Raymond DeGuzman Sr. is seeking election to the Richardson City Council Place 4 seat, which will be vacated by current Council Member Mabel Simpson. If successful, this will be the first time DeGuzman has held elected office.
Community Impact Newspaper sent DeGuzman a set of questions about his candidacy. His answers have been edited for publication style.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I love Richardson, and I love being a part of this community. As I do not have a specific agenda at this time, I want to help keep Richardson a strong economic city. I want small-business owners like myself to feel just as important as the big businesses. I want [Richardson] to remain a pet-friendly city as well as a family-oriented city. I want to continue to build a sense of community in organizing events that make citizens of Richardson proud to live here.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
Professionally, I am a small-business owner. I own R&R In Home Animal Care Service that was founded in 2010. I won “Best Pet Care Service” for Richardson in 2015. I am currently the vice president of Richardson AnimaLuv, a nonprofit organization that helps fund the Richardson Animal Shelter. I work alongside Peggy Thorburn, the founder and president of AnimaLuv, in organizing events for the city, such as City-Wide Pet Day, Dog Splash, and Dog Wash. I also was a part of the donation of the outside pet courtyard at the Richardson Animal Shelter as well as the adoption trailer. These donations have been very useful for the shelter to gain exposure in helping the animals get adopted. I am passionate about animals, and I love being involved in the community in a more hands-on way [by]meeting pet owners and residents who enjoy coming to community-wide events.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Richardson today, and how do you plan to address it if elected to City Council?
In order to keep Richardson a place where new families want to live and raise their families, we need to address some infrastructure issues, and I will continue to support tax bonds that help in maintaining our roads and repairing potholes. I am very concerned about empty businesses and the effects this has for our city. We always need to make sure we attract businesses that will promote economic growth for our city.
The city in the past has used economic incentives and tax grants to attract companies. What means, if any, would you support the city using to attract companies in the future?
I’m in favor of anything that helps give economic growth to the city of Richardson. If giving tax grants and incentives is what attracts bigger businesses, then I will be supportive. Of course every business decision is [on]a case-by-case basis—if it projects more revenue for the city, it will have my support.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
I am a graduate of Berkner High School and grew up in Richardson. I came to Texas in 1989 and was born in the Philippines. I became an American citizen when I was in the fourth grade. I have been living in Richardson for over 30 years, and Richardson is where I call home. I have been married for 10 years, and I have a son who attends Jess Harben Elementary. We are very involved in the community, as my son plays for the RSA—Richardson Soccer Association—team Dragons as well as the SVAA—Spring Valley Athletic Association—for baseball team A’s. I think I would be a new voice that offers a different perspective to the Richardson City Council.