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Monday, April 15, 2024
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McAllen
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McAllen’s State of the City Address 2024

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Thank you, thank you my friends.  Welcome!  Bienvenidos todos!

I am so honored to be with you today and I’m proud to share this day with my beautiful wife Annette, our children, our commissioners, our civil servants, guests, and especially our residents and our families.

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Ladies and gentlemen, life is a wonderful thing.  However, we do not know how long and when we will depart.  So, I say to you, let’s all be good to each other.   Today I want to dedicate this event to our families we parted with last year.  For me, I dedicate today to my mother, Elida Villalobos, and sister, Veronica Villalobos Barajas, who I last saw in last year’s state of the city.  We’ll miss you forever.

My friends, we are united here today by McAllen’s spirit of optimism and purpose.

Today is an example of the power of McAllen’s spirit of unity, and I am happy to share it with you!  Thanks to our valued partners, we are proud to report that this state of the city is another record-breaking event.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated, and of course you know, all proceeds go to benefit McAllen nonprofits.

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Thank you to our Titanium, Platinum, and Gold sponsors for your support of this event. I also want to give a special thank you to our diamond level sponsors:

  • AT&T – JD Thank you.
  • CIL our good friend Joaquin Spamer.
  • Killam Development – our good friend Cliff.
  • Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson – Thank you for all you do.
  • McAllen Hidalgo/Anzalduas International Bridges.
  • Ruby Red Hospitality Thank you to the Patel family.
  • Texas A&M University – Thank you Manny/Adolfo and
  • Zoho -our good friend Raj.

Thank you for your very generous support of this event!

On behalf of the City of McAllen, I welcome our dignitaries: we have senators, congressmen, mayors, consuls, council members, trustees, federal and state judges, and university leaders – thank you all for your dedicated service to our community.

But most importantly, I welcome you, our residents.  The residents we proudly serve and who embody the spirit of McAllen. 

We thank you all for joining us to recognize our momentous accomplishments from this past year, and to share in the excited spirit of our future initiatives.  

Today, the spirit of McAllen is shining through.

This spirit of McAllen is one of bold optimism that drives us to say- in McAllen, if we can, we will.  That’s right, in McAllen if we can, we will.

The spirit of McAllen is what drove us to victories this past year and is what inspires us to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.

It kept us connected to our history and makes us grateful for our opportunities to show what we can accomplish together.

McAllen is a shining example of a city that feels like the best of America’s past, with ever expanding opportunities for families and a strong environment for progress through investment, growth, and opportunity.

And McAllen is an example of what America’s future will look like- a place where our quality of life is valued, our safety is assured, and our roots are never forgotten.

This past year, the spirit of McAllen was inspired by the dedication of our public servants to keep our community safe, comfortable, and compassionate.

It drove us to create world-class destination events that are accessible to every resident and guest in our city.

And the spirit of McAllen drives us to invest in future generations with new opportunities in higher education, conservation, and enterprise.

I know a spirited place we are all proud to call home.  Ladies and gentlemen, I know McAllen.

As I stand before you today, I say with great pride in our community that the state of McAllen is stronger than ever!

Of the hundreds of cities across the great state of Texas, McAllen has once again overcome national trends by keeping the American dream affordable. McAllen was recognized as the 3rd most affordable place for home buyers and was recognized as America’s 3rd most affordable city overall.

And when it comes to safety, since I have been mayor, McAllen was recognized as the 9th safest city three years ago, then the 6th safest two years ago, but this year I cannot recognize McAllen as the 7th, 6th, or even 5th safest City in America.  But let me tell you, thanks to the effort of our residents, our guests, together with the efforts of our first responders, McAllen was declared the 3rd safest city in the United States.  We are a good city; we are a safe city.

And for the second time, McAllen was recognized with the prestigious IFEA World Festival and Event City Award for creating tremendous community and economic capital through our growing portfolio of destination events.

The spirit of our city made McAllen a shining success in ‘23.

McAllen’s retail dominance once again earned a 3% year-over-year gain in sales tax revenue, breaking last year’s record-breaking achievement.

Our retail partners helped earn an unprecedented $93.7 million for our city- a 35% increase from McAllen’s pre-pandemic sales tax revenue.

