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EL PASO — If El Paso County Commissioners court were a baseball team, you could say they've replaced the left side of the infield....the two members the audience see on the left as they face the court.
Carlos Leon is the new District 1 commissioner, representing the county's east side, where he wants to propose a natural gas power plant. Leon replaces Anna Perez who's now a district court judge. And next to him is Vincent Perez, the former Silvestre Reyes communications director who made a well-timed leap into county politics. Perez now sits in Tonia Chozet's District 3 seat. Poised and professional on his first day, Perez in person had the bearing of a young man so eager to serve that he can barely stand still.
Perez picked up two quick assignments today...he'll be the county's representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization , a critical position for advocating roadway projects in particular and getting them done. No where is that more important than in rural sections of District 3
Perez tells us, "Precinct 3 is the fastest growing precinct in El Paso County. There's a lot of congestion, so we have to think ahead and spend our dollars wisely, for projects that are going to be worthwhile for taxpayers, to make sure we're going to have an efficient transportation system in the future."
Along with commissioner Sergio Lewis, Perez will also join a committee...and interview candidates for the county's first ever Economic Development Office.
When Vince Perez thinks about attracting new dollars to the county, his mind goes directly to where he stood for his New Years Day oath of office..the historic Mission Trail which runs like a ribbon through District 3.
"I think we do a good job promoting (the missions) to tourists, but I don't think we do a good job promoting them to El Pasoans. I think El Pasoans themselves need to come in, supporting the missions and taking advantage of the year round activities. But in the end, what does it mean? It means more jobs and more economic development for the community"
Perez jokes that his new digs aren't that far along. He's hired a couple of managers from his successful campaign. His office meanwhile is spacious but short on décor at the moment. And, rookie bad luck perhaps, his window has a great view.. if what you want to see is the public parking garage
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