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McAllen
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2021 McAllen State of the City Address

April 28, 2021 – McAllen Convention Center

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Thank you, Kevin (Pagan), for that introduction.  Kevin and I spent 13 years together as city attorneys and then another 14 years with Kevin as the City Attorney and me as an elected official. Kevin retired recently to take a job in Mercedes. But you probably know that, because he managed to be in the newspaper pretty much every day since!

Picture by Eryn Reddell Wingert

And, again, thank you all for being here during these extraordinary times.  As your Mayor, it is my privilege to be with you today and to share with you the State of our City.  I think it is safe to say there has never been a Mayor charged with delivering the State of the City during more unusual and challenging times and I thank you for coming.  A special thanks to all our wonderful sponsors, great corporate citizens who make McAllen the great city it is. 

I also want to thank all the local, state, and federal elected officials here today.  I would like to thank all these leaders and officials for their service and ask you to please stand and be recognized—all our elected officials in the audience. Some of the State legislators are up in Austin, causing mayhem, I hear!  

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Although it has certainly been an unprecedented, and challenging year, I can share that the State of our City is strong—“still McAllen strong,” and its people are resilient, and we are looking forward to a much better 2021 and beyond!

It seems like a lot longer than 14 months ago that we gathered here for what would be one of the last major “mass gatherings” in our City – in fact, it was before we really knew what the term “mass gathering” would mean in our lives!

But what a year it has been – a pandemic, a hurricane, a freeze, a renewed immigration surge.  

And, of course, the most difficult and tragic of all the 2020 events, the loss of two of McAllen’s finest – Officers Ismael Chavez, Jr. and Edelmiro Garza, Jr.  

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Officer Chavez and Officer Garza

I know none of us will ever forget where we were when we heard the heart wrenching news that these two officers had been taken from us.  As a Mayor, there is no more difficult task than to stand alongside family members and try to make sense of such a loss. But that pales in comparison, of course, to the immeasurable sense of loss felt by their family and close friends, and their brothers and sisters at McAllen Police Department.  

Officers’ Memorial Service & Memorial

The Bible teaches us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a neighbor –and that is what these two members of our McAllen family did on that Saturday in July. The word “hero” is used a lot these days, and rightly so; however, in my mind, there were no greater heroes in our community in 2020 than officers Chavez and Garza.

Today, we are honored to be joined by members of the Chavez and Garza family.  I would ask you all to help me express our love—and also our shared sorrow—with these family members, by standing and then follow that with a moment of silence as we remember their sacrifice. 

(After standing applause, everyone bowed their heads; Mayor ended with a moment of silence.) 

Thank you.

This year, I want to make this, my last State of the City address, “All About You,”- you – the citizens and friends of the City of McAllen, all of our advisory board members, non-profit board members, our religious leaders, business leaders, and all who make the city special.  In past years, we have celebrated all sorts of folks – from students to our neighbors with special needs, to educators, city workers and others.  So, this year, it is all about you – our great citizens. Starting with one special citizen I know you all know.

Last year, I inaugurated the Mayor’s Citizenship award and named it in honor of Dr. Nedra Kinerk.  And Nedra was the first recipient.

This year, I have chosen to honor another great McAllen citizen with the 2nd ever Nedra Kinerk Citizenship award.  This person has not only dedicated his life to serving the citizens of McAllen, but long before that he served his country in the Army starting in World War II. That person is Colonel Frank Plummer.

Colonel Frank Plummer

Colonel Plummer has served in 3 wars, also going to Korea and Vietnam, and he is one of the few that served in all 3 and sadly, one of only a few who are still with us. 

After serving some 32 years in the armed service, he has dedicated a major part of his life to ensuring that we never forget the sacrifice made by those that have served and gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country. Colonel Plummer as leader of the Texas war memorial non-profit group, has raised the funds, designed the various sections telling out history.  He has made sure that it is a place that our children can learn this important aspect of our history and especially the bravery and sacrifice that the men and women of our Valley had endured as part of the history. 

Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

If you haven’t visited the Memorial, you should. It’s here just outside and it is truly magnificent.  A tribute to not only those memorialized there, but also the tireless work of this year’s Nedra Kinerk citizenship award recipient – Colonel Frank Plummer.  Colonel Plummer, can you come forward and receive this award.  Can you all help me thank the Colonel for his years of service to the country, and to the City of McAllen? (Col. Plummer came forward and was presented with the Award.)

