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Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Weslaco State of the City 2019

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Good afternoon.

As the Mayor of Weslaco, it is my honor to welcome you to the 2019 State of the City.

I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve this great city of Weslaco. To my family, whose unwavering love and support make it possible for me to be a Dad, Husband, and Mayor. Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for each of you. To my wife, Ramona, who is my best friend, my rock, and my inspiration; to my children – who are my everything, my reasons why – I say thank you.

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I would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors for assisting the City in organizing this incredible event. Thank you to the staff who spent countless hours organizing everything. Thank you, Norma, Joanna, Leo, and Omar. You’ve done a wonderful job.

To the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation, Thank you for your continued support. Please stand so that you may be recognized.

At this time, I would like to ask all the members of the Weslaco City Commission to please stand, so we can recognize you. Thank you all for your service, your leadership and especially your friendship. Without you, Weslaco could not afford to work on issues of economic development, affordability and equity; issues that are the cornerstones of our promises and remain at the forefront of all that we do. I am grateful for your leadership and your partnership.

To the management team, thank you for your passion, hard work, and commitment to our city as we have dealt with monumental challenges. Weslaco is in the midst of a phenomenal transformation and our residents and employees are fortunate to have your leadership and service. Will all members of the management team and all employees of the City of Weslaco, please stand and be recognized?

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Lastly, I would also like to recognize all of our elected officials from across the Valley who have joined us this afternoon. Would you please stand? Thank you for all of your hard work in making the RGV and Weslaco, the great city that it is.

2018 has already proven to be an eventful year for my administration.  To say “it was the worst of times and it was the best of times” doesn’t begin to describe the past year, but as we have in the past, and continue to do, we move forward to conquer every challenge and maximize every opportunity before us.

Because of the resiliency, diligence and commitment of all the people who serve Weslaco, I am proud to say that the State of our City is strong and getting stronger every minute. We are here today, united because we have a shared interest in the continued growth and prosperity of our city.

As I look forward to sharing our progress and accomplishments to date, I want to take this opportunity to thank every person here today for your individual and collective contributions towards making Weslaco the greatest city.

Weslaco is great for many reasons, but chief among them is the unique spirit of cooperation that exists between our business and civic communities.  Weslaco thrives in the face of adversity because our leaders, stakeholders, communities and residents have long recognized that we are stronger when we are together.

The desire to protect and preserve, that spirit of togetherness, is what inspired me to run for Mayor. It is what pushes us to serve our great city each and every day.

Our unified efforts are crucial to our continued ability to remain as leaders on the regional, national, and international stage.  As the current Vice-Chair of the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization, we will oversee the merging the Valley’s MPO’s and will work hard to forge regional partnerships throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

I will work for Weslaco. I will work for the Mid Valley. I will work for the RGV. I will work hard to ensure the Valley gets its fair share. Our future is dependent on it!  Together, that is how we will “Grow” Weslaco. Together, that is how we will “Grow” the RGV.

While too many cities across America struggle with the loss that comes with the division of the haves and the have nots, Weslaco is committed to bringing everyone together so that every person and every community is empowered to contribute and share in the prosperity our city has to offer.

We will succeed because the spirit of Weslaco is inclusive.  It is uplifting. It is the spirit of One.

Today, we come together, not as Business Weslaco or Civic Weslaco, but rather as One Weslaco.  And it is as One Weslaco that we must leave this room and continue to work together for the benefit of all who call Weslaco home.

Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of speaking with people across our great City.  I have spoken with people in North Weslaco, in South Weslaco, on the East side of Weslaco, and on the West side of Weslaco. And as your Mayor, I can honestly state today that all of our challenges are Weslaco’s challenges, and all of our opportunities are Weslaco’s opportunities.

From my very first day in office, this city commission, this administration, and I went to work, addressing some of the challenges facing our City.  And we have achieved some notable wins in a relatively short period time. We have increased our medical presence within the region with recent technology improvements at Knapp Medical Center, the South Texas Health System new ER facility along the Expressway, and the new Valley Baptist Micro Hospital currently under construction.

We have increased our presence in Education, with the Opening of the UTRGV Center for Innovation and Commercialization. We have renewed partnerships with Weslaco ISD, IDEA Public Schools, South Texas College, and Texas State Vo-Tech. Each of these educational facilities will boost our youth and create the leaders of tomorrow.

The city also continues its promise in developing the Airport and Industrial Park by adding new aircraft hangars for corporate jets expanding airport services. And partnering with Customs and Border Protection to streamline inspection processes and increase safety along our critical infrastructure.

The City is also expanding our Foreign Trade Zone so that regional municipalities and the county can share in our efforts to regionalize economic growth and create new opportunities.

The City is also preparing to begin construction on a new Northside Sports Complex as well as continue rehabbing Isaac Rodriguez Park, Gibson Park and the Harlon Block Sports Complex.

City staff is also preparing the design and construction documents for a new North Side Fire Station. Within the next two years, we will begin construction on a new Public Safety Building for our Police and Fire Departments and a new Municipal Court Building.

These projects, partnerships, and business opportunities are just a few highlights of what we have achieved and what we continue to work towards. And it is our relentless pursuit of these opportunities that will keep us together.

If this were the end of the list of things, we have done to improve the quality of life in Weslaco, one might say that this is a good list. But as I have shared on many occasions, I believe good is the enemy of great.

I am not striving to just be a good mayor. I am working towards becoming a great mayor because Weslaco deserves nothing less.  And so, for that reason, our work must continue.

Transformation takes time, but I believe that when we achieve our goals, it will have been worth the journey. Weslaco, we are one.

As we leave here this afternoon, we need to ask ourselves, “What can we continue to do to build on our legacy?”

My vision for Weslaco is One Weslaco,– an affordable and resilient Weslaco; a safe and welcoming city; a city with world-class employees, infrastructure and services; an ethical, transparent, and fiscally responsible government; thriving neighborhoods, communities and businesses; and residents who are equipped for success.

I am honored to be your Mayor. And I look forward to working with each of you to build the Weslaco that we all desire and the Weslaco that we all deserve.

Thank you.

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