McAllen’s success shined above many of the state’s top cities in total sales tax revenue.  We ranked 3rd in total sales tax per capita for Texas cities with more than a 100-thousand residents, and once again led the Rio Grande Valley in sales tax revenue.  McAllen is the place to do business!

Because of this success, once again, we delivered continued tax relief to our residents.  For the 3rd consecutive year, our Commission reduced McAllen’s tax rate to keep McAllen affordable while improving the quality of life for our residents, and still providing quality services.

McAllen’s low property tax rates are part of a blueprint and plan for a fiscally responsible municipal government.  We are proud of our actions.

And our record sales tax revenue empowered our most ambitious budget ever.  Thank you, Commissioners, for your leadership and your ambition to make McAllen shine!

The spirit of McAllen’s prosperity shined brightly as our city commission continued their commitment to a three-year strategic business plan of community reinvestment.

I am proud of the continued vision for McAllen delivered by our Commissioners, City Manager, and myself who guided- an ambitious $661 million budget for the ‘23- ‘24 fiscal year.

Roy Rodriguez, our City Manager, thank you and your team for your leadership, in drafting, organizing, and implementing another historic budget.  This budget accomplishes the goals of our City Commission and provides so much to our community.  Roy, please stand up and be recognized!

I am proud to say, our budget, backed by a $144 million general fund, provides more than 202 days of working capital, a number that greatly exceeds our city’s 140-day required reserve.  In McAllen, we are safe, and we are fiscally sound.

My friends, the spirit of McAllen is to build success on top of success.

I am also proud to announce that we are reinvesting our success into the people who keep our city running strong.  This year’s budget provided a minimum of a 3% pay increase for all McAllen employees. 

Additionally, for the first time, we have provided our employees with longevity pay.  We reward them for their hard work, commitment, and years of dedication to the City we love. 

We also provided a 5% increase for our police force when we successfully negotiated our strongest collective bargaining agreement with our McAllen Police Officers.  This agreement provides our men and women in blue, a historic compensation package that guarantees a cumulative 16% pay raise over the next four years.

To all our city employees, thank you! Muchísimas Gracias!

Ladies and gentlemen, join me in listening to a message from McAllen Commissioner J.J. Zamora, a message about the future of prosperity in McAllen.

Vignette: Commissioner J.J. Zamora

Thank you, Commissioner Zamora.

The spirit of McAllen also grows from its cultural roots. Here we value hospitality, and we value celebrating the moments that matter, with the people who matter.

This spirit helped McAllen grow into a destination city where guests and residents stay culturally connected at events and festivals that celebrate the best of who we are.

McAllen welcomed back the 66th Annual IFEA Convention, once again welcoming representatives from the world’s greatest festivals and events.

There, we earned our second IFEA City Award for hosting more than 800 events and generating more than $100 million of economic impact. 

It is an honor McAllen now shares with other international cities of much greater size than ours.  We are McAllen proud.

It is an accomplishment that our city departments and employees share with McAllen’s volunteers and private partners.  Together, our community spirit shined at every single event.

We also stay culturally connected at events like Fiesta de Palmas and MXLAN, where we honor and connect with our roots, while we celebrate a new generation.

And we make lasting memories at seasonal events like Ilumina Fest and the South Pole Illuminated Festival, which you know, features the tallest digital Christmas tree in the whole United States.

This holiday season we surprised the community at this year’s South Pole brought to you by H-E-B, SAMES McAllen Auto Group, and Lone Star National Bank.  We were honored to host thousands of guests at a no cost concert by our tremendous, El Grupo Frontera!  Our community spirit keeps on giving.  In McAllen, if we can, we will!

A record 267,000 guests celebrated 10 years of magic at the 23 McAllen Holiday Parade presented by H-E-B and powered by Bert Ogden.  Our parade is the largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas and the 6-time best parade in the world.

McAllen’s signature destination event showcased more than 35 balloons, celebrity guests, a national broadcast, and sold-out engagements at the South Padre Island Vuelta Zone, and the McAllen International Airport Skybox.

Destination events like McAllen Holiday Parade attract overnight guests and helped drive McAllen’s hospitality industry to record successes.

McAllen hotels proudly reported back-to-back years with more than $100 million in revenue, an achievement that drives dollars into our retail and restaurant industries.

In ‘23, McAllen also connected guests and residents with art and culture.

McAllen Performing Arts Center teamed with Neederlander National, and Lexus to announce the inaugural season of Broadway in the Rio Grande Valley.

