The city representative is one of nine members of the City Council (including the mayor), which makes policy-making and budget decisions for city government including the Police Department, Fire Department and city parks. District 5 represents the area east of Loop 375 which includes the El Dorado and Pebble Hills high school areas. City representatives get paid $51,600 a year. This is a nonpartisan position.

Who’s running for this seat?

Isabel Salcido, the incumbent in City Council District 5, did not respond.

Richard Genera, 30, is a bank teller.

Felix J. Muñoz, 56, is a retired federal law enforcement officer.

Candidate Questionnaires

Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. Responses have been lightly edited for grammar.

Over the past 10 years, the city’s portion of the property tax bill has increased at a much higher rate than other taxing entities. What efficiencies in city government would you support to minimize the need for tax increases?

Isabel Salcido: No response.

Richard Genera: We could be less generous with our 380 agreements. El Paso is a great place to invest in, we know it, businesses know it, and our generosity is being abused. It’s time we charged our worth. I’m also looking at how contracts with executives are negotiated to ensure there isn’t more abuse of generosity.

Felix J. Muñoz: To bring more revenue.

The city of El Paso used to have a strong-mayor form of government, but since 2004 it transformed into a council-manager government, which limited the mayor’s power. Which form of governance do you prefer and why?

Isabel Salcido: No response.

Richard Genera: I recognize how a council-manager form of government can be useful for some municipalities, but I don’t think it’s necessarily the right fit for El Paso. There is a desire in El Pasoans to have a responsive government and having so much power focused on a non-elected position isn’t as responsive as we’d like.

Felix J. Muñoz: Strong mayor form, because that’s an elected office, elected by the people of El Paso, City manager is not, therefore he/she has no consequences on their decision-making process.

What steps should the city of El Paso take to address climate change?

Isabel Salcido: No response.

Richard Genera: I support the charter amendment proposed by Sunrise El Paso. We’re the “Sun City” — we need to take advantage of the bountiful sunlight here and start using that to power our city facilities. We also need to make investments in public transit and ensure contractors and developers are being optimally responsible with how their work impacts the environment.

Felix J. Muñoz: Cleaner air (restrictions on refineries), going green, solar panels.

The City Council has amended the city manager’s employment contract multiple times to add more benefits before the contract was set to expire. How do you plan to address future changes to his contract?

Isabel Salcido: No response.

Richard Genera: As openly and transparently to my constituents as possible. One of my commitments is holding weekly community meetings and this topic will definitely be brought up. My constituents’ concerns and how well they are addressed will determine my scoring of the manager’s performance and will determine my position on additional benefits.

Felix J. Muñoz: Have the people vote on these types of issues. It’s all about transparency. Keep El Pasoans in the loop and include them and they can vote yes or no. Why not make it an elected office, give people a voice on the process.

What is your stance on abortion rights? What should City Council do, if anything, to support access to abortion?

Isabel Salcido: No response.

Richard Genera: I support a pregnant capable person’s agency and autonomy over their own body. We’re limited in what we can do locally, but one of the obvious moves would be to deprioritize the prosecution of women seeking an abortion at the local level. An ordinance exploring this was recently struck down. If elected I intend to bring that ordinance back up for reconsideration within my first 100 days.

Felix J. Muñoz: Texas’ governor currently has the control over the entire state of Texas on this matter. Until cities are given liberties to decide on this matter, then we can make a decision. I believe it’s the woman’s right to decide. God gave women with the ability to give birth, therefore her body, her choice.

Read more about this race

City Council candidate videos

El Paso Matters and PBS El Paso created a digital series to show you where City Council candidates stand on key issues.

YouTube video

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