By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
Mayor Pro Tem Alex Avalos is originally from Weslaco and moved to the area in 1984. He worked hard and made his way towards the coast, ultimately starting his own printing business on the Island in 2002. After being in a motorcycle accident on the Island in 2007, Avalos said he was humbled by the community support and knew he had to give back or at least try. Avalos was elected to the City Council in 2012. Through his service, Avalos said that deep down he hopes to inspire others to get involved as well.
- How did you become interested in politics and what inspired you to run for City Council?
Well, I think I’ve always had it in me. My dad, he would always study economics and religion, and I think some of that I got from him. But the politics, it’s just one of those things that evolved with me, because I remember going to meetings, and looking at what was going on, and I felt like why don’t they do this? So, I think one of the things that happened is I just got tired of watching, and so I wanted to participate. I call it the ultimate volunteer job, it really is because it’s a lot of work.
It wasn’t about whether I’d be good at it or not. It was whether I had something to contribute to my city.
- What is the city’s most difficult issue right now?
I think you have heard it before. It’s infrastructure.
I need us to do everything we possibly can with the resources we have now. I don’t think it’s going to solve everything, but I do think it’s an important part of how our town looks, how it feels for the tourists and the people that come here. I think it’s an investment that helps everybody.
- How do you plan to increase business interest and development in the city?
Obviously, the main businesses here are tourism and real estate, but this recently came up and I believe in it, and that is the recovery business Origins. It happens to be our second biggest employer. I’m not saying that we should put all our eggs there. I’m just saying that’s a very good industry. However you might feel about it, it serves a lot of good obviously for people that are trying to get help, but they also pay well; so, the people that work there are able to buy our product and stay. It changes the face of our community, and I love that. They participate in the community, they volunteer, they go to our church. I just think that it has a lot of potential, and it is a way for us to diversify our business community. Trying to bring everybody to the table is a very difficult thing to do. I hope that I can make a small dent in that. Beautiful buildings and great streets are fine, but we need to make people feel welcome. We need to make them feel like they’re part of the community. It’s more than just my effort. It’s a community effort. I hope that I can inspire people to do that.
- What is your long-term goal, and what kind of legacy would you like to leave in the community?
I think, as far as the legacy, people will determine that for me, but what I would like to feel that I’ve contributed is people feeling proud about the people on that board
In other words, that the council, whoever it is right now or tomorrow or next year or in five years, that people in the community feel comfortable with them and that they develop credibility with them to the point that people trust what decisions have to be made whether they come from us or any future council. But, that’s up to the council and that’s up to the people serving to prove that they can be trusted.
I’m very happy for the opportunity to be doing what I’m doing. You know what would be really cool? Just to be able to look people in the eye and know and feel comfortable that you’ve made the best possible decisions for them. I would be happy with that. I really would. I’m glad that they gave me the opportunity, and I don’t want to let them down.
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