because this a full-time job," Gomez said. "The multiple array of issues we have as a city were not formed overnight and cannot be fixed overnight, but we are working on solutions to bring the city forward to be better now and in the years to come." 

The examples of solutions Gomez presented were the pay decreases city staff faced and position cuts that happened when he took office as a result of balancing the budget and tightening up city spending. Gomez also noted that the city staff changes occurred before the pandemic and when the crisis occurred zero layoffs happened as a result. Property taxes have been lowered resident homeowners and with economic development is on the forefront.

"One thing I can pride myself on is the unity of working with other entities for the benefit of the Robstown citizens," Gomez said. "The partnerships with (Nueces) County Judge Barbara Canales, the Port of Corpus Christi and business affiliates to bring jobs and money to Robstown is my top priority as mayor." 

Mayor Gilbert Gomez