As I mentioned, 2020, and the first few months of 2021, have been an extraordinary time in the history of our country, and our City.  Shortly after last year’s Sate of the City, we all began hearing of this “novel” virus that, it seemed, would require much more attention than the annual flu.  Of course, we all now know that COVID-19, the “coronavirus,” would, in fact, change our lives dramatically in the ensuing months.  We would learn terms like “social distancing,” “flatten the curve,” and, of course “lock-downs.”  We would all learn how to zoom and attend virtual meetings.   Survey Time:  How many of you have been in a zoom meeting wearing a shirt and tie and gym shorts?  And, what was with the urge to hoard toilet paper during COVID?  I thought we only did that for hurricanes.

COVID Situations, including City Workers, Testing Site, EOC, etc.

The City began in March of last year making necessary adjustments to workspaces and services to protect our employees and our citizens.  I want to say how proud I was, we all were, of the great City staff during this time.  We hardly missed a beat as we learned, sometimes through exceedingly difficult experiences, what it meant to deal with this disease. But very quickly, we established City testing and contact tracing protocols that helped us prevent the spread as much as we could. 

This meant that City services were never interrupted as we helped our friends, neighbors, and businesses cope with the “temporary” new normal we all experienced.  We made it through several “surges” of the disease. We certainly mourn the loss of the nearly 3,000 Hidalgo County residents who succumbed to this terrible virus, including the members of our own City staff that died.  

Vaccination Clinic

But as we always do here, McAllenites stepped up, faced the challenge, and we have come through. Now that we are, hopefully, nearly at the end of this long battle, we can soon, once again freely visit friends, loved ones, and get back to normal. But we all need to get vaccinated, please.  

We will never forget this year of disease, or our frontline workers—healthcare, first responders, “essential” service providers, such as grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, custodians, and the like. We thank you all. 

But one thing I’ve learned through this time, is that we all are – you all are – “essential” workers — everyone of us… and then, there was the summer.  By mid-July, in addition to the pandemic, we had already mourned the loss of Officers Chavez and Garza, and by late July we were facing another daunting prospect—the landfall of Hurricane Hanna.   Hanna had suddenly decided at, like many tourists that the Valley was a better place to visit than Corpus!

Hurricane Hanna Response

It’s very difficult to say that any disaster is “normal,” but at least here in the Valley, we have experience dealing with Hurricanes. So, it came as no surprise that, once again, you all stepped up to face this challenge. The City emergency services and responders prepared for, and dealt with, the high winds and deluge of rainfall that arrived in the early morning hours of July 25.  Many of our employees had to leave their families at home and risk their wellbeing to go out to serve our citizens.   While there are always improvements that can be made, I was grateful to see that the flooding in the City was much more limited than in past such events. 

Of course, one home or business with water inside is one too many, and we continue to strive to improve drainage infrastructure, including the bond projects that the voters approved a few years ago and were featured in the City Commissioners’ presentations. But all in all, Hurricane Hanna mainly served to remind us that, with Mother Nature, you can never be “over” prepared.

After the Presidential election, and shortly after the new President took office, we once again—for the third time– began dealing with a surge of folks seeking to enter the country, from Central America seeking asylum. This time we have a new element – COVID.

Immigration Surge

 And, once again, our great private partners like Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, and others stepped up to help.  With this time only modest impact on City finances—notice I said “modest” not “zero”! —we are once again dealing with a problem not of our own making, mainly the federal government’s inability to solve its immigration challenge.  (And, as in the past, we certainly expect the federal government to make us whole.) 

As we always have here in McAllen, we have not turned our backs on those in need, but rather, even when its inconvenient, and politically unpopular to some, we have stepped up to help—that’s what we do.  Thank everyone of you that have helped in this area.  

And as if 2020 had not provided enough challenge, 2021 was bound and determined to test us again, and early.  In January, despite the unprecedented success of the private sector drug companies that developed a vaccine in record time, COVID was not quite done with us, and we felt a “January surge.”  

Then, just as we were getting rolling with the vaccinations, Mother Nature again took center stage and a nearly unprecedented “Valentine’s Day” Arctic blast sent temperatures here plummeting to far below freezing—and remained there for several days.  

