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Canales outlines plan to make Nueces County a better place to live, work

Posted at 5:39 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 19:31:32-04

As part of her State of the County Address Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales laid out what she calls her ‘5 for 5″ plan; five goals she’d like to accomplish over the next five years.

Since taking office six months ago, Canales looked at the county’s challenges and weaknesses.

At the top of her list is to build an improved, state of the art Emergency Operations Center.

“I want to make sure that we’ve got the type of command center that is a center of excellence for our entire region,” said Canales.  “Because we know that resiliency is the key and preparation is the key.”

Second is quality of place, which means attracting new small and medium-sized businesses, not just industry.

Third is Improved Health Outcomes, where Nueces County ranks 191st out of 254 Texas counties.  Canales wants to reinvest in different kinds of health facilities.

“I identified behavioral health as one, but there are many others,” said Canales.  “To do that we need to reinvest our hospital district tax dollars, along with partnering with public and private foundations.”

Fourth is enhanced asset management; taking care of important county buildings, like the County Courthouse.  The county’s Capital Improvements Plan will accomplish this.

Finally, Canales wants to make Nueces County a better place to work, which starts with better wages.

“I think it’s important people are paid what they’re worth,” said Canales.  “It needs to be a goal of ours to get our employees level with what everyone knows is a living wage.”

So how will the county pay for them?  Judge Canales has a plan for that too, which starts by tapping into money made available by recent legislation.

“We’re going to be very aggressive, and it doesn’t just stop with the state,” said Canales.  “We’re going to be very aggressive about seeking all sources of funding.”