MEET THE CANDIDATES: Cary Robinson, Candidate for Mayor

BY ROBERT MORALES

Cary Robinson is running for mayor. His opponents are Becky Brewster and Glenn Humphries.

Mr. Robinson has lived in Van Horn for the last seven years. This will be his second run for an office. He ran against former Mayor Okey Lucas and lost that election.

Mr. Robinson said one of his primary reasons for running is the power issue with El Paso Electric.

 “Ben Flanagan started something that nobody has followed up on,” he said.  As Mr. Robinson sees it, we’re in the middle of the thunderstorm season when Van Horn tends to have severe power outages for “six to eight hours.”

“It’s ridiculous,” Mr. Robinson said. “El Paso Electric makes plenty of money, and they should have already fixed those transmission lines. We need somebody to get with the proper entities and get this situation resolved, whether it’s new transmission lines or a new generation station in Van Horn.”

Mr. Robinson conceded that El Paso Electric has made some improvements that have either shortened power outages or prevented outages; however, he said outages should “never last more than an hour.”

“They did a great job with the solar panels installed at our local EPE office; they should do more so that there’s generation in Van Horn.”

He added that Van Horn should have its own municipal utilities district, referring to the fact that aside from gas or coal-fired power generation plants, we should at alternatives such as wind and solar.

Besides advocating for a different, more reliable power source for Van Horn, Mr. Robinson said he is also concerned about the need for the Town of Van Horn to be more responsible when it comes to trash around the city. He cited Sheriff Oscar Carrillo’s willingness to use inmates to pick up trash, as was the case last week. “That’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

Mr. Robinson would also like to see an increase in small businesses.

“People locally need more options to spend their money than having to drive a four-hour roundtrip only to buy a pair of shoes or groceries,” he said. “Making that drive [out of town] only increases the likelihood of something happening, such as an accident. There should be more opportunities here to spend your money. We should with the EDC (Economic Development Corporation) and try to drag some business here, clean up Main Street, and attract business.”

He said that the city council in conjunction with county commissioners and the EDC should be the main parties engaged in luring new business to Van Horn.

Mr. Robinson has served on the Golf Board, Main Street Advisory Board and the former Chamber of Commerce board. He is also a Navy veteran.

Mr. Robinson rejected the notion that Van Horn’s workforce may be one of the leading reasons that some businesses may not want to relocate here.

“I think if there were quality jobs, then more of our young people would stay here,” he said. “If there were quality jobs here, we’d probably also get people wanting to move here to work at those quality jobs.

As for attracting new businesses here with a promise of no taxes (tax abatements), “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with offering tax abatements; it’s the duration you have to be careful with,” he said.

Mr. Robinson’s message to voters: “I may not have the political experience of my opponents,  but that doesn’t mean I will not work hard for the citizens of Van Horn.”