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Richard M. Hinojosa

Featured: Richard M. Hinojosa, who was selected Edinburg City Manager on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by the Mayor and City Council.
Photograph: EDINBURG CABLE NETWORK

After conducting interviews earlier in the month with several outstanding candidates, the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Thursday, November 10, 2015, unanimously offered the position of city manager to Richard M. Hinojosa, who brings more than 40 years of municipal government experience to help continue leading his hometown on its remarkable growth and economic prosperity. Hinojosa, who accepted the offer pending final negotiations on his contract, will succeed Ramiro Garza, Jr., who announced earlier this year that he would be leaving city employment by January 1, 2016 in order to pursue other endeavors. Pending negotiations, Hinojosa’s first day on the job will be December 2, 2015. One of his first duties will be to find a new Planning and Zoning Director – the city position he currently holds. Mayor Richard García said Hinojosa’s experience speaks for itself. “Mr. Hinojosa is very well rounded as far as knowing how cities function,” the mayor said. “He has the qualifications to keep this well-oiled machine running forward smoothly.” Hinojosa was in the audience in the City Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall when the mayor and city council returned from executive (closed) session and announced in open session that they had made their choice on who will be responsible for a staff of more than 700 professionals and a $100 million annual operating budget. “I offer the motion to have the city attorney negotiate (the employment contract) with the new city manager, and I select Richard Hinojosa,” said Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr. His motion was seconded by Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, with the mayor, Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres then also voting for the Jasso measure. “Congratulations, sir,” the mayor addressed Hinojosa, who was seated in the audience. “Would you accept it?” “Yes, sir!” Hinojosa responded, drawing applause from the mayor, city council and audience members. The mayor, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, said Hinojosa’s selection “offers continuity, which is very important, with all the growth and projects that are in place, and that are moving forward, because they require stability and experience.” The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr., is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. Mayor García and EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related. Agustín García, Jr. noted that Hinojosa has played key roles with numerous EEDC business development efforts. “We have worked with him, from the planning and zoning perspective, on many of the projects of the EEDC, and he is familiar with all of the engineering and other requirements to get things done in Edinburg,” the EEDC Executive Director further illustrated. “He always has worked very well with the EEDC. A function of the EEDC is to help expedite projects, and our first call is to call Planning and Zoning to see what can be done to help these projects get moving,” Agustín García, Jr. continued. “Mr. Hinojosa has always been accommodating and helped us achieve that success, that is one of the reasons EEDC has been triumphant, because we have such a strong working relationship, not only with the city, but with the Planning and Zoning Department.” Equally important, Hinojosa’s selection will allow the new city manager to implement his own vision of public service that will serve very well both his hometown and fellow city staff members. “I am sure that over the years he has developed the efficiencies that he will want to implement as city manager,” Agustín García, Jr. predicted. “He also understands the culture and the morale at City Hall. He knows who performs well. He has done very well.”

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Richard M. Hinojosa, with more than 40 years municipal government leadership, selected as Edinburg City Manager by Mayor and City Council

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

After conducting interviews earlier in the month with several outstanding candidates, the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Thursday, November 10, 2015, unanimously offered the position of city manager to Richard M. Hinojosa, who brings more than 40 years of municipal government experience to help continue leading his hometown on its remarkable growth and economic prosperity.

Hinojosa, who accepted the offer pending final negotiations on his contract, will succeed Ramiro Garza, Jr., who announced earlier this year that he would be leaving city employment by January 1, 2016 in order to pursue other endeavors.

Pending negotiations, Hinojosa’s first day on the job will be December 2, 2015. One of his first duties will be to find a new Planning and Zoning Director – the city position he currently holds.

Mayor Richard García said Hinojosa’s experience speaks for itself.

“Mr. Hinojosa is very well rounded as far as knowing how cities function,” the mayor said. “He has the qualifications to keep this well-oiled machine running forward smoothly.”

Hinojosa was in the audience in the City Council Chambers at City Hall when the mayor and city council members returned from executive (closed) session and announced in open session that they had made their choice on who will be responsible for a staff of more than 700 professionals and a $100 million annual operating budget.

“I offer the motion to have the city attorney negotiate (the employment contract) with the new city manager, and I select Richard Hinojosa,” said Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.

