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Featured: The 2017- 2018 Leadership Edinburg (LE) Class XXIX. Front row, from left: Mary Lou Escobedo (Escobedo & Cárdenas, LLP); Erica Pérez (Town Planner Community Calendar); Mónica Vega (Holiday Inn Express & Suites By Ocean Gate Hospitality); Marivel Valdéz (Open Range Enterprises); Nydia M. Treviño (Memorial Funeral Home); and Priscilla C. Whiteaker (Farmers Insurance). Back row, from left: Abel Garza (Wells Fargo); John Mark Atchley (Edinburg Regional Medical Center); Maricruz Z. Nieto (TownPlace Suites by Marriott); Jasmine M. Champagne (Landmark Mortgage LLC); Johnny Rodríguez (Bert Ogden Auto Group); and Joe A. Delgado (Halff Associates). The Leadership Class kicked off their nine-month program on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 during the Leadership Edinburg Welcome Luncheon at the historical Southern Pacific Depot. 

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

A full agenda featuring at least 10 businesses and an office lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is set for review and possible action beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 18, 2017 by the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The session, which is open to the public, will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W University Drive. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Dr. Noé Sauceda as Members. Following a recent vacancy in the position of Edinburg EDC Executive Director, the leadership for many of the organization’s duties is now being provided by Nelda Ramírez, the Assistant Executive Director. Ramírez is a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American with a BBA in Finance and concentration in accounting. Having working for the EEDC for more than 14 years in various roles, she brings much experience in all aspects of economic development from financial and contractual to development and incentive proposals. The meeting’s agenda, which was publicly posted on Friday, December 15, 2017, is available online at http://edinburgedc.com/meetings-agendas/.

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Agenda featuring at least 10 businesses, and office lease agreement with Rep. Canales, to be reviewed by Edinburg EDC at 6 p.m. Monday, December 18

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

A full agenda featuring at least 10 businesses, and an office lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is set for review and possible action beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 18, 2017 by the
Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

The session, which is open to the public, will be held in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W University Drive.

The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem David Torres, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge Salinas.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Dr. Noé Sauceda as Members.

Following a recent vacancy in the position of Edinburg EDC Executive Director, the leadership for many of the organization’s duties is now being provided by Nelda Ramírez, the Assistant Executive Director.

Ramírez is a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American with a BBA in Finance and concentration in accounting. Having working for the EEDC for more than 14 years in various roles, she brings much experience in all aspects of economic development from financial and contractual to development and incentive proposals.

The meeting’s agenda, which was publicly posted on Friday, December 15, 2017, follows:

Open Session Items

• Call meeting to Order; Roll Call and Certification of Posting of Meeting;

• Consider approval of Board of Directors’ Minutes for November 20, 2017 and November 28, 2017 Board Meetings;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Depository Contract with  PlainsCapitalBank, a Texas state banking association;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Depository Contract with Texas National Bank;

• Discuss and consider adoption procedures to allow for a Written Certified Agenda during executive session;

• Discuss a Travel Policy for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Staff and Board Members;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with D&R Precision Manufacturing, Inc.;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with Mercurio Semiconductor, L.L.C.;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with Nu-Co Tool, Inc.;

• Discuss  and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the lease with Ravi’s Candy, L.C.C.;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with South Texas Artisan Cheese, L.L.C.;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with Distribuidora de Alimentos Sendero, L.L.C.;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with Bolt Security Company, a Texas corporation;

• Discuss and consider authorizing the Assistant Executive Director to renew the Lease Agreement with the Committee on House Administration of the Texas House of Representatives of the State of Texas, for the benefit of Representative Terry Canales; and

• Discussion and possible action on contractual obligations with Santana Textiles, L.L.C.

Executive Session Items

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

• Deliberate approving a Resolution and Real Estate Contract for the sale of approximately 20 acres out of Lot 10, North Industrial Park Subdivision, Hidalgo County, Texas;

• Deliberate Personnel matters; and

• Consultation with Attorney.

The Edinburg EDC is governed by state laws that involve and promote transparency and the public’s right to know about the activities of their government.

Highlights, written by the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation, of those open government state laws are provided by the Edinburg EDC for its constituents, and are as follow:

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 Sept. 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.

Also according to its website (http://foift.org), The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas works to encourage a greater appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the First Amendment and helps to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public. Since its formation in 1978, the Foundation has helped citizens access government meetings and documents.

The Foundation seeks to inform journalists, legal professionals, educators, students, public officials and individual citizens about their rights and responsibilities as participants in our democracy. With the clear objective to protect and preserve the state’s open meetings and open records laws, the non-partisan Foundation acts as a statewide information clearinghouse and offers guidance and assistance on FOI-related issues through a network of attorneys and through public seminars and conferences.

FOIFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) supported through grants and tax-deductible donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.

EDINBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LEADERSHIP CLASS 29

The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Steering Committee welcomed 12 participants to its new Leadership Edinburg (LE) Class XXIX on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at a welcome luncheon.

The group met each other and the steering committee for the first time and discussed the importance of the program and its rich history.

In 1988, a group of Edinburg citizens involved in the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce decided that leadership would improve if potential and emerging leaders had an opportunity to interact with one another and learn about the problems and issues facing the community.

“We are excited to start a new year for Leadership Edinburg”, said Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. “With each new class, it furthers our initiative to create leaders willing to come together to make Edinburg a better place to live and work. We would also like to thank Rio Valley Realty for sponsoring the luncheon. Rio Valley Realty continues to be a strong supporter of the Leadership Edinburg Program.”

Leadership Edinburg is a nine-month program that gives its class members the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and brush up on different community topics that include history, education, healthcare, politics, and quality of life.

Through the foundation of the program’s sessions, the class sets a goal in which all members of Leadership Edinburg willingly develop and complete a project that helps give back to the community.

The program provides the class with a broad understanding of the inter-workings of the city and a big picture view. More than 450 graduates have taken the Leadership Edinburg Challenge.

Local residents interested in learning more about Leadership Edinburg are encouraged to contact the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974.

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Ronnie Larralde contributed to this article. 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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