Featured, from left: Bob Becquet, President of Coastal Deli, Inc. of Corpus Christi, which operates 16 Jason’s Deli franchises in Texas and New Mexico, including the latest one which opened in Edinburg on October 2, 2017; Edinburg City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Johnny Rodríguez, a former President of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, who serves as a public relations professional for the Bert Ogden Dealership Group in Edinburg. The three men were participating in a preview tour of the city’s latest national restaurant chain, which has locations in 266 delis in 28 states, including Jason’s Deli in Edinburg, located at 1618 W. University Drive. The Edinburg restaurant currently employs 70 staff members.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent in October 2017, representing 36,693 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in September 2017 was 5.5 percent, with 36,578 persons employed that month, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy.These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Thursday, November 17, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 115 people employed in Edinburg in October 2017 (36,693) compared with September 2017 (36,578). Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 554 jobs when comparing the monthly total for October 2017, (36,693) and October 2016 (36,139), according to the Edinburg EDC. In addition, the October 2017 unemployment rate of 4.7 percent is the second-best showing in Edinburg for that month since 2007, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Edinburg and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate for October 2017 of 4.2 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 5.3 percent (Harlingen) to 6.1 percent (Pharr). The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. 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 Noé Sauceda as Members. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy.
Dr. John H. Krouse (at center), Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs, participated with state and federal lawmakers in a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 hosted by The Texas Tribune on healthcare reform. The event was held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance in Edinburg. Featured, from left, are: Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Krouse; Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya; and Congressman. Filemón Vela, D-Brownsville. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.
Photograph By DAVID PIKE
Total construction activities in Edinburg from January through September 2017, including more than $11.2 million for the month of September, reached almost $229 million, compared with almost $180 million during the first nine months of 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. During September 2017, new construction of commercial facilities and new construction of new homes and multi-family residences led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at almost $3.9 million and more than $3 million, respectively. Those year-to-date and monthly totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campuses. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits. The top construction project in Edinburg for September 2017, not including the value of the land, are: $2,000,000 – South Texas International Airport at Edinburg, 1300 E. FM 490, Edinburg Airport Subdivision (Non-taxable/Addition/Remodel) and $1,600,000 – Texas Regional Bank, 203 S. Jackson Rd., Jackson Park Subdivision Phase 2 (Commercