Texoma Votes 2016: Santellana said business background makes him good choice for Mayor

Texoma Votes 2016: Santellana said business background makes him good choice for Mayor

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Two men are asking for residents of Wichita Falls vote to become the next mayor.

One of them is District 1 City Councilor, Stephen Santellana. Born and raised in the Wichita Falls area, Santellana got into the highway contracting business with his father after graduating from Midwestern State University.

"At first I wasn't going to get involved in that. I was going to do more graduate school or law school and move on. When he asked for help, because it was growing so fast, to me, I felt like I could help my father. I was going to give it a year or two and here we are twenty years later," he said.

Santellana believes being a successful businessman will translate to being a successful mayor.

"When you talk about business it's basically a lot about financials. Day to day we're dealing with financials. It's no different with the city. We have $170 million we have to deal with. We have to budget. We have to actually trim budgets. You're trying to make things fit and dealing with personnel, that's what I do daily," he said.

We asked him about some of the issues voters want to be addressed like water rates. It's something he said he wants to go down, but it is a process that takes time.

"If more water gets sold and rates go up we can look at incrementally bringing that down, but it's not going to be an overnight thing," Santellana said.

Another hot topic for voters is keeping Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls.

"If Sheppard Air Force Base doesn't want it, then I don't want it. It's that simple, point blank," he said.

Santellana said Sheppard Air Force Base is the biggest economic driving engine for the city and he plans to do whatever it takes to keep it here.

"We'll do anything (to) help foster growth and anything to help them," he said.

Creating jobs and growth for the city are also top priorities.

"I need jobs that help people buy homes. If people can buy homes we can increase the tax base. If we increase the tax base I could do a lot of things," Santellana said.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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