This exciting partnership connects McAllen audiences with four thrilling Broadway tours, including the award-winning Chicago.

And at MXLAN, McAllen connected with our sister city in Mexico by welcoming a delegation from Puerto Vallarta led by our friend Mayor Luis Alberto Michel Rodriguez to celebrate a sister city signing ceremony. 

I am proud to say that we now hold sister city agreements with cities across Mexico, and the world.  Such agreements connect us with long‐term mutual partnerships in the spirit of cooperation. 

We were also fortunate to have an amazing event at the Performing Arts Center with our sister city of Apodaca.  Unprecedented, with the help of our friend Mayor Cesar Garza Villarreal, U.S. Customs, and our team, we were able to bring over 200 Orchestra students from Apodaca to play with our local high schools.  And what an amazing event it was.  

Mi amigo Cesar Garza Villarreal, our friend Carlos Rodriguez, our U.S. Customs Port Director; Juan Olaguibel, our Bridge Director, Thank you so much for putting together this momentous event.  Gentlemen, please stand up and be recognized.

You see, in McAllen we recognize the power of the relationships we have with our sister cities.  To make sure that we maximize our return from such relationships, we have created a department of international relations which I know will help further these relationships and what they provide for us. 

I welcome Omar Quintanilla, Mayor Pro-Tem with a message about how McAllen’s cultural festivals express the true spirit of McAllen.

Vignette: Commissioner Omar Quintanilla

Thank you, Commissioner Quintanilla.

The spirit of McAllen shines brightest when we work toward a better future for the next generation.

Last year, we visited many of our sister cities to connect culturally and share ideas. As I traveled to Tampico and walked their streets, I was moved by their pride in keeping their community shining, clean. It was spotless.  The initiative was a priority for Tampico Mayor Jesus “Chucho” Nader. 

In Tampico, Mayor Nader named this initiative Tampico Brilla.   This inspired us to come back and launch our newest initiative.  Ladies and gentlemen, we are unveiling a campaign to make McAllen the cleanest and best kept city in the state.  As we unfold, we hope that our surrounding communities adopt similar initiatives and make the RGV, the cleanest and best kept region of our great state. Si Tampico Brilla, McAllen Shines!  Gracias Mayor Chucho Nader.

McAllen Shines is a citywide campaign that will spark a cultural shift toward civic pride in keeping our community welcoming and beautiful.

It will educate our youth, businesses, and residents on the importance of recycling and litter abatement, while creating incentives and enforcing consequences to encourage responsibility.

It is my goal in implementing McAllen Shines to visit every elementary School in McAllen to educate our youngest citizens of the importance of a beautiful city.  It does start with our kids.  Through this new initiative, I hope that, like in Tampico, we can empower our citizens to elevate the quality of our streets, parks, sidewalks, and every part of our beautiful McAllen.

McAllen Shines is another community effort that now joins Keep McAllen Beautiful and our entire Public Works Department who work tirelessly every day, rain, or shine, to improve sustainability and the quality of life today, and tomorrow.

We are not starting from scratch.  Last year, Keep McAllen Beautiful organized more than 3,016 volunteers who donated 9,219 hours to make McAllen shine.

Together, they launched 195 cleanups and collected more than 476 tons of trash and debris.

On behalf of our entire community, thanks to all Volunteers, to our Public Works, to our Residents, thank you, for keeping McAllen Beautiful!  Gracias!

Last year, McAllen earned Platinum Certification as a Scenic City, the highest level attainable and earned the most public votes in Texas to win the Scenic City People’s Choice Award- 1st in the state!

And McAllen earned the Governor’s Community Achievement Award for outstanding community improvements and was awarded a $290,000 landscaping grant by the Texas Department of Transportation.

For that, we also thank our Senator Chuy Hinojosa, and the entire Valley delegation for your representation and leadership.

And Keep McAllen Beautiful let our community’s creative spirit shine through on our standpipes.

As of Today, local artists have transformed 161 standpipes into beautiful works of art, with more in the works.

This initiative has provided an opportunity for local artists to demonstrate their talents, highlight our community and culture, and create an example of public beauty for all to see.  Let’s give all these talented artists a big hand!

At Quinta Mazatlán, we broke ground on a historic partnership between McAllen, UTRGV, and McAllen ISD to build the Center for Urban Ecology.

