SBCISD, City races heat up

Staff Writer

The deadline to apply to run for San Benito City Commission and San Benito Consolidated School District Board of Trustees is next Friday, and so far it appears that the 2015 race will be a heated one.

SBCISD Place 1 has already seen two candidates. Rene Salinas and Michael Vargas have both applied to run.

“My platform on responsible leadership, modern leadership, modern school systems and competitive students will move the district and this community on the right path forward,” said Vargas who held his campaign kickoff on Thursday night at El Gallito Restaurant.

Current SBCISD Place 1 Trustee, Fatima Huerta, had not filed as of noon Friday. Salinas and Huerta were both unreachable for comment regarding the forthcoming election.

Comparatively, SBCISD Place 2 Trustee, Anna Cruz, will run again. “My platform has always been academic excellence,” said Cruz. I have always wanted for us as a board to focus on academics. Even though we are in a financial bind, our focus still should be academics.” Cruz said that she expects to host her campaign kickoff next week.

Also running for Place 2 is Orlando Lopez, who was unreachable for comment by presstime Friday.

Vying for SBCISD Place 3 Trustee is former Board President and current placeholder, Yliana Gonzalez. The position will not be unopposed, however, as Jose G. Gonzalez has filed his paperwork with the district.

Neither Yliana nor Jose G. were reachable for comment regarding their platform.

In the case of the City Commission Place 3, Esteban “Steve” Rodriguez has filed to run. Current Place 3 Commissioner J.D. Penny, comparatively, has not filed paperwork as of noon Friday.

Rodriguez said his main platform will be to “tackle the water plant. That is something that is stagnant. I want to be a part of the solution to get the water plant rolling where it’s working for the City, not against.” He said he will also be advocating for street repair and bringing new businesses to the City of San Benito. As for a campaign kickoff, he said no plans have been made at this time.

Place 4 Commissioner Joe D. Gonzalez has not officially filed his paperwork to run in the forthcoming election. The office will not go without at least one candidate, though, as Ely Eloy Garcia has filed. Regarding his platform or campaign kickoff, Garcia declined comment.

Interested parties have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 to apply to run for office.  SBCISD Board of Trustees applicants may pick up a candidate packet at the John F. Barron Administration Building, located at 240 N. Crockett St. For City Commission, applications are available at the Municipal Building, located at 401 N. Sam Houston.

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  1. Hey everyone,

    We definitely appreciate the comments. We’re also glad that people are reading our paper and have something to say about our stories.

    Juan is also correct, we’re not flawless, but we work to the best of our abilities with what we have.

    As for “unreachable,” there is good reason we use that word. Unreachable can be a number of things: the person did not return our calls, the contact information we received wasn’t current or maybe they were genuinely busy and couldn’t get back to us before presstime.

    It’s worth knowing that unreachable doesn’t always mean the person was avoiding us. It just really means we couldn’t get in touch with each other for one reason or another. Sometimes we just miss each other. Other times, we aren’t able to get ahold of them before the paper goes to print. We have to consider that life happens, and many of them are busy and work full-time jobs.

    However, there are those who decline to comment. In those cases, we will note it as such. Sometimes, we will even note when repeated attempts go ignored. (Anyone who has been reading the News for a while will remember those columns).

    Thanks for commenting, everyone!

      • Como es Juan on February 25, 2015 at 11:42 am
      • Reply

      Bring back Michael Rodriguez!!!!

        • Daniel on February 26, 2015 at 10:25 am
        • Reply

        Yay for hiding behind fake names!

          • Como es juan on February 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm
          • Reply

          lol yay for being an anonymous Daniel!

    • Juan on February 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm
    • Reply

    San Benito News reporters aren’t flawless,but they try.Just from what I’ve seen of the all the local candidates,I’m willing to bet that they do their best to hide out and avoid comments.That has been the method employed here in San Benito for some time now,and that’s why things in the political arena are in the shape there in.No,in my opinion they are all the same.its why the city goes backward,or stands still.

    • CAVA Supporter on February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply

    To the scumbag vote scammer: CAVA will be there around every corner. We know who you are. You steal votes and you will be caught.

    • Juan on February 21, 2015 at 8:39 am
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    “Unreachable for comments”,the slogan for all San Benito candidates,those running for office or those that have already bought themselves into office.

      • Como es juan on February 24, 2015 at 10:06 am
      • Reply

      OR, San Benito News reporters aren’t doing their job right in seeking these individuals running for office. I know the paper doesn’t like to report that. “Unreachable” just means they could not locate them, doesn’t mean they “declined” comment. Not every prospective candidate or incumbent tries to hide from the paper. Quit trying to group them all together.