His motion was seconded by Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, with the mayor, Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres then also voting for the Jasso measure.

“Congratulations, sir,” the mayor addressed Hinojosa, who was seated in the audience. “Would you accept it?”

“Yes, sir!” Hinojosa responded, drawing applause from the mayor, city council and audience members.

Following the city council meeting, the mayor shared some insights into the decision-making process taken by him and the city council members, and expressed the value of Hinojosa’s credentials, proven achievements, and intimate knowledge of the city government and the community.

“The good news is that he is coming from in-house. There are no surprises, we know exactly what are his capabilities,” said García. “Beyond that, I have know him since he was a young boy. I went to school with his brothers, so I know all of his family background. I am very happy with the decision.”

The mayor, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, said Hinojosa’s selection “offers continuity, which is very important, with all the growth and projects that are in place, and that are moving forward, because they require stability and experience.”

The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr., is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.

The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.

Mayor García and EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

“With Mr. Hinojosa, we have someone who doesn’t have to learn so much in a very short time. He has an engineering degree, which is very important, because so much what the city does requires expertise in that field,” the mayor continued. “In the past, we have had engineers on the city council, and we have in-house engineers, and we use that expertise so much. He knows the lingo and the idiosyncrasies of that.”

Agustín García, Jr. noted that Hinojosa has played key roles with numerous EEDC business development efforts.

“We have worked with him, from the planning and zoning perspective, on many of the projects of the EEDC, and he is familiar with all of the engineering and other requirements to get things done in Edinburg,” the EEDC Executive Director further illustrated.

“He always has worked very well with the EEDC. A function of the EEDC is to help expedite projects, and our first call is to call Planning and Zoning to see what can be done to help these projects get moving,” Agustín García, Jr. continued. “Mr. Hinojosa has always been accommodating and helped us achieve that success, that is one of the reasons EEDC has been triumphant, because we have such a strong working relationship, not only with the city, but with the Planning and Zoning Department.”

Equally important, Hinojosa’s selection will allow the new city manager to implement his own vision of public service that will serve very well both his hometown and fellow city staff members.

“I am sure that over the years he has developed the efficiencies that he will want to implement as city manager,” Agustín García, Jr. predicted. “He also understands the culture and the morale at City Hall. He knows who performs well. He has done very well.”

Mayor García noted that Hinojosa was offered the top city position after the mayor and city council members met with the top candidates.

“It wasn’t a long process, probably about a two-to-four week process, where we did interviews. We posted a meeting (on Monday, November 2, 2015) so we could be present for interviews, and looked at them very carefully,” the mayor recalled. “There were some excellent candidates who were willing to come work with us and they would have been exceptional, too. But in the end, after looking at the whole package, Mr. Hinojosa is a very sound choice.”

As far as soon-to-be former city manager Garza is concerned, the mayor and city council members also approved a brief extension to his current contract that will allow him to stay on board until December 17, 2015, so Garza can help provide a transition for Hinojosa.

“When Ramiro announced (on Tuesday, September 8, 2015) that he was leaving, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and this will give the opportunity to have the holidays off, with Christmas coming up,” Mayor García said. “He still has some paid vacation so he gets to stay home for a little while with his family, and that works out for him, and it works out for us.”

But the mayor reiterated his and the rest of the city council’s sentiments about Garza’s upcoming departure, leaving no question of their admiration for him, while paying tribute at the same time to the new city manager.

“Mr. Hinojosa is probably as good a choice as we could have made to fill the big shoes that we have to fill in our city,” the mayor said.

Hinojosa has been with the City for a combined 16-years and most recently served as the Planning and Zoning Director. He has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and has 40-years of related experience, including serving as Grants and Contracts Coordinator from 2007 to 2013; Edinburg Bureau Chief of Planning and Evaluation from 1981 to 1984 and City Planner from 1975 to 1979.

Prior to his work as Grants Administrator, Hinojosa worked for the City of McAllen as the Director of Planning and as Assistant City Manager; Director of Planning for the City of San Juan; City Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning for the City of San Benito; and Director of Regional Planning and Deputy Executive for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

Hinojosa graduated from Edinburg High School in 1971. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Pan American University in 1977 and his Masters from Texas A&M University in 1981.

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For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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