The CUE is a $55 million, 14-acre research center that will be the first of its kind in the United States.

Once completed, guests from around the world will experience more than 20 attractions.

The spirit behind The CUE came from our partnership with UTRGV, and McAllen ISD, and the innovative urban sanctuary, Quinta Mazatlán. Together, we will open a new door for students to learn about balancing sustainability, ecotourism, and the health and wellness of all.

We thank Doctor Guy Bailey, Senators Hinojosa, and Lucio, all the valley delegation, McAllen ISD Trustees, Congressman Gonzalez, County Commissioners Elle, Eddie, Ever, David, and County Judge Cortez, but most importantly we thank the Friends of Quinta Mazatlán, led by Val La Mantia and John Gerling who were instrumental and worked tirelessly in securing the funding for this momentous project! Once again showing, that in McAllen if we can, we will!

To all named and every community partner who brought this vision to life- please stand and be recognized.

Our partnership with UTRGV, also facilitated the completion of the new Vaquero Golf Center at Champion Lakes.

This facility is a $3.3 million investment by UTRGV Athletics and is now the new home of the Vaqueros men & women’s golf teams.

It has a driving range, locker rooms, offices, study areas, a lounge space, a kitchen and hitting bays.

UTRGV is a world-class university, and through their partnership, work began on another McAllen first – the McAllen ISD Collegiate Academy.

McAllen proudly invested $1 million in the Academy. Because if we can, we will!

This $23.5 million academy will be part of the extended 38-acre UTRGV McAllen Academic Medical Campus.

McAllen ISD Students will benefit from state-of-the-art science labs and lecture halls while choosing from 4 study tracks – health science, computer science, engineering, or education. And South Texas College is another important partner in education for the City of McAllen.

STC’s programs include their Nursing and Allied Health Program and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.  McAllen is proudq to invest more than $950,000 in ‘23- ‘24 to help train these much-needed healthcare professionals and logistic-manufacturing skilled graduates.  

I also congratulate STC for ranking 2nd in most affordable online bachelor’s degrees nationwide and creating the new STC Promise Program providing dual credit at zero cost for high school students. 

McAllen is also proud to be the home of Texas A&M University center at Tres Lagos.  A&M in McAllen offers advanced college degree programs in engineering and manufacturing and just two weeks ago celebrated the groundbreaking of the second major installation to their campus, the Health Nursing Education and Research Building, the future home of the Texas A&M School of Nursing program, veterinary medicine, and biomedical research center, right here in McAllen!   

What an amazing accomplishment!  And these fine institutions are creating exactly what we need for our area to succeed.  They are creating exactly what our businesses need, and that ladies and gentlemen is Educated Human Capital.   

McAllen is a shining example of work-life balance in a growing community, with ever-expanding green spaces and recreation for our guests and residents.

We reinvested $3.8 million in the acquisition of real estate for the creation of campgrounds.  An additional $1.2 million is planned for further developments to include public trails, fishing docks, archery alleys, birding blinds, campsites, picnic shelters, and more green space for McAllen’s residents and guests.  And this campground is located centrally on 23rd Street for the benefit of all. And now, McAllen Parks & Rec is working from a new 20-thousand square foot complex on 23rd Street, where they have the workspace needed to make McAllen one of America’s most livable cities.

Their work is part of our vision for sustainable development; a plan we call Envision McAllen 2040.

As a matter of fact, Envision McAllen 2040 earned the Best Comprehensive Plan Award by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association in ‘23.

Our City Commission adopted this comprehensive plan last May to guide our growth through 2040 and to address McAllen’s need for mixed-use developments, affordable housing, and urban transit systems. And now Commissioner Pepe Cabeza de Vaca, will tell us how McAllen has shined in ‘23.

Vignette: Commissioner Pepe Cabeza De Vaca

Thank you, Commissioner Cabeza de Vaca.

The spirit of McAllen shines through when our community is better connected to the people and places that matter.

Last year, McAllen International Airport continued going above and beyond to connect South Texas with the world with more than $40 million in improvements.

Travelers now enjoy improved boarding bridges, terminal amenities, runway improvements, and more.  And the Airport saw a 10% year over year increase of passengers.  Once again breaking all previous records.

