My Interview with Gilbert Tamez

Why are you running for the seat you selected?
Because I ran against Bennie before and lost to him and I want to see if it is a fluke that I lost.  Why run scared.  I’m not scared to run against Bennie again.

What are your plans beyond City Council?
Absolutely none.

How do you feel about the Code of Ethics brought forth to City Council?
If it is felt that it is needed, then it is needed.  If City Council takes a look at it and agrees with it then I will support it.  

Do you feel the city should come up with the funds to outfit the old library?
City has done their part; they committed the building to WASA. I’m not opposed to city if funds allow to potentially fund part of it.  It is still a city building for citizens and seniors.  WASA asked.  Be careful what you ask for.  They were told up front there was no money in the budget to renovate the building. If they get the $13K from the City, I hope they have a good interest rate on a bank account.  Once they (WASA) get the matched funds, I don’t expect them to stop there (in their fundraising efforts) . It’s not easy to raise funds in this economy. If they can’t fund it fully, they need to be willing to open up the doors for others to use.  I don’t like to see some seniors going to other cities for their senior centers.  I would like to keep them in Wylie. 

What do you think of our current tax rate? 
I don’t want to give the standard cliché because it is political poison by saying I will lower them.  I would love to say I could lower them.  I will look for opportunities and if they arise (I will work on that). We don’t want to lose our services to the citizens.

Did you read the budget and what do you think about the rainy day fund?
I read it and got glassy eyed.  After I am elected, I will sit down with Mindy Manson and the finance committee and Linda Bantz and ask them to explain it so I understand how funds were used, when , why and where.  I would have liked to see use of the rainy day fund because it is just sitting there.  Sort of a use it or lose it, in case something happens.  If need comes up then we are going to get into it for the betterment of various needs. It will rebuild again.

How would you work to fund a 4th fire station?
We will need a 4th fire station sooner or later and will have to pay for it now or later.  It’s not getting cheaper.  Need to cover the area and also Sachse, Murphy, and Lavon and other areas and visa versa. The requirement is there. It has to be funded somehow.  If through a bond, it will go for what it was designed to go for, I will vote for (in favor) it (bond) when it comes up.  (Some people think) It’s not important to us until it affects us, so why do we need to pay for it? Without it they would say why did it take so long for them to get here? If it needs to be funded, let’s do it.

Would you provide permanent raises for city employees?  Are they fairly compensated?
Who wouldn’t want to give someone a raise?  Their last raise was 2-3 years ago, they haven’t received a raise in over 3 years. The economy left them behind. Economy is going up and they stayed status quo. Do they need one? Yes. The 2% bonus was something to help address part of the pinch they are feeling. A 2% raise permanently? Money is not there. Who is going to pay for it? Yes, I would love to but we would have to steal from something else. To say they can find another job is easy to say but they are not in their shoes. The time it talks to train a new individual will cost more in the long run. I have no issue with bonuses.

What pet project would you take on if you get on council?
Every organization I am involved with currently: CERT Community Emergency Response Team, Friends of the Library, Member of the Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Wylie.  I would really like to see better communications in the city. People ask me how come they didn’t know about this (some issue). With the paper, Wylie News, Emails, how could they not know what’s going on in the city? I would love to do quarterly meetings, funded somehow, the people can meet members of the City and ask questions. Find some way to come together. There would have to be a legal way we could do this.

What are your views of the WEDC?
WEDC working hard, Sam is working his butt off. When I ran last time I brought a list of businesses to Sam.  Restaurants are needed but no daytime business. We need the WEDC needs to bring in industry which will bring daytime business which will bring restaurants. Proof (the WEDC is needed) the medical center, the Theatre, Kroger. He (Sam) went to find them. I have ideas on how to seek them out. I talked to Sam when I ran last time about a Studio Movie Grill type place. It keeps people in Wylie and close, like for date night they are only 5-10 minutes away from home.

What support do you have already?
My wife and a few people in general, none committed yet. If you look at my webpage, I have a disclaimer on the pictures. 

Who did you vote for in the last presidential election and why?
Obama, because my side of the family are Democrats, I was born and raised Democrat and I will vote Democrat.

What are your thoughts on police staffing?
The more the merrier. I was a Dallas Police Reserve out of high school.  It’s a dangerous job. People are under tremendous pressure and to maintain a family life for those who are able to do that takes an act of God. Both fire and police, the more the better, if there is a way to do it, I’ll do it because there are not enough.
What you need to know about Gilbert is that I am going to listen.  I may not like what I hear but I will try to be objective. Whatever decision I make will be based on fact rather than emotion. I will make sure that I do is best for the city, the citizens, and not what is best for Gilbert.  I will listen to both sides.  If you do anything, please vote.

My assessment:  I found Gilbert to be as kind and gentle soul as I already knew him to be.  He cracked me up every time he apologized for cussing and he was very down home and laid back.  Gilbert wasn’t afraid to call it like he sees it and I rather like that about him.  He most definitely is dedicated to serving the city, as I see him at every City sponsored event, working as a volunteer or in some capacity.  Gilbert is a card-carrying Democrat and whether you like that or not, at least he had the conviction to state what he believed in rather than attempt to hide it.  I don’t care for someone who pretends to be a conservative when they talk to the conservatives and a liberal when they talk to the liberals.  With Gilbert, you always know you will be working with the real deal, there is nothing fake about him.