No mayor in the country wishes to be remembered only as The Mayor Through the Coronavirus, which is just one cause why Killeen’s leading elected chief is maintaining his eyes on a larger vision for the city, in addition to the pandemic.
“Everything is likely to be described by COVID-19,” claimed Jose Segarra, chuckling at the believed that could be how his mayoral time is remembered. “It’s been a challenge, but I have seen how resilient our residents are, primarily in the course of a disaster. People today are having safety measures but they are not allowing it halt them from residing existence.”
Segarra, a neighborhood Real estate agent, was very first elected mayor 4 several years back and was lately re-elected to a third expression after operating unopposed. This will be Segarra’s previous two decades in the mayor’s chair due to the fact town policies only make it possible for mayors to provide three 2-year phrases.
“Unfortunately, this will be it,” he stated.
Even so, he will not grow to be a stranger once his 6 decades as mayor are around.
“I take pleasure in obtaining associated and I possess a company listed here,” Segarra claimed. “Hopefully I can use all the wisdom that I’ve acquired as mayor.”
In the meantime, Segarra is seeking forward to operating with the a few new councilmembers — Ken Wilkerson, Rick Williams and Mellisa Brown — who have been elected on Nov. 3.
“We may well have distinct approaches, but we all want to see advancements in our city,” he claimed.
The mayor mentioned his priorities are public safety, enhancing parks and increasing leisure chances for young people today.
Segarra said his goals as mayor have been the identical because Day 1: to increase the popularity of the metropolis and to improve the city’s north side.
“When I first came to this place in 1990, I found that men and women experienced a negative perception of Killeen and have been telling me not to transfer listed here,” he said. “But I moved to Killeen and understood there is a whole lot of great factors listed here. I really don’t have to transform a whole lot of minds because men and women who call Killeen residence realize its worth.”
He admitted that some of the destructive track record that puppies Killeen is because of the north side of the city, but he mentioned that city leadership is encouraging organization expenditure.
“There’s a ton of culture and a large amount of variety,” Segarra mentioned. “I went to an El Salvadoran cafe there, and right across the street was a Mexican ice product shop. If variety can be viewed through meals, we have that.”
He mentioned that it has been demanding to come up with the cash desired to make advancements on the north aspect of city.
“Slowly, over time, it’s occurring,” Segarra explained.
A couple jobs are in the is effective, which include a $65 million task that will be a huge condominium intricate if the metropolis council approves it.
“What will make those people corporations get the job done is currently being in a position to provide in a lot more foot targeted traffic,” he reported.
Folks who reside on the north side of city also have reduced access to grocery merchants right after the H-E-B on Gray Street closed just around a yr ago, next in the footsteps of an IGA on East Rancier Avenue, but Segarra thinks a different condominium sophisticated could enable spur some financial progress.
“If we’re equipped to present more foot targeted traffic in the downtown area, it could adjust the complete dynamic,” Segarra mentioned. “With far more than 300 residences … we have not seen that variety of advancement on the north facet in a long time.”
Section of Segarra’s position as mayor is actively playing matchmaker, so to speak.
“We have a good deal of organizations that really support out, and from time to time I’ll have a single firm seeking to assistance people in disaster, and I’ll hook up them with other corporations they didn’t know about,” he explained. “It also can help if anyone phone calls me due to the fact then I’m able to immediate them towards the support they may well have to have.”
Segarra explained he will not have to explain to his grandchildren about remaining mayor: they’ve been a element of it because the starting.
“During my first campaign, the Killeen Everyday Herald took a picture of our grandkids keeping up a sign and I have it hanging in my business listed here,” he stated. “They’ll be capable to seem back and say, ‘There I am, 5 years previous, keeping up a indication to guidance my granddad for mayor.’ The genuine testament to how very well I’ve done as mayor is if they decide on to make their households in Killeen.”