Candidates for Harlingen District 3 discuss local issues
The two candidates vying for the city of Harlingen’s District 3 commissioner’s seat agree that their biggest concern is flooding.
Incumbent Micheal Mezmar says he has consistently voted for drainage improvements
"We've got canals, we've increased the diameter of drainage pipes, we're working on it as fast as we can with the amount of money that we have," Mezmar said.
Mezmar’s opponent, Robert Leftwich, previously served three terms on the city commission. He said drainage was not a big enough priority.
"Instead of prioritizing the money for drainage, you know drainage was the number seven priority,” Leftwich said. “And the convention center was the number one priority. ")
Both candidates also clashed on the impact of the rise in Harlingen property taxes.
"That affects the malls, that affects retailers, that affects investment properties,” Leftwich said. “The taxes drive up, people's rent goes up."
Mezmar said the property taxes were lowered by over a penny last year.
"After 14 years, we raised taxes, property taxes, last year we lowered them over a penny," Mezmar said.
Leftwich also took issue with the commissioners choosing to give the city manager a $45,000 pay raise. Mezmar said he voted against the raise.
Early voting ends Tuesday, April 27 with the general election set for Saturday, May 1.