By Sergio Medina
District 4 candidate Robert Casias said he views himself as an advocate for the taxpayer and, if elected, he would look for ways to refine spending in a way that focuses in new fields of study like the space industry and engineering.
Casias said he would focus on space industry areas of study because the U.S. has a renewed spirit in going back to the moon and Mars, referring to President Donald Trump’s initiatives like Space Force and private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
He said areas of study with the highest paid jobs like engineering should be emphasized for students to exit school prepared for the workforce.
He said he believes the Alamo Colleges should stay out of welfare programs like free food and baby-sitting, referring to childcare services provided on campuses like Palo Alto and this college.
Instead, he would like funds to be directed toward expanded tutoring and veteran services.
“The city of San Antonio has welfare programs; Bexar County has welfare programs; the state of Texas has welfare programs; and the federal government has welfare programs, so the Alamo Colleges ought to stay out of the welfare business and giving away stuff.
“What does that have to do with education?” he asked.
He said the work and value an individual brings into an area is what matters, regardless of their upbringing or environment. As such, he disagrees with “making excuses” for financially limited Hispanic students living on the West or South sides.
Casias also said it’s important to raise employee accountability and keep a strict eye on budget spending.
He said his management experience has prepared him to do the job. He described himself as fiscally responsible.
“I’m looking out for the taxpayer.”
He said he disagreed with the board of trustees to delay the election until Nov. 3, adding that it was unethical for them to meet in secret to hold a vote on an election the public ought to know about.
Board meeting agendas become public on the district’s website about three-six days prior to regular, committee of the whole, and special board meetings, and include Zoom links and phone numbers for the public to remotely watch or listen to the meeting. It was no exception for the special board meeting Aug. 17, when the board voted to delay the election until Nov. 3.
Board agendas are available at https://www.alamo.edu/about-us/leadership/board-of-trustees/board-meetings/.
“I plan to be an active board member, asking questions all the time and challenging the status quo and how we’re doing things,” he said.
Casias is a veteran, having served as colonel and senior operations manager in the U.S. Army for 29 years. He obtained a bachelor’s in sociology from Excelsior University in New York.
He is presently a cattle rancher and is president emeritus of the Somerset Independent School District Education Foundation.
Early voting ends Oct. 30. The election is Nov. 3.
Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College and this college are early voting locations.
More information is available at www.bexar.org/1568/Elections-Department.