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08_28_16 ___ South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Featured: Hollywood stars David Barrera, originally from San Juan, and his actress wife, María Canals-Barrera, will highlight South Texas International Film Festival 2016. This year marks the second anniversary of the event and the City of Edinburg is proud to welcome two of Hollywood’s finest.

Photograph Courtesy DANIEL MICHAEL SEKULA MEMORIAL LIBRARY

With multi-million dollar movie theaters already part of the growing entertainment industry in the city – including the Valley’s first IMAX set to open for business early next year – the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, will consider a plan to help sponsor the second-annual South Texas International Film Festival 2016. The South Texas International Film Festival and Conference 2016 will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10, with a special Opening Night Screening to take place at Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg the evening of Thursday, September 8. For more details about the South Texas International Film Festival, or to get involved, call Arts Coordinator, Magdiel Alfonso at (956) 383-6246 or visit http://www.stxff.us. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg EDC – which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council – in open session will also review the proposed budget for the upcoming year, consider the election of officers for the five-member governing board, and review possible action relating to agreements/contracts with the City of Edinburg regarding the purchase of surplus property and real property.

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South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

With multi-million dollar movie theaters already part of the growing entertainment industry in the city – including the Valley’s first IMAX set to open for business early next year – the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, will consider a plan to help sponsor the second-annual South Texas International Film Festival 2016.

The South Texas International Film Festival and Conference 2016 will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10, with a special Opening Night Screening to take place at Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg the evening of Thursday, September 8. For more details about the South Texas International Film Festival, or to get involved, call Arts Coordinator, Magdiel Alfonso at (956) 383-6246 or visit http://www.stxff.us.

In addition, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg EDC – which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council – in open session will also review the proposed budget for the upcoming year, consider the election of officers for the five-member governing board, and review possible action relating to agreements/contracts with the City of Edinburg regarding the purchase of surplus property and real property.

In executive session, where under state law the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff meet are allowed behind closed doors in a conference room located behind the Council Chamber, items dealing with offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects will be deliberated.

Any decisions approved in executive session must be voted upon by the Board of Directors in public, when they return from the closed door portion of the meeting, which will begin at noon at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W. University Drive.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín Garcia, Jr., is the Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The meeting, which is open to the public, also will be televised live and available on videotape on the Edinburg Cable Network.

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.

Agustín García, Jr. and Mayor Richard García are not related.

HOLLYWOOD TO VISIT SOUTH TEXAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN EDINBURG

With the ongoing growth continuing in the city’s economy, education, healthcare, and entertainment, Edinburg being in a positive spotlight is business as usual, and the South Texas International Film Festival 2016 is no exception.

According to José Támez, Assistant Library Director for the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library:

Hollywood stars David Barrera and Maria Canals-Barrera will highlight South Texas International Film Festival 2016. This year marks the second anniversary of the event and the City of Edinburg is proud to welcome two of Hollywood’s finest.

Barrera who born and raised in San Juan, Texas is easily recognizable to television audiences for appearances on hit shows such as Castle, The Big Bang Theory, CSI: Miami, The Closer, N.C.I.S., Medium, The Mentalist, Heroes, The West Wing, NYPD: Blue and 24. The Pharr San Juan Alamo graduate has also appeared on the big screen in feature films like Evan Almighty and the 2016 Festival chosen film premier, Crave: The Fast Life.

Recently Barrera was seen in Southland, The Bridge, Generation Kill and soon, Shut Eye on HULU.

Equally talented is his wife, award winning actress, María Canals-Barrera who is widely recognized for her portrayal of the mother of three young wizards in the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place and the mother of Mitchie Torres in Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2. She also made a name for herself with her role in the hit ABC comedy Cristela and the Telemundo series Marielena.

She has been nominated and has won countless awards including an Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress and an Alma Award for her role in Brothers García. David and Maria Canals-Barrera reside in Los Angeles, California with their two daughters.

Robert Obregon, writing for IMDb, which describes itself as the most authoritative source for movie, TV, and celebrity content, provides other insights into Barrera and Canals-Barrera:

David Barrera was the seventh of eight children. He attended Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School, where he was involved in Theatre. He received his BFA from Southern Methodist University on a Theatre scholarship. He went on to receive his MFA from The University of California, San Diego, where he garnered a San Diego Fellowship and was awarded The Princess Grace Acting Scholarship in his third year. While at UCSD, he was trained in and worked on several classical works of theatre. He also did an internship at the prestigious La Jolla Playhouse and at Luis Valdéz’ El Teatro Campesino. Upon graduation, he moved to Los Angeles. In 1999, he married actress María Canals-Barrera, with whom he now has two daughters.

María Canals-Barrera was born in Miami, Florida as María Pilar Canals. She is also known for Justice League (2001) and God’s Not Dead 2 (2016). When casting the Hawkgirl character on Justice Leage, the casting department looked for an actress with an accent, in order to make Hawkgirl sound more unique since she was an alien. Therefore María was chosen in part for her Hispanic accent.