Big Freeze

All of you know the Valley is not accustomed to, or really prepared for, sub-freezing weather for any extended period, and, likewise, it turned out neither was the Texas power grid — but that’s another story.  While many of us suffered the freezing weather with no power, again, our friends, neighbors, and great partners stepped up.  Warming shelters were provided, food was delivered, and those businesses (restaurants and others) that could be open, were, and they provided much needed supplies and services to the community. 

Through these unprecedented 16 months, the citizens of McAllen, and our City staff, have constantly risen to the challenges, faced the difficulties, the tragedies, and the hardships, and we have come through. 

But how about some good news??   2020 was not by any means all about challenges — there were a number of successes and things for which we can, and rightfully should, pat ourselves on the back.

The Mayor and Commission

First, I want to congratulate my fellow Commission members on the award we just recently received from the Texas City Managers’ Association – for staying “focused” on the City mission, and completing key projects, even in face of all the above, the TCMA named McAllen as the “City Council of the Year” for 2020-2021.  We appreciate the recognition, but I think I can speak for the Commission in saying again, it’s all about you—our residents, business owners and staff make it possible, and frankly, enjoyable, to serve you as best we can.  I think this award shows what working together we can accomplish.

MISD Board of the Year, Super of the Year

Likewise, our partners at the McAllen ISD also won several awards, include “District of Distinction” in several areas. The Board also was voted Texas Board of Trustees of the year and if that is not enough, Dr. Gonzalez was picked as the Texas Superintendent of the Year.  Not a bad year for McAllen!  We appreciate the MISD’s ongoing hard work to make sure our students receive a top-notch education.   

I should also mention that our City Manager Roy Rodriguez was the City Manager of the Year for Texas in 2017.  Way to go Roy!

We are also privileged to work alongside another great group of elected officials, the McAllen Public Utility Board.  With one of the very few municipal utilities that elects its Trustees, the McAllen PUB continues to provide innovative and amazing service at one of the lowest rates in the State!  During the past freeze our MPU employees were able to aid our surrounding cities while no McAllen customers lost water service. In fact, the Texas Department of Emergency Management asked for the MPU’s assistance in San Angelo, when that City’s water system became completely unusable.  What a great team!

Join me in watching this short video from our PUB. (PUB Video was shown)

Thanks again to the PUB for all you all do!  Keep that water flowing and those rates low! And congrats on the well-deserved awards.

The MPU was not alone in completing key projects during this challenging year.  

Bicentennial Section at Auburn

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

As Commissioner Villalobos mentioned, the City recently opened another stretch of the much-needed northern part of Bicentennial Boulevard. I’d like to see most of it opened before I leave office!  No pressure Roy!

Other key traffic segments were completed or advanced, such as 29th Street, Ware Road, and Dove, to name just a few.  Thanks to the bonds McAllen voters approved a few years back, we have been able to make significant improvements in traffic flow and traffic control in the City.  More are just around the corner, so to speak!  Thanks to the voters for passing the bond, and to our Engineering and Public Works departments in getting these projects finished or well under way.

Also, we made great strides in expanding services, constructing new lanes, and cutting travel times on the Anzalduas Bridge. 

Anzalduas Bridge

We established empty southbound transport traffic three years ago.  Along with help from our State and Federal partners, we have been able to move closer to having full commercial truck traffic crossing both directions at this important Port of Entry, thus facilitating even more important trade and traffic with Mexico.  Our thanks especially to TX DOT for partnering with us on this vital project.   We should be starting construction this summer.  

The Mayor and MEDC in China

Working with our partners at MEDC, the implementation of the USMCA will result in explosive manufacturing operations on both sides of the river. Our City with the MEDC partnership was a leader in developing NAFTA opportunities resulting in over 12 million square feet of logistics and some manufacturing.  And the Best is yet to come. 

Although we never expected to do so, the City was able, with the help of the first round of “CARES Act” funds, to help our local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.  Through the Chamber of Commerce, we passed federal dollars directly to locally owned small businesses to see them through this trying year, and I can report it helped many stay afloat. To all our McAllen businesses, small and large, locally owned, and franchised, I want to say how much we appreciate the hard work of all of you and that you, stayed the course, and stuck with McAllen.  We appreciate it, and we pledge our continued efforts to support you, your employees, and your business in the coming months. God bless you!