McAllen International Airport announced a new carrier- Aeromexico, with non-stop service to Mexico City.  Service just started last week.  Now our passengers can connect to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Aguascalientes, and many other places in Mexico. And now, McAllen International Airport has three daily non-stop flights to our state capital via Delta Airlines. This was a much a needed route, so our residents can conduct business, our students and parents can see each other more often, and all with the convenience of a direct flight. And travelers stayed connected to our favorite sports brands by building on McAllen’s corporate partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, bringing Michael Irvin to McAllen and co-branding the Skybox Fan Experience at the McAllen Holiday Parade. And yes, I know the boys may be out this year, but they’ll be back!  Go Cowboys!!!!

Last year we also announced an exciting partnership with our favorite and fastest-growing sports brand- the UTRGV Vaqueros.

These efforts made McAllen one of the 10 busiest commercial airports in Texas and generated $633 million in economic impact creating 7,227 jobs with $232 million in payroll.

Funded by more than $11.75 million awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, our Airport is poised to move beyond our greatest expectations. 

Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz; Thank you for helping us secure these important dollars for our Airport and our Community!

In the spirit of efficient local travel, Metro McAllen will be opening the North Transfer Center later this month.

This new 8,000 square foot facility will serve as the new transit hub for McAllen’s northern quadrant and will shorten headways, realign routes, and connect to UTRGV, South Texas College, and Texas A&M campuses.

This HUB includes office space for maintenance personnel, 3 maintenance bays, passenger amenities, a ticketing area, and a 100-vehicle park and ride lot.

This connectivity is fully funded by an $8 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, and Texas Department of Transportation Development credits.

Investing in new transit infrastructure will help reduce traffic congestion.

Thanks to funding from the City Commission, Metro McAllen has more drivers, and more frequent routes to meet our community’s growing needs.

We partnered with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit to deploy a new mobile app to offer greater mobility, trip planning, mobile pay, and more!

The spirit of an international city is always connected with our friends abroad.

The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges are a shining example of McAllen’s global connectivity.

Our bridges connect us to broader economic development, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic ties between our countries.

Last year, we gained a 17% combined travel increase across our international bridges.

We connected more than 4.3 million vehicles, and more than 1.2 million pedestrians came to McAllen’s retail and hospitality businesses, and to our award-winning destination events.

McAllen’s international bridges position us as an international city where commerce, trade and tourism thrive.

Right now, construction continues on the $83 million Anzalduas Bridge Expansion project funded in part by a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

You know, I remember, Juan and I were driving to Monterrey when I received a call on my mobile.  The person identified himself, but I really thought it was a joke.  Guess who it was—just the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg calling to let me know that McAllen had received this historic $25 million grant. What a call!  What a moment! What a grant!

Secretary Buttigieg, thank you for helping McAllen Shine!

This grant for Rebuilding America fosters nationally significant projects that move freight and people, which McAllen does like few cities can.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome our Commissioner from District 4, Rudy Castillo, to talk about our city’s power to connect people.


Vignette: Commissioner Rudy Castillo

Thank you, Commissioner Castillo

McAllen’s spirit of caring kept our city safe in ‘23.  As stated before, McAllen was recognized as America’s 3rd safest city, reported the lowest violent and property crime rates among the 4 largest border cities in Texas, and was featured as one of the state’s 11 safest places to retire.

McAllen recorded its lowest crime in 37 years by the start of ‘23, with a sharp 77.8% decrease since 1995.

McAllen cares about balancing public safety with growth. We invested in a new $5.5 million Fire Training Facility to begin service soon.

This state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot complex will be a McAllen first- a dedicated training facility to train our firefighters and lead South Texas as a key training site and safety partner.

McAllen’s investments in public safety have helped our city’s quality of life increase 7% above the national average and 12% above comparable Texas cities.

In McAllen we are always ready to help our neighbors on both sides of the border. Because in McAllen, if we can, we will.

Here is Commissioner Haddad, with a message about how McAllen is keeping our community safe.

Vignette: Commissioner Victor Haddad

Thank you, Commissioner Haddad.

The spirit of McAllen is to help our residents help themselves.

McAllen understands that the best way to care for their community is to trust our residents and support their efforts to make McAllen shine brighter.

Together, the Development Corporation of McAllen, our general fund, and Community Development Block Grant combined to fund $8.3 million to 17 local nonprofits.

