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May 2022 Election: Al Rodriguez

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Elgin City Council, Ward 3

What made you want to run for this position?

I’ve been a long time resident of Elgin. I’ve worked with the school district for over 20 years and seen the growth and how it is affected both the school district and the city. I’ve been involved in multiple youth organizations and participated in multiple district committees and endeavors. I’m also an alum of the Bastrop Elgin Smithville Texas (BEST) Leadership program designed to develop and facilitate community leaders into leadership positions. I want to be able to give back to the community where my wife and I raised our children. Elgin is facing unique challenges in the coming years and I want to help us preserve the best qualities of our city while at the same time embracing the positive opportunities that will be coming our way.


What kind of experience - educational, professional or personal - do you bring to this position?

I received my undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University, my masters degree at Southwest Texas State University before it became Texas State, and I have completed doctoral work at the University of Texas - Austin. Working with the school district I participated with bond planning when we proposed and passed the bond to build Elgin High School years ago. Similarly, I did the same with the school district when we planned for and passed bonds for Neidig Elementary, Elgin Middle School and the most recent bond. The school district is a microcosm of all that happens in the city. We run the largest transportation service, the largest food service and with over 800 employees, over 5000 students and a budget over $50 million are the largest employer in the city. I have been involved at every level of this planning. Personally, I am immensely proud of the fact that my older son is an Elgin High School graduate and my younger son is currently a Freshman following in his footsteps. My wife is also a teacher in the district and together we understand that their success is in part due to the city and district leadership that has been in place. I believe that having this insight as a parent, employee and community member, into both the school district and city dynamics, challenges and opportunities, makes me uniquely qualified. 


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Elgin?

There is no question that the biggest challenge facing our city is the growth ahead of us. We can choose embrace the opportunities it presents and work together to mitigate the negative. Or, we can choose to let it dictate outcomes to our community’s detriment.


How do you expect Elgin to adapt as Bastrop County’s population grows? Where do you see the city in five years?

The demographic studies that I have seen show that we will be increasing significantly in the next five years. This will affect everything around us including our school system, our roads, our housing and all of our resources. I am optimistic that working together we will be ahead of any potential problems in such a way that we can lead the county by example.


What is one issue you want to fix or improve if you take office?

I believe there’s room for improvement in everything that we do. We must adopt and apply a continuous improvement cycle in all endeavors. Whether that’s city planning or economic development we should want to lead and become a model for success. I would apply this mindset to all I am involved with. 


Why should the voters choose you? What sets you apart from your opponent?

Voters should choose me because I have the ability to stick to the tasks at hand. I bring a unique perspective as both a parent and school district employee. I have lived in Elgin for over 20 years and raised my family here. If elected I will work to build a community where opportunities outweigh the possibility of failure as I work with all those willing to build a better community and put Elgin first. 


Any other information you would like to share with voters?

I look forward to talking with anyone with concerns or praises, complaints or ideas.