GALENA PARK – At a special called Council Meeting last Monday, the City Commission or Council acted to fill the empty seat of Council Position #2, Fire and Police Commissioner.
This had been vacated on July 21 when Councilwoman Lois Killough resigned, blaming the Mayor for creating a circus atmosphere at council meetings, and refusing to run a legal council meeting as prescribed by law and training.
At Monday’s special meeting, each council person and the mayor nominated a candidate. Moya nominated Taggy Hall, Maricela Serna nominated Carol Thompson, and Danny Simms and Juan Flores nominated Cruz Hinojosa. Then a vote was called. Only the commissioners voted, and Hinojosa received all three votes. Therefore he will assume the open council seat until the next election, in May 2016.
Cruz Hinojosa was one of four candidates for Mayor in the election of May 2014. He said at the Candidates Forum that he had worked in city government for 23 years, in the water department of the City of Houston. He also was a Houston Police supervisor.
Hinojosa is active in the Hispanic community, having helped found Lulac, the political action group for Latinos. He said the local chapter has been active is funding scholarships, to the amount of $6000.
He has been active also in government related functions, such as seminars with Smart Growth U.S. His position as a mayoral candidate included improving the air quality by using federal money and initiatives, working with the Port Authority more closely, improving traffic flow, and reducing truck traffic and dirt on Clinton Drive.
His platform also called for attracting new commercial development such as a major grocery store, and using Rotary and CIP to connect with industry for improvements.
Other points he made included making the GP budget more transparent and available to the public, reducing taxes for seniors, collecting more overdue back taxes, and increasing street repairs.
Hinojosa also wanted our Galena Park police officers to ride along with the code enforcement official, in an effort to clean up the city to a greater extent.
In general, he thought that City Hall must listen more closely to the citizens and their needs. He suggested block walking was a good way to meet and listen to the public. He also thought citizens had more responsibility to ask questions of their officials, and force more transparency and accountability.
Asked about the changes in ethnicity of the city, he encouraged using the parks to let people mingle and meet, and let the city be more inclusive. He wanted food trucks, music and events in the park.
The next Council meeting will be held on August 4, and Hinojosa will be sworn into office and take his turn at working with the other council members and the Mayor.