EDITOR’S NOTE: As the District One city commissioner race heats up, Myleadernews will accept articles on why voters of that district are going to or should, or not going to, or should not, cast a ballot for one of the three candidates, Danny Castillo, J.J. Gonzalez or Gail Moore. Send your messages to email@example.com. Here is the first one. Of course, readers also are welcome to post comments concerning the editorial content by those writing these articles. However, let it be known if you are a District One resident, or not.
By BEN CAROLA
I agree what an economic disaster for Harlingen it would be to bring back those costly red light cameras to tax citizens again.
I know that as a voter of District 1 that I won’t be supporting Mr. (Danny) Castillo for city commissioner but not just because of those costly cameras, but also for many of his leadership decisions that lead to many years of needless risks to the public’s safety.
His record as police chief was one of the big brother heavy-handed tactics against average citizens. Tactics that are still costing citizens and the community millions of dollars, even to this day.
But, yet he was slow to react while gang violence terrorized our neighborhoods for many years, allowing the terror to grow unchecked and out of hand due to his lack of leadership.
Danny boy only reacting when an HPD officer was tragically shot and almost killed, despite years of outcries from terrified citizens imprisoned in their homes by the drive-by shootings and constant threat of violence, all while their cries for help were ignored.
Considering the 60,000 plus red light camera tickets issued under Castillo’s mandate, citizens in and around Harlingen have paid millions and still owe close to a million dollars to the Vegas-style camera company.
Those millions won’t be spent at the new Bass Pro or any other Harlingen business, providing jobs or much needed sales tax revenue for the city.
In terms of better policing, our new chief has restructured the PD, putting officers who once sat behind a desk under Castillo, out on the streets, increasing the police presence in all of our neighborhoods, making them safet.
Something that Castillo could have done a decade earlier, but failed to do. While police chief, Castillo allowed the amount of outstanding warrants to rise to a number in the tens of thousands. Warrants including those for sex offenders and other violent offenders, instead of creating a task force to clear those criminals off the streets, making the community safer.
Castillo had several officers on overtime supportint the review of red light camera violations, the department’s cash cow. The bottom line is that electing Danny Castillo as a city commissioner would be a giant step backward for the city of Harlingen.
No city grows fairly and fully when its governed by the good old boyz in the community, and that’s who Castillo has supporting him, and, no doubt, he will be supporting them as well, at the expense of the rest of us.