Local businessman Timothy “Tim” Wilkins is the latest to file for the upcoming McAllen elections for which 16 individuals have already filed to run for five positions on the city commission.

On Thursday, Wilkins, a property tax consultant and owner of Sofie’s Saloon, officially filed to run for McAllen District 1 commissioner, a position he unsuccessfully campaigned for in 2018.

In that special election, Wilkins ran against now-Commissioner Javier Villalobos who announced in December he would be running for mayor.

“I’ve been involved in McAllen for the better part of two decades,” Wilkins said in a statement. “I was born here. I am married and have 3 children.”

“My career has been centered around fighting property taxes. In this post-COVID economic climate I forecast we will see serious issues regarding declining commercial property tax revenues,” he added. “I would like to see McAllen tighten the belt and plan to navigate this now, while we have time to maneuver.”

In a phone interview, Wilkins said that when he ran in 2018, he wanted to get officially involved with the city to help correct what he saw were issues with infrastructure — such as drainage issues — and traffic flow by focusing on the automation of the street lights.

He said he also wanted to focus on having more police and fire personnel to provide enough coverage of the city and was in favor of raising police officers’ salaries to prevent losing them to other agencies.

“So when these guys commit their lives to us and their careers, we commit to them financially and at least make the financial issue a non-issue as far as them wanting to gravitate somewhere else,” Wilkins said.

An issue that’s front and center for him is immigration.

“At the present time there are no deterrents from the city to the immigration surge and no real plan to handle varying degrees of severity,” Wilkins later said in a statement. “While McAllen cannot realistically control a federal immigration issue, we can aggressively pursue negotiations with our state and federal elected officials to ensure we have the resources and legislative support to deal with the issue and its problems. My goal is to ensure maximum protection for the citizens of our city especially considering the threat of COVID.”

On why he was running and why he was the best candidate for the position, Wilkins stated, “I care deeply about our city and I am willing to sacrifice myself and my time to protect it. I have done so already.”

“It’s not for me to determine who is best for the job. That task lies ultimately with the voters,” he continued. “And, I hope I am able to gain their support and get them to vote.”