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Friday, May 24, 2024
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Weslaco’s 2020 State of the City Celebration!

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Good afternoon and thank you for coming.

As the Mayor of Weslaco, it is my honor to welcome you to the 2020 State of the City.

I would like to start by saying thank you to all our sponsors.

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Thank you to staff who spent countless hours organizing everything. You’ve all done a wonderful job.

At this time, I would like to ask all the members of the Weslaco City Commission to please stand, so we can acknowledge you.

Thank you all for your service, your leadership and especially your friendship. 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.

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Will all members of the management team and employees of the City of Weslaco, please stand and be recognized!

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

As I have said in the past and cannot say enough: To my family, whose unwavering love and support makes 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.

When I watch the videos we just saw, I get choked up and excited with pride for my hometown. It’s a world-class city filled with world-class people.

Oftentimes, State of the City speeches are highlight reels where we talk at great lengths about all we’ve accomplished. And make no mistake, we’ve accomplished a great deal these last several years.

But Weslaco does not present itself as a highlight reel. Weslaco is not that City and I’m not that Mayor.

As I have shared in the past, 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.

Weslaco has accomplished much. But things are not perfect. Yes, we can, and we should pause to celebrate all we have accomplished. But we must not sit back and admire what we have done. Rather, we should continue to challenge ourselves and one another to accelerate the pace of change and continue to work on all that will make our great city even better.

I can say with conviction that the state of our city is strong and growing stronger. We have built a city that is vibrant, safe, welcoming to all residents, friendly to families, and a leader on a national stage.

Today I would like to frame my message to you by quoting an old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times!” presumably this is a curse because during interesting times everything in our lives is harder.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in interesting times. In Washington, the federal government struggles to legislate, and partisanship, and division is the rule. Every year our Federal and state government push local governments to do more with less, for individuals, for communities, and for businesses.

Even the financial markets, just in the last few days have made everyone concerned about the future of our economy. Times are truly interesting and for a community like ours these times are as interesting as we want them to get.

The good news for us is that while we remain a community that is not as affluent as many that surround us, we have made tremendous strides in building fiscal stability in order to weather these storms and reduce the impact of these “interesting times”.

Over the past 6 years, our administration has been aggressive in balancing our budgets, upgrading our infrastructure, lowering property taxes, and investing wisely.

Every day, we have a choice to make. We have two hands, and we are standing on a ladder of success. We can either use one of those hands to pat ourselves on the back and feel good about what we’ve done, or we can decide to keep climbing and reach for that next rung. To me, the choice is clear.

We must continue to be aggressive and invest in Weslaco!

We must continue to invest in our Fire and Police Departments, our Library, our Airport, our streets, our drainage, our parks, our Industrial Park, and in our neighborhoods.

Three years ago, we promised the citizens of Weslaco a new fire station on the north side, a new sports park on the north side, a new centralized Police and Fire Station in downtown Weslaco and an aggressive approach to solving our drainage issues.

Today, I am happy to report that all these projects are under construction or soon will be under construction. And this is just the beginning.

Over the next five years, we will build a new library, create a new Industrial Park, expand the Airport and address the remaining project sites and regional detention facilities identified in our drainage plan.

We will also continue our partnership with Hidalgo County Precinct One to address flooding to the northeast and east sides of Weslaco as well as work with the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Hidalgo County on expanding and widening North Westgate from Mile 9 to Mile 11 and Mile 10 from Westgate to 1015.

Whereas, the public sector must be an important catalyst for growth, it is “You” the private and educational sectors that must take the lead and with your leadership, Weslaco will be and is ready for “take-off.”

In every corner of the city, your investments are reshaping our neighborhoods, our schools and commercial landscapes. Your investments are not random acts of investment but a strategic measure to ensure our success. You are investing in Weslaco because Weslaco is investing in itself – its culture, its younger generations, its infrastructure, and its vibrancy.

As you continue to be the drivers of our economic base, the city will draw additional private investment.

This is evident in our Industrial Park and Airport. Our industrial park and Airport are experiencing their highest level of occupancy, signaling the interest that exists for space in Weslaco.

Additionally, over the next year the city will see over 500 units of housing coming online. This is especially important as we work towards counting everyone in the upcoming Census.

Everyone counts, because Weslaco counts!

The Census will provide Weslaco with more federal dollars and a seat at the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which will allow us to have a larger voice, and a presence amongst the Valley’s largest cities and a direct vote for future transportation dollars.

With development growing at record pace, we must continue to challenge each other to set the stage for bigger things to happen. Development does not happen on its own. It takes everyone in this room.

Therefore, I challenge each of you to challenge me, to challenge yourselves and to challenge one another to continue to make our community the best in the Rio Grande Valley.

In closing, I will reiterate that while the world around us is a sea of tumultuous waves and unpredictable events. If we do not make the hard decisions now, if we do not make the needed investments, if we do not challenge ourselves and challenge one another, if we do not rise to meet these challenges, we will weaken our position. Only together will we maintain our City’s strength and we will continue to make Weslaco Better.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless the City of Weslaco.

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