Slide 15: Food Delivery at Las Palmas

Likewise, through cooperation with local charities, churches, and schools, the City was able to deliver many thousands of meals to folks that could not get out due to the pandemic. This “neighbor helping neighbor” is what we are all about in McAllen, and it showed up big time during the pandemic. 

Through our Affordable Homes of South Texas partner, we were able to provide rental and mortgage assistance to many of our families who were devastated by the Covid economy. 

WIFI Project

This is one I am really proud of!   We (me nagging and our I.T. Staff, traffic control workers, convention center workers, public works, and outside consultant Frontera) were also able to design, develop, and deploy in almost record time a “Wi-Fi” net around the City, so that students who were not able to attend school in person could access their classes online.  We reached thousands of homes and it is free and reliable.   I am especially pleased that we were able to focus on underserved areas of the City so that the “learning gap” could be minimized.  Thanks to the City I.T. department and the other City staff involved in that national award-winning important project. 

Dalinda, BGCM

One organization in particular I want to recognize, and they happen to be one of our long-time partners. The McAllen Boys and Girls club really came through.  From the very beginning, the Club reached out to the City and said, “How can we help?”  Even though many of their programs were shut down, they kept their doors open to provide much needed childcare for city employees including first responders, often at risk to their own staff. Their innovative and sacrificial efforts did not go unnoticed—either by the City or their own national organization, which named Executive Director Dalinda Alcantar “Director of the Year” in the entire region. (seeing a pattern here?)  I know that the Boys and Girls Club, like so many, suffered a tragic loss of a beloved staff member, so we extend both our sympathy, and our heart-felt thanks to Dalinda, the staff, and the Board at the McAllen Boys and Girls Club.

MXLAN, MHP, SP Illuminated Drive

By the time the holiday season rolled around, we sensed that the community was in real need of some entertainment and activities. Our City staff got busy and created a holiday experience here at the Convention Center campus.  The “virtual” holiday parade and the illuminated drive were huge hits. They provided a much-needed break to the pandemic and, in the case of the “South Pole” illuminated drive, a way to safely get out and about with family.  Thanks especially to our Convention Center staff, public works, traffic, and the PD for giving us this “holiday break!” 

Airport Flight pictures

We have also added much needed flights to and from our beautiful McAllen International Airport. We continue to expand and develop the opportunities for people from all over the world to get to (and from) McAllen, as you heard from Commissioner Ramirez.

Oh, and by the way, we did all of this while also being sure our citizens were properly counted in an historic and, again, unprecedented, census count. 

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

The numbers are not official yet, but I believe McAllen and our area did a great job in trying to get everyone counted.  Our unofficial tally shows an almost 15% percent growth with a population estimate of over 151,000. 

With the assistance of the State and Federal governments, and the careful planning and direction of the City staff, especially the City Manager’s office, the City of McAllen was actually able to maintain an extremely healthy fund balance in the face of this challenging year. We are one of the few cities that fund depreciation which amounts are not included in the fund balance total.

Our Place in State of Texas 

We hope to build off this, the new federal funding, and a brighter 2021 to end this year even better.  Even in the pandemic, we were able to maintain our City position in the State as 15th best in sales tax collection although we are the 25th largest city, making us still a leader in per capita sales tax collections.  This helps us maintain one of the lowest property tax rates in the Valley and State for a city our size.

For 2020, you can find more about projects, our financial situation, and the many accolades given the City in our Annual Report.  It is linked on the City website, and I encourage you to go there and take a look. It truly is an amazing City.

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

Those are just some of the good things that happened in 2020—and there were plenty more.

But I would like to take a few minutes and look back a little bit further if you will allow me.

By now, some of you have probably heard that I will not be running for Mayor again.  (Or maybe you haven’t heard!)  But it is true.

(As for those that are running, I used to say as City Attorney – They are all fine candidates! But I think now I will see who has the FEWEST signs on Bicentennial and vote for that person—they seem to be the most ‘fiscally responsible.’)

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

The decision for me not to run was a difficult one, but the one that was best, I thought, for myself, my family, and the City.  I had retired from the hospital over 5 years ago because it was difficult to put in the time that I wanted for both jobs, Mayor, and hospital administrator, even with the hospital never complaining about my “second job”.  So, we decided to devote my full-time attention to the $50 dollar a month job. Thanks to a lot of people, we have accomplished or have set in motion almost all of the things I wanted to do as Mayor, so I thought eight years as full time Mayor was enough for one person to serve (and besides no one deserves to have that much fun!) 