Married to David Barrera since 1999, their two daughters are Bridget Barrera (2003) and Madeleine Barrera (2005).

AGENDA ITEMS FOR EDINBURG EDC BOARD OF DIRECTORS SESSION

In open session, the following items are scheduled for review and possible action by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors: Discuss and consider election of officers;

• Consider approval of Board of Director’s Minutes for June 28, 2016 and August 20, 2016 Board Meetings;

• Discuss and consider approval of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to renew the Technical Assistance Agreement with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley;

• Discuss and consider approving a sponsorship for the Jr. Vipers Academy, Venom Volleyball, and RGV FC Toros Academy;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Executive Director to enter into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding the purchase of surplus property;

• Discuss and consider approval of a Resolution and Real Estate Contract with the City of Edinburg for the purchase of real property know as a 1.192 acre tract of land out of a 1.47 acre tract (Part 1), Hidalgo County, Texas, and a 1.422 acre tract of land, being out of a 3.70 acre tract (Part 2), Hidalgo County, Texas; and

• Discuss and consider approval of a Resolution, Loan Agreement and related documents with Greater State Bank.

In executive session, the following items are scheduled for review and possible action by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors:

• Deliberate the offers of financial or other incentives to business prospects;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Project Forum;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to request proposals for the Ebony Hills project;

• Deliberate possible action regarding the Lease Agreement with Nu-Co Tools, Inc.;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Lease Agreement with Fernanda Brites;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with El Cofre del Tesoro;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Durga Properties, Ltd.; and

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Project Urban.

According to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, closed, or executive sessions, may be held by a governmental body in certain situations.

Executive sessions are permitted when a body is meeting with its attorney on litigation or a settlement offer; deliberating personnel matters; deliberating the purchase or lease of property; discussing certain financial contract negotiations; or discussing deployment of security devices.

The aliases given to the economic development projects – such as Project Domain, Project Quest, etc. – are also allowed by state law in order for the city to encourage business prospects to engage in more detailed negotiations that can lead to the creation of more jobs.

Once a decision is made, the actions must be announced during the public portion of the EEDC board meeting, and most, and details regarding those actions, including contracts, are available to the public.

Several other exceptions to open meetings are also contained in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

MORE ON THE TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT AND TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT

Several other exceptions to open meetings are also contained in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas strives to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public and works to protect the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment, according to its website (http://foift.org).

The organization assists individual citizens, journalists and government officials through educational seminars, an annual conference and a speakers bureau. FOIFT also file briefs in important legal cases addressing open government and freedom of speech and press. It’s FOI Hotline connects Texans with volunteer attorneys who explain open government laws. The FOIFT’s Light of Day project teaches college students how to use public records in their reporting. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Also according to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas:

Texas Open Meetings Act

The Texas Open Meetings Act is detailed in Chapter 551 of the Government Code. It states that governmental bodies must hold open meetings unless there is an authorized reason for a closed session, also known as an executive session.

Key provisions of the act are as follows:

Covered Entities

Governing boards, commissions, agencies and other bodies created within the executive and legislative branches of government are subject to the Texas Open Meetings Act. Commissioners courts, city councils, school boards and certain nonprofit corporations providing public services or spending taxpayer money are among the entities covered. Certain property owners’ associations also are subject to the law.

Quorum

A quorum refers to a majority of members of a governing body, unless a quorum is defined differently by an applicable law or rule or charter of the body. A quorum must be present for the body to take action.

Posting of Notice

The governmental body must give the public notice of the date, time, place and subject of an upcoming meeting. The notice must be posted in a place readily accessible to the general public at all times at least 72 hours before the meeting. In case of an emergency or “urgent public necessity,” a meeting notice or addition to a meeting agenda may be posted at least two hours prior to the meeting. The governmental body must clearly identify the emergency.

Other Exceptions to Posting Law

Boards or commissions with statewide jurisdiction must have their meeting notice posted on the Internet by the secretary of state at least seven days before a meeting. Committees of the Texas Legislature are not subject to the meeting notice rules above. Their rules are set by the Texas House and Senate.

Closed Sessions

Closed, or executive, sessions may be held by a governmental body in certain situations. Executive sessions are permitted when a body is meeting with its attorney on litigation or a settlement offer; deliberating personnel matters; deliberating the purchase or lease of property; discussing certain financial contract negotiations; or discussing deployment of security devices. Several other exceptions to open meetings are also contained in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Deliberations Between Meetings

Under a new provision of the act that took effect September 1, 2013, members of a governing body are allowed to communicate with one another about public business between meetings if they do so in writing and on a publicly accessible online message board. The message board must be prominently displayed and easy for the public to find on the government entity’s website. Officials may not take action on the message board. That must wait for a posted meeting.

Video Conferencing

The Texas Open Meetings Act now allows for members of a governmental body to attend a public meeting via a video conference call. The head of the board or commission must be physically present in the designated meeting place and the public must be given access to that meeting space. The public must be able to witness the comments and actions of those officials attending the meeting remotely via audio and video equipment and be able to participate via the videoconferencing just as they would at a traditional public meeting.

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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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