On May 1st, the City of McAllen will elect a new Mayor. One of the candidates vying for the position is entrepreneur and attorney Michael Fallek, who believes his background is exactly what McAllen needs in 2021.
“I am running to be the next Mayor of McAllen because this is a critical time for the city,” said Michael. “The pandemic has severely affected our economic and social environment. Many revenue sources, such as hotel occupancy taxes, sales tax revenue, and bridge crossing revenues, are all down significantly from what we had expected them to be, and because of that, we need someone in office who has a strong business background, who has proven experience maximizing budgets and has the creativity and flexibility to get things done in tough times.”
“Local businesses have suffered. Our unemployment rate doubled during the pandemic,” Michael continued. “We need to provide support to the local small businesses in our community and help our citizens who need jobs.” Michael went on to say, “Luckily, the people of McAllen always find a way. We are a resilient community, and with vaccine distribution ramping up, our economy should be able to rebound quickly.”
One sure-fire way to help small businesses will be with the funding McAllen receives as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act of 2021. “Our region is going to have a once in a generation opportunity with this money,” Michael explained. “We need to have a well-thought-out plan to spend it efficiently and with the greatest effect. These funds cannot be spent haphazardly. The chance to support and revitalize our local business community is now.”
Michael added, “The City of McAllen will receive $42+ million. Hidalgo County will receive over $212 million and MISD will receive another $100 million. It’s crucial we understand how each entity is utilizing its money so we can avoid any duplication of efforts and we can leverage these funds to maximize the benefit for our citizens.”
“With this new funding, we can provide rental assistance to those struggling with housing costs. We should also support struggling local businesses by instituting another, much larger round of small business grants,” Michael said. “We can also continue to implement and upgrade wireless internet connectivity so every part of the City and every student, whether rich or poor or from North McAllen or South can have the same opportunities. There are so many ways we can utilize this money, but we need to do so with a focused plan in place.”
Throughout his professional career, Michael has developed numerous businesses and commercial development projects in and around McAllen and throughout Texas. Headquartered in McAllen, Michael’s businesses with his development partners have employed hundreds of McAllen residents and have continually invested in the local community. That focus on business is something Michael says McAllen is lacking.
“As a businessman, I see numerous areas where we need to improve as a City. One would be refining our efforts to lure new businesses and investment to McAllen,” Michael declared. “This will create jobs for the citizens of McAllen, greatly increase our sales tax revenues and broaden our property tax base. Second, we need to help our local businesses in McAllen succeed. Our local business community is the backbone of our economy. This is where most of our jobs are created and sustained.”
“It is crucial that we focus on our revenues because that ultimately benefits all of McAllen. Increased revenues allow us to focus on drainage, mobility, and transit improvements, as well as providing for the nuts and bolts of government, such as ensuring our police, fire, and other city departments are strong. Money in city coffers also allows us to increase and improve quality of life amenities like parks and hike and bike trails. We can and should do all these things, and we should be able to do so without raising your taxes.”
While Michael is new to politics, he is not new to the City. Michael was born and raised in McAllen and is a product of the McAllen ISD system. He received a top education from MISD, graduating Salutatorian from McHi in 1989.
“I was given a terrific education through the MISD system and understand the importance of a strong education. I plan to help advance our educational system by collaborating with our School Board and the leaders of our higher education partners at UTRGV and STC to determine how we can build even stronger ties. The path to success for our citizens starts with a quality education.”
After earning his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Texas, Michael returned to his roots. He and his college sweetheart, Heather, are married and are raising their two teenage children, Chloe and Jake, the fourth generation of his family in McAllen.
“McAllen is very important to me. I love this City. This is a great community with friendly people and wonderful amenities. It’s a terrific place to raise a family,” Michael said. “But McAllen is not perfect. We have our issues. I want to engage the entire community to address our challenges and bring our diverse community closer together. I plan to build coalitions with the various stakeholders in our City, to work closely with our civic leaders, as well as our Police and Fire Departments, to make our community safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly.”
During his career, Michael has been a long-time contributor to the City:
- Currently sitting on McAllen’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
- Helping develop future leaders of our City through his commitment as Chairman of the Leadership McAllen program.
- Former Chairman of the McAllen Convention Center Advisory Board.
- Former Board Member of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
- Past President and current Board Member of Temple Emanuel.
With early voting running from April 19th-27th and with election day on May 1st, Michael is hopeful you will vote for him to be the next Mayor of McAllen.
“While the pandemic has caused significant issues for the City and its citizens, this time presents an enormous opportunity,” Michael said. “McAllen is the crown jewel of the Rio Grande Valley. We are a safe city, with a government that functions well overall. Water, sewer, police, fire, sanitation, schools, roads, and parks, and other quality of life elements are the envy of south Texas and beyond. We have a diverse and bilingual workforce. And with the shift towards new local manufacturing trends because of the USMCA trade treaty and requirements of just-in-time supply chains, we can and should bring new investment and jobs into our city. Our time is now.”
“Look, I am not a politician. I do not have a passion for politics. But I do have a passion for McAllen and our citizens,” Michael added. “I was born, raised, and educated here. I have served on many city and civic boards and have dealt with most city departments, I serve as a Director for Texas Regional Bank and have connections to the business and educational communities, and I will have the ears of our county, state, and federal representatives. I have built numerous businesses and have created hundreds of jobs, and I believe I am in the best position to lead the City forward.”