ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On this week’s edition of Big Country Politics, News Director Manny Diaz sat with Abilene City Council Place 3 candidate Cynthia Alvidrez. Alvidrez was born and raised in Abilene and served in the military for four and a half years. She has previously run for mayor and threw her name in once again for city council because her goal is not just to win.
“I might have lost the race, but I didn’t lose because I usually have an objective and it’s probably not necessarily to win. Now would it be nice to win, yes it would,” Advidrez explained. “In the last three campaigns that I ran, I’ve been able to allocate, or get, about $20 to $25 million dollars of taxpayer dollars allocated back to the taxpayers.”
She is known as somewhat of an influencer and is not afraid to call out councilmen or even the Mayor of Abilene. Her inspiration to get involved in the community was when a free after-school care program for lower-income families was in danger of being shut down in 2017.
“They were going to get rid of that and so I did a little bit of research, did some advocacy and we ended up saving that program,” Alvidrez said. “From there, it just… I don’t go looking for this stuff… it literally comes knocking on my door.”
Alvidrez shared that one of the issues she is most passionate about is infrastructure.
“Anyone who has driven around Abilene, at least a mile or two, knows that our infrastructure is failing,” Alvidrez said. “We have a street maintenance tax that can’t keep our streets together, we have bond elections, we have tax hikes and none of that is able to provide with streets that allow them to go to and from work, to and from childcare, school, things like that.”
She proposes that the city taps into the minor improvement fund to give back to taxpayers.
“Those monies come from access budget monies from years previous and we have had millions of dollars in there,” Alvidrez added. “For instance, in 2020, we had $18 million dollars in our minor improvement funds that were leftover or COVID-19 monies, that could have provided an opportunity for the current council and mayor to give local taxpayers a tax cut. And instead of doing that, they decided to do some things that I’m not too fond of.”
In regards to a recent city council agenda item in which the city proposed to issue combination tax and surplus revenue certificates of obligation to make improvements to Cypress Street downtown, Alvidrez said in a Facebook post, ‘They’re about to steal another 8 million dollars from hard-working taxpayers, keep an eye on Weldon Hurt. He’s looking like a thief more and more every day.’ This was said in correspondence to previous city council decisions.
‘A certificate of obligation is the council basically telling you what it is they’re going to do with your own tax dollars,” Alvidrez explained.
She said the council could have made a bond election where taxpayers can choose where the money will go and to her account, taxpayers told the city they did not want the money to go to a hotel in a bond election.
“This is why I call it stealing, We told you no and instead of listening to what we told you, you went behind our backs and created a certificate of obligation that we’re going to have to pay back… I call that theft,” Alvidrez added. “This is the same issue with the current certificate of obligation downtown because that could be a bond.”
As for the tone Alvidrez shows towards other council members, she said if she was voted on she would continue to match the tone the members give the community.
“I match tones and so, the tones that I’m getting from the city council chambers are very aggressive in nature, they’re very forceful. When I say that it’s because the way that you (councilmembers) are coming at my wallet is very aggressive and is very forceful and you’re taking things away from me,” Alvidrez expressed.
Alvidrez will be running against James Sargent, Shawnte Fleming and Blaise Regan in the election and said she is different for many reasons.
“There’s a couple of things, one, I’m not bought out,” Alvidrez said. “Another thing is I’ve been advocating for the last five or six years. Y’now, I don’t do this necessarily cause I want to sit on council, I do it because I want my neighborhood to look better, I do it because I want to drive on streets that aren’t going to mess my car up, I do it because there’s services that I need and I know others need to be able to work and provide for the families, that’s why I do it.”
To learn more about Alvidrez, visit her Facebook page. She said those who like would like to contact her can do through Facebook messenger, through her email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her cell phone at (325) 669-0071.