I want to say it has been a great year, in fact it has been a great 43 years serving this City, first as City Attorney, then as Assistant City Manager and City Attorney, then as my favorite City Commissioner for District #6, and, of course, as Mayor. During that time, I believe this City has had some great accomplishments, faced, and overcome some serious challenges especially 2020, and, I hope, come out at least a little better than it was before.  If I have had some part in that, I’m grateful.

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

And we have certainly enjoyed these State of the City events, right?  

Rolled video of previous entrances.

Hopefully, you will remember some of my unusual entrances!  My personal favorites were those that included the many great citizens, employees, and friends of the City of McAllen.  (Although, I have to say, repelling down from the ceiling and coming in 4 separate boxes was pretty fun, too!)

But remember, it is, and always has been, all about you—the great citizens of this community. During these events, I have had the privilege of pointing out some of our “est’s” – that is, the “biggest,” the “largest,” the “best,” and so on. And there have been plenty.

MPD Helmet

Virtually every year, I have been able to report how incredibly safe our City is, with crime rates falling each year.  We must acknowledge those sad tragedies, like last year, when they occur. But I will say again, that I believe we have one of the safest cities and finest police departments anywhere.  In fact, we were just rated the 9th safest city in the U.S. based on our FBI crime reports.  Thank you to our men and women in blue; I know the McAllen City Commission will always support and give you the resources you need to do your jobs.

Likewise, our best anywhere Fire Department – that is, our “Good Morning America, 5-Alarm Firefighter Challenge” winning Fire department.  Who can forget that? 

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

GMA Award video

You all are the best. OK, maybe not the best dancers (I learned some of my moves from them!), but great at your jobs.

MPU in San Angelo

All these great City employees, and many others, from Public Works, Parks, Engineering, Traffic, and many more, are among the best of any City staff anywhere.  When there are disasters in Texas, they call McAllen to send help and our departments respond.

We have had a bunch of “est’s” over the years.  Here, from the past, are some of my favorites!

City’s Accolades

Four years 2018-2021 in row winning the “It’s Time Texas” Health challenge

The Monitor Newspaper Reader’s Choice (several times) for “Favorite City” and, yours truly as “Favorite Mayor.”  

Magnify Money ranked McAllen in the top 10 “boomtown” category

We are one of the best places in the nation to launch a small business and one of the best places to retire—so you can start and end your career here! (Like me!)

Kiplinger ranked McAllen as one of the “most affordable” places to live in the nation

U.S. News and World Report ranked McAllen in the top 125 Best places to live in the United States.

Quinta Mazatlán won the prestigious IFEA award for that great facility

The Oval Park, just outside the Convention Center here, was designated as a “Great Public Space” by the state chapter of the Great Places in Texas Program.

The McAllen Holiday Parade has won multiple awards as the best parade in Texas and the world, including this year!

And here is the one I was really proud of—McAllen ranked as the number 26th “Happiest City in America”!  (I think the top 25 are in Colorado)

In addition to all those “est’s,” together, we were able to accomplish many, many great projects during the last eight years, including these:

Performing Arts Center

Building the amazing Performing Arts Center across the way (with the 2014 bond approval from our voters)

Building out, with the private sector development partners, this entire campus at the Convention Center

Bethel Gardens Area

Creating a wonderful space to celebrate the heritage of our African American community at Bethel gardens

Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

Helping “always remember” with the Holocaust memorial event

Baseball Complex

Completing both the soccer and baseball / softball complexes, and completely re-vitalizing the park around the Municipal Park and pool 

Ensuring that all new parks and parks programs will be inclusive, with spaces and programs for our special needs community

Completion of the multi state, federal and local Texas Anti-Gang Task Force and Intelligence facility at the old Public Safety building

McAllen 3-1-1

Demolition and replacement of Fire Stations at Main and Harvey and Dallas and Peking.

And one I am proud of: Creating the extremely popular and helpful “McAllen 3-1-1” center, and the app to go with it.  We have had 100’s of thousands of calls and reports from our citizens –all which help make our city better.

Working with Valley Communities, our State legislatures and college administrations in creating UTRGV and its Medical School.

