Community Crossroads: Joe Geistman

Community Crossroads host Carolina Astrain interviews Joe Geistman, one of five candidates running for the District 3 seat on Victoria City Council

VICTORIA, Texas – Community Crossroads host Carolina Astrain interviews Joe Geistman, one of five candidates running for the District 3 seat on Victoria City Council.

The following is a transcript from the show:

Carolina Astrain: Welcome, in this week’s episode, we need the candidates for the District 3 seat on the Victoria city council. And a reminder Tuesday is the last day for early voting. There are extended hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. So if you have plans to be out of town for the 4th of July holiday weekend, be sure to cast your vote before 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, we’ll have full coverage of Election Day on July 3rd. I’ll be at the anchor desk. Now we go to our second guest, actually, our first guests cause Aaron couldn’t make it, but we shared some information about him,

Joe Geistman. Yes, Joe, how are you doing today?

Joe Geistman: I’m doing great today. Thanks for having me on.

Astrain: I’m so excited that you were able to make it and let’s go ahead and start off with the first question. If elected, what is one issue, just one, just one issue that you would want to get past in your first term?

Geistman: Um, one issue I’d really like to look into would be business retention with regards to economic growth here in Victoria. We seem to have a huge problem with not being able to keep businesses in restaurants in Victoria. And I think starting to work on that would be a big driver and increasing our sales tax revenue from outside areas coming in.

Astrain: That’s interesting. So business retention, not retention of young professionals. That’s usually the topic that you’ll hear, you know, at the fire department, the police department, the school district, we have a high turnover rate of young professionals, but you want to focus on the business side?

Gesitman: Well, I believe the retention of business will help that fall in line and help offer more for these people to want to stay in Victoria because a lot of the younger ones are leaving to places where there’s more fun things to do and more, you know, more, more, more to experience. And I believe keeping that business and retaining that here in Victoria is going to do a lot to help to keep our young people, you know, that we’re getting out of the UHV and, in the high schools, keeping them here in

Astrain: And in line with that. I was here when Hurricane Harvey hit us a lot of businesses shuttered after that horrific storm in emergency preparedness in that, in that arena, I guess, what would you change or add to the city’s emergency preparedness plan?

Geistman: I don’t think. It’s ever as much as it’s a bad plan. I think when it comes to emergency response, we really have to focus on education on educating the public on how we’re going to do it. And even as far as having, you know, trials for, you know, how they have the mock emergency plans and stuff to actually enact those plans, cause you can have the best laid out plan, but if nobody knows how to execute it, what’s the point of it. So I believe in the execution of our plans and educating the community better on doing that on executing.

Astrain: Speaking of emergencies, the pandemic, how do think the city fared in responding to the pandemic? I know they were having the briefings on a daily basis and specifically, how would things, how would you have done things differently between the city and the county at this time? You know, with the, with

Geistman: The pandemic? I mean, we can all, I mean hindsight’s 2020. We can look back and almost change everything when we see actually how it played out. But I know in regards to the vaccine, I think Victoria County was leading the state and, you know, it was a very, you know, a good representation on how to roll that out as far as how we handled it. Um, I don’t think we did a horrible job. I would have liked to have seen more interaction with, you know, weekly with the city council on, you know, mass mandates and doing that and actually kind of keeping those rolling and updated as time went on versus, um, I’m a very big proponent of freedom. So I don’t believe anyone person should be able to just say, you gotta do this, you gotta do this. And I believe we did hurt businesses here in some regards and trying to force businesses to close their doors. You know, when you had targets and Walmarts and HEBs were open and a lot of small businesses weren’t. So I think, you know, looking at it now that we’re here back on it, I wouldn’t have wanted to seen small businesses closed and, and forced to shut down. You know, I think we should have looked at it more through a light of freedom instead of fear because I don’t believe any freedom should be taken away out of fear.

Astrain: Definitely. And I know as Texans love freedom, and once the duck pond is back, what is your vision for all of the city parks?

Geistman: You know, one of the things I would love to see in the city parks and I’ve been talking about this forever is ways for, I want to see the city invest instead of just spending money. You know, when I say invest, do things that we’re going to get a return for. So I know there are talks. I know we are going to implement, I believe food trucks and stuff in the, in the city part. So I believe more concessions and more things in the part for people to spend money in the park while they’re playing. I think it would be an awesome thing.

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