        • Denny Crane, Jr. on February 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm
        • Reply

        #Como es Juan….

        You are seriously mistaken about the San Benito News reporters.

        “UNREACHABLE” means that after numerous “EMAILS and VOICE-MAIL MESSAGES ASKING FOR COMMENT” the so-called candidates “DECLINE” to comment. They don’t reply or respond to emails or voice-mail messages.

        The ONLY candidate(s) (incumbent or otherwise) who won’t talk to the media are just afraid to speak out, much less attend a “Candidates Forum”. They suddenly have “other plans” even with 30 days advance notice of the forum.

        I would like to see your name on the election ballot.

        The San Benito News’ reporters do an “Excellent Job” reporting the news. And no “I am not, nor have I ever been, an employee of the San Benito News.

          • Como es Juan on February 25, 2015 at 11:38 am
          • Reply

          Not every newspaper has 100% excellent reporters doing their job at all times. We all are human and make mistakes ourselves. Not every reporter at your beloved newspaper does their job. There have been plenty of instances where the job on your newspaper’s end doesn’t do its job. They just happen to have the power to “moderate” and change my words here and anybody else’s to make this paper look like a hero and the rest of us in a different light. .

          And even though you patronize me openly here and try to take a jab at my intelligence, i KNOW what unreachable/declined means. On top of that, yes I am smart enough to know what you mean when a candidate has “other plans” to not show up to a forum. All I am saying is that it’s not always the case.

          So go ahead oh Mr. editor, change what I say, make me look dumb on here and make yourself and the rest of the San Benito News look like geniuses on here. I will await my comment’s “moderation.”

          Oh and Mr. Crane, if I put my name on a ballot, I’d win. 😉

          1. Look at my comment. I was thanking people for reading. The rest of my comment was a general statement meant for everyone who was disagreeing on why we couldn’t reach some of the candidates.

              • Ely on February 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm
              • Reply

              “UNREACHABLE” means that after numerous “EMAILS and VOICE-MAIL MESSAGES ASKING FOR COMMENT” the so-called candidates “DECLINE” to comment. They don’t reply or respond to emails or voice-mail messages.

              It’s okay if after 1 call and 1 email constitutes as declining comment. Lunch is usually at my desk, as perhaps you do as well, but i did return the call at the first opportunity I had. At that point I asked for an email address, which the editor (you) provided, I followed up the return call via email, again 2 returned attempts, since the reporter was no longer available.

              She responded via email, unfortunately I was not available… I have a responsibility to my customers for a service we provide. But again I did respond but it was passed your press dead line.

              so going back to your quoted comments; not multiple but 1 email and 1 phone call on the day of press deadline.

              “UNREACHABLE” means that after numerous “EMAILS and VOICE-MAIL MESSAGES ASKING FOR COMMENT” the so-called candidates “DECLINE” to comment. They don’t reply or respond to emails or voice-mail messages.

              Mind you this was prior to her invitation to sit down with me and for the editor, as i was told, DECLINED since my application had not been turned in.

              By no means did i decline to comment.

              ELY GARCIA, candidate for city commissioner place 4

              • Denny Crane, Jr. on February 25, 2015 at 4:03 pm
              • Reply


              You are incorrectly attributing the following comment to the Editor:

              ““UNREACHABLE” means that after numerous “EMAILS and VOICE-MAIL MESSAGES ASKING FOR COMMENT” the so-called candidates “DECLINE” to comment. They don’t reply or respond to emails or voice-mail messages.”

              It was I, Denny Crane, Jr. who made the comment, not the Editor.

            • Denny Crane, Jr. on February 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm
            • Reply

            #Como es Juan…..

            There is a simple solution to your dilemma where, in your opinion, “There have been plenty of instances where the job on your newspaper’s end doesn’t do its job.”

            If the reporting by the San Benito News staff does not meet your standards, please feel free to not read it.

            Go read the “daily rag” that prints nothing but “fluff stories” about San Benito that make you feel warm and fuzzy. There is nothing wrong with those type of stories but residents want the hear the “good and the bad”.

            The San Benito News prints both the “good and the bad” stories. Michael Rodriguez left the San Benito News under very competent and solid Editor and staff reporters.

            And please put your name on the ballot. The citizens need a wide choice of candidates.

              • Ely on February 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm
              • Reply

              you are correct, it was your quote as the definition of “UNREACHABLE” plus the rest was probably meant for Como es Juan. Again you are correct on the citizens needing a variety of choices for candidates… Someone who will speak bluntly and voice their opinion, good or bad…

              Ely Garcia

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