Working with the UTRGV medical school to develop a state-of-the-art medical research center in our south Dove campus location.

Texas A&M / Tres Lagos Area

Establishing the Texas A&M – McAllen Campus (at Tres Lagos) and, speaking of Tres Lagos, the creation of the Tax Investment Zone that made Tres Lagos possible, a 2,500-acre master planned development in our north western growth sector. 

Working with South Texas College to build the beautiful Nursing Education Center on McColl Rd. STC and the City are a great partnership and I want to thank their board of trustees for all they do… and there are so many more! Like:

Mall Expansion / Parking Garage

The $180 Million Dollar La Plaza Mall expansion

Creation of the Mayor’s Health Council

Creation of the Ordinance review committee to eliminate unnecessary or outdated regulations

MXLAN, Refresh Retail

Integration and diversification of our various economic development functions, like MEDC focusing  on better job opportunities and international investment opportunities. The Chamber started entrepreneurial programs and converting the main street library into an art, and tech center. And, we created the first ever “retail development” office in City Hall. 

And, as I mentioned before, major improvements on drainage, traffic flow, and streets, thanks to the first bond issue approved by the voters since the 1990’s

We worked with our friends and neighbors and State administration to create a new “MPO” to help solve regional traffic problems by becoming eligible for more state funding

And, ok, there are few “City nerd” type things that I am proud of: 

 1. the first being comprehensive rezoning of the City to make development easier resulting in more multifamily construction in the last 4 years than in the last 20, 

2: annexation – we initiated and annexed more property in my first 4 years than in the previous 20 years – all done to protect our growth patterns to the north, south, and west. Unfortunately, now the state has closed the door on such annexation. 

City of McAllen Seal

By Eryn Reddell Wingert

And last but not least: I’ve always thought we needed a City seal—and now we have one! I think the seal would make a great tattoo, don’t you? 

Again, it’s all because of you – and the way you give back to the community. 

In the following segment, ‘live shots’ shown of Ashton and Jose.

And speaking of giving back to the community there are two of my favorite citizens here today.  You may remember them from previous State of the City events, Ashton Peña, and Jose Rodrigo Uresti!  These two young gentlemen are not only outstanding students but are great volunteers in many city events including the great American cleanup!  I wanted to introduce them today because they have truly been an inspiration to me. They have accomplished so much, while dealing with what other people would consider disabilities. You are truly two of McAllen’s finest!  Thanks, 

So, I guess it is about that time, but before I go, I do want to issue some challenges.

I believe that the City of McAllen is at its best when it looks outward, not inward.  By that I mean, God and geography have placed us in a unique spot – next door to a great international neighbor in Mexico –  and also in the midst of more than three dozen other great cities in our Rio Grande Valley.  And, of course, in the greatest State in the Union.

But to build on all the things I’ve mentioned today, we need to work together—not only together inside the City, but outside as well.  It takes work and leadership, the new Mayor will have the opportunity to replace me on over 18 board or commissions that deal with City, Regional and State Issues.

We have strong relationships with our neighboring cities, with the Council of Governments, with TX DOT and the new MPO, and our County leaders.  I challenge the next Mayor, and the new Commission, to build on those relationships and always value the help we can provide one another.  The world is shrinking—we certainly saw that this past year—and relationships with those around us (near and far) are essential to our success. Our success as a City, as a region, and our success as a nation. 

I have tried in my years at the City to work with everyone – every one of every race, nationality, creed, political persuasion—everyone that could help our great City.  I have also tried to always return the favor when I could. I hope my successor will do the same. 

As I leave my formal service to the City of McAllen, I want to thank all of you for entrusting the “keys to the City” to me for these many years.  My wife Sandra and my family have served along with me, including the many times when I was occupied with City business. I could not have done any of this without your love and support.

I also wanted to thank the people who have had a special role in my time at the City:  I cannot possibly name them all, and I would feel terrible if I left anyone out so I will take the time later to do it personally.

As I said at the outset, this year, and really every year, it’s “all about you,” the friends, families, colleagues, and citizens of McAllen.  We are still “McAllen Strong” Please don’t leave yet, we have a short video thanking some of our real everyday heroes.

Heroes Video

Essential Workers and Commissioners joined him on stage, everyone bowed, and the Mayor said:

“Thank you all, God bless, and God bless McAllen!”

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