Thursday, April 23, 2009

DORELLA ELIZONDO: A Role Model For Our Times

DORELLA ELIZONDO: A Role Model For Our Times
(Co-Owner Of DEL CIELO HOMECARE Seeking Reelection To The City Council)

Alice, Texas -- Dorella Elizondo is a team player. She is impartial and friendly -- yet at a moment’s notice -- she can summon the courage to stand up for what is right for her native community – even if she has to “swim against the stream.” Many in the community have told this publication that Ms. Elizondo seems to radiate with a sense of a “higher cause”. She has a higher ethical fiber than traditional politicians. Be it an issue of fiscal accountability, be it a community health concern, be it an issue that addresses a long ignored area – how many are the actions on the council that have connected her with the average citizen of Alice.

Councilperson Elizondo, who grew up amidst challenges and in a humble household, added: “I feel that most citizens trust me and see me as approachable because I have done my best to be an unbiased member of the council. I don’t just react to an issue; I reflect on it first, before I take action. I want to make sure all sides are heard and properly represented. I always remind myself of my humble origins, of the reason I sought this seat. I ran for office to make sure that the best interest of the city be made priority, and thus and so in the beginning I vowed not to submit to the whims of a few who are motivated by special interest.”

“Team work” – this is what will bring out the best in Alice, Texas: Ms. Elizondo emphasized. “You can’t promise someone the moon just to have a chance to sit on the council. One person doesn’t make a council. It takes a vote of three to have a majority and move things forward. Team work, forming a consensus, tolerating different points of view – these are the qualities a person who sits on the city council needs to have. I bow to no vested interest group. I am financially independent and do not have to compromise my beliefs to compensate my earnings. The citizens of Alice, Texas have been (and will continue to be) my conscience.”

Not too long ago Councilperson Elizondo did reflect on the idea of running for mayor but decided not to do so for very unselfish reasons. She knew the town had to be united at this phase – when one of the candidates (Rito Silva) announced for the mayoral seat, Ms. Elizondo felt he would be a good fit and live up to the full meaning of the word – “professional.” Instead, she decided to seek re-election to the council so as to continue to nurture the cause she had started.

The stimulus bill, the remodeling of Texas Boulevard (with the accompanying sewer and water lines) and other issues still on the table, the work that awaits to be done on South Highway 281 – these are just a few of the projects she wants to see realized. She feels come Election Day a receptive and professional acting city council will be in place. “I decided to seek reelection to the council and play an indispensable role at this juncture as someone who can share her experience in budgeting and in mustering a consensus in regards to many a project,” she chimed in.

Councilperson Elizondo is a prominent businesswoman that sits on the city council. She is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-owner (for over a decade) of Del Cielo Homecare. Her success and insights in the free enterprise system greatly compliment her tenure on the city council.

Elizondo did state frankly that incoming Mayor Dr. Rito Silva will infuse a novel intensity of optimism in the council. She also added that a bona fide passion in City Manager Ray De Los Santos Jr. (who has diligently mapped out a responsible path for the municipality) exists. She feels that “stability” – this word is like a “nutrient and vitamin” that will greatly improve the social and political and economic status of Alice, Texas. “We have had both ebbs and flows (when it comes to confidence in public officials) in the last few years. The reason: we have had to go through a pair of city managers and assistant city managers. But with City Manager De Los Santos Jr., I feel that this is where the tire meets the road. He is saying that ‘together’: we can revive the pride that one rang very loud in Alice, Texas.”

To zoom in on the larger picture: The Jim Wells County area is feeling an economic pinch due to a dwindling regional economic crisis. Ms. Elizondo explains why the City of Alice demands in this trying times a representative in the best sense of the word: “This area is a petroleum-based community; the layoffs are mounting. We are also starting to notice that our hotels and tourist industry not have as much business as they used to. This will logically lead in time (if the pattern continues) to decreasing revenues… This is the time that your representatives will be tested, tested via how they react and act to meet the concerns of both the public and their respective duties to the office.”

“I need your vote. I -- for one -- want to see a proactive council yet with a pragmatic consciousness in reference to the finances available. I’ve seen this before, I’ve been here. We will pull together and survive it.”

Councilperson Elizondo wants to zero in more assertively on both beautifying and renovating city parks. She shared an experience: “On a recent visit to Houston, I visited a park in the area constructed out of 70 percent recyclable material. Can you imagine the creativity involved? The park integrated bike and walking trails, a spot for skateboarding and a water area that had built-in fountains.”

The above experience brought her focus back on what local parks, such as Anderson Park, offer to the residents of Alice. “I want to see grant money be secured to realize such improvements,” she detailed.

“Anderson Park” – she wants to see walking trails and an enhanced pool. She wants to see the city attempt to acquire non-traditional monies and resources to finance the work at Anderson Park.

The city’s equity plan? This is an area she wants to see worked on to address the obvious discrepancies that many an employee face in the city. “We want to make sure they are compensated equitably,” she emphasized.

She wants to be fair and do her best to hearten employees to acquire both the educational and occupational skills needed. She is a firm believer in both continuing and adult education. “No one is ever too old (or vice-a-versa) to learn something new. I want to see the city hire people on a probation period, and offer them the opportunity to take GED courses (if they lack a diploma), so that we can get them the needed qualification. Our aim is to improve the quality of life for our employees and their families. This will lead to better job performance and will collectively encourage everyone to higher standards. It is an investment in our city’s future.”

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