1. Norberto “Beto” Salinas is serving his fifth term as Mayor of Mission, after being first elected in May 1998
To put that into perspective, that was the year of the Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal and the final Seinfeld episode.
2. Since then, Salinas has contributed over $80,000 to political candidates, both democrat and republican, at the state and federal level.
That’s more than the average Mission resident earns in 8 years. And that doesn’t include his contributions to local races.
3. Mayor Salinas gets his money from ranching and land development and has active roles in fifteen companies
4. At least three of the four city current council members are backed by Mayor Salinas
5. When then city council member Leo Olivarez publicly disagreed with Mayor Salinas over renewing the permit of a local music venue, Salinas and his cousin County Commissioner Joe Flores backed the opposing candidate when Olivarez next ran for re-election. Olivarez lost.
(Leo Olivarez, right, and other city leaders with State Rep Muñoz)
6. Under Salinas’ leadership, city property taxes have remained low and city revenue from business has increased.
7. The benefits of the rapid economic growth of the last few years have been distributed unevenly throughout the city.
For example, while south and east Mission have seen rapid growth, neighborhoods around the Madero area still have streetlights that have not been repaired since the 2012 hailstorm.
8. Mayor Salinas and city council have shown a commitment to expanding the city’s sewage system to neighborhoods and businesses outside of city limits but within the cities extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The city has looked for state funds for this expansion.
9. Mayor Salinas once sued one of his critics, Esther Salinas, for defamation and claimed $30,000 mental anguish damages
The lawsuit went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled Mayor Salinas had no grounds for his claims of mental anguish damages against Ester Salinas. A civil rights lawyer representing Esther’s legal team said the lawsuit “was being used as a weapon against Ester’s free speech” to control negative commentary.
10. Mayor Salinas is facing two opponents for mayor, auto dealer Jaime Gutierrez and Dr John Guerra, OB/GYN
Learn about the candidates’ positions here.
11. Salinas did not show up to the only public forum in the Mission Mayoral race, hosted by newspaper Progress Times.
Salinas said he was a no-show because he did not want to give additional publicity to candidates no one has heard of. One of his opponents Jaime Gutierrez has 809 likes on his campaign Facebook pages, compared to Mayor Salinas’ 968.
12. Early vote ends today (Tuesday) at 7pm and Election Day is Saturday, May 10.
During early vote, you can vote in any polling place in Hidalgo County. On Election Day, you will need to vote at the polling place that corresponds to your voting precinct. Learn more here (opens a PDF document).
A reader noted that Number 6 could be a bit misleading, considering the 2013 Financial Report for the Mission Economic Development Corporation states:
Total revenues reflect a decrease of 1% compared to last year. Operating grants and contributions reflect a 34% decrease compared to prior year, while sales tax increase only by 0.005%.
Expenses reflected a decrease of 32% compared to prior year. The decrease is attributed to due to a one million dollar settlement with the Mission Economic Development Authority (MEDA) in fiscal year 2012.