McAllen’s nonprofits mentor our youth, preserve our history, improve literacy, inspire small business, counsel those in need, and step up to ensure every resident is treated with kindness and dignity.

I thank our local organizations and non‐profits for making McAllen’s spirit of kindness shine through. Thanks to all of you! And we continue to encourage a healthier McAllen, with our 6th consecutive It’s Time Texas challenge victory in the Large City category.

This annual event challenges cities statewide to help their residents make small changes to improve their overall health, proving again that in McAllen if we can, we will!

McAllen’s spirit of kindness drives us to do things big and small, because small acts of kindness can be the start of something big.

We have “Imagine Tomorrow,” an incentive program for residents in need of home repairs, demolition, and renovations for homes more than 30 years old.

Our caring residents leveraged these projects by investing more than $9 million of their own money to make McAllen shine.  This is a 21-times return on McAllen’s investment of $400,000.

The McAllen Retail & Business development office also invested in beautifying our city with the Refresh 50/50 grant program.

We invested $450,000 to revitalize small business storefronts and modernize historic downtown McAllen; proving a city can prosper while preserving our character and hometown spirit. And there is no investment as important as our future generations.

We celebrated the end of last year with the grand reopening & ribbon-cutting of our upgraded Lark & Palm View library branches.

Now, readers of all ages will enjoy revitalized spaces with vibrant new colors, carpeting, and furniture while exploring the world of reading.

McAllen branch libraries also received upgraded air-conditioning systems to serve the public as cooling centers during the hottest summer months.

Our libraries reached new heights of attendance last year, with a record-breaking 15,630 guests at our South Texas Book Festival.

We earned 18 awards from the IFEA, including the prestigious Grand Pinnacle Award for the South Texas Book Festival, with 26 other awards- including Best in Texas.

Here is Commissioner Tony Aguirre, on how McAllen’s spirit of kindness is helping us when we need it most.

Vignette: Commissioner Tony Aguirre

Thank you, Commissioner Aguirre.

We also invested in efficiency when key city departments adopted new Enterprise Resource Planning software.

Called Project Smart, this $16.9 million project will connect our utility billing, finance, customer relationship management, and HR departments, to dramatically improve customer service for our residents.

McAllen’s Information Technology Department improved our city’s digital infrastructure by connecting our department via new fiber optic lines, keeping us on the leading edge of technology. And I’m proud to recognize McAllen’s Purchasing Department for winning the ‘23 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award by the National Procurement Institute.

By procuring the highest value for best price of goods and services, McAllen’s Purchasing Department is a shining example of how small actions add up to create a better city for all of us. And we saw solid improvements to McAllen’s roads, water systems, and public infrastructure.

Our engineering team is proud to report 15 planned stormwater drainage projects have been completed with a massive investment of $14.27 million to keep McAllen’s streets safe, because in McAllen if we can, we will! And now friends, let’s hear about McAllen’s quality water system from the McAllen Public Utilities Board.

Vignette: MPU

Thank you!  You know we are blessed to have the best water system in the Rio Grande Valley, and I venture to say the whole State of Texas!

2023 was a challenge for many communities. For McAllen, it was a year of opportunity for the spirit of McAllen to shine through, and it did.

McAllen issued more than 921 residential permits totaling more than $171.7 million in construction value– including an 8.8% increase in new subdivisions.

More homes drove demand for more businesses, with 1,150 commercial permits totaling more than $196 million in construction value.

Our record $661 million budget will create more than 120 capital improvement projects, while holding the largest and most robust fund balances in our city’s history.

We created an environment where our businesses earned record-breaking sales tax revenue of $93.7 million. And we wisely reinvested that revenue into our community through our most ambitious budget ever.

McAllen once again delivered tax relief, improved our infrastructure, and compensated our civil servants and peace officers.

We invested in education, transit, libraries, firefighters, international bridges, non-profits, and most importantly in McAllen we invested in our residents.

McAllen balanced growth with sustainability with more green spaces, conservation efforts, and innovative initiatives to preserve and beautify our city.

We grew as a destination city and welcomed thousands of guests and recognized millions in revenue. And we did it all while staying one of America’s safest cities, with a nationally recognized quality of life.

It was the year I saw the spirit of McAllen shine through- and I believe the best is yet to come because if we can, we will. Because in McAllen, if we can, we will.

Thank you, and God bless each and every one of you, and God bless our great city of McAllen.

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