Constable, Precinct 1: Ismael "ISH" Castro, Jr.
Name: Ismael “ISH” Castro, Jr.
Hometown: Yuma, Ariz.
Office running for: Constable, Precinct 1
Political experience: Novice, with a bit of ‘wet feet' about 20 years ago.
Family: Married to Bonnie, 6 children
Please describe your platform
Responsible and firm process service administered with compassion, dignity and respect for all.
If elected, what is your first priority?
Evaluating the efforts and results of the constable office so to assure the citizens of Yuma are being served with maximum efficiency in which the department should be collecting a sufficient amount of fees, delinquent or otherwise to offset the amount of dollars being spent to operate the office as most constable offices in the state are doing.
Who do you think is your biggest challenger and why?
My opponent because of incumbency.
What do you think sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
I would represent the position in a more visible light because of my ability to relate and communicate with my people skills. In my rounds throughout the community I am bewildered by the numerous times I have been asked, who is the current constable, what does a constable do? With these often-asked questions, there could be a serious image problem in the public's eye. I believe members of this community would like to know their elected official and how his respective office is being managed.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts?
Given a position of authority and charged with transparency oversight, I would appoint sound and trustworthy commissions that would include members from the public/ private sector with bi-partisanship as an all important criteria in its makeup and that government be included in the managing effort.
Public notices are regarded as one important way for the public to find out what is really happening in government. Newspapers currently not only print public notices but also operate a free, consolidated, online, searchable database. Some people advocate that public notices should be available only on government websites. Do you agree that the Legislature should change the current law to mandate that public notices be available only on government websites?
The issue, although important, is not, in my opinion, one that deserves such high priority. The Legislature has enough on their plate without entering into more deliberations and debates for in doing so will only diminish their efforts in other more important issues. Technologically speaking, the public may well be suffering from an overload of information with the creation of the “information highway” which has not cut short the public's access and availability of information and, thereby, has substantially increased the public's knowledge and awareness.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and Arizonans?
Currently it is the economy. In my campaign walks throughout Yuma, I am awe-stricken by the number of homes that have been vacated to the detriment of once lively lovely neighborhoods. With box stores empty, Dole and Russell Coil closing down, housing in the tank and depressing unemployment numbers, the economy is our most formidable challenge. While innovative and creative marketing ideas may help in the long run, what do we do in the short haul? There is the catch - Catch-22, that is. Businesses will not invest and hire until consumers start spending and the lack of consumer confidence will languish until they start getting jobs and feel comfortable enough to begin spending again. In these dire times, government must be willing to jump-start the engine by infusing funds to the states for infrastructure projects such as deteriorating highways, bridges and pipelines.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that?
Although in my capacity as constable, there would be little I could lend to the situation except to assure the citizens in these current tough times that I would prioritize expenditures by managing and maintaining an efficiently streamlined office.
What is one of your strength?
Weaknesses (something you'd like to improve upon)? Strength: My ability to communicate in a dignified and respectful way in order to achieve the ultimate objective.
What is one thing that you want voters to know?
My experience as Real Property agent for the city has given me the necessary tools needed for the position of constable. The constable's position is one of notifying people of a legal matter, which is what I performed for 10 years in property acquisitions. I have not a shred of doubt that I will perform this job with utmost confidence and expert ability.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would encourage the people of Yuma to take seriously this wonderful expression of Freedom that we, as Americans, are given at election time. These hard fought battles for the opportunity to serve in an elected position are the results of the Freedom we exercise each time we cast that ballot. Which person or platform resonated with our own philosophy? Which candidate convinced us of our vote? What a unique and wonderful experience. Please participate. Do not take this Freedom lightly. Encourage your children, your relatives and friends to participate in the process. That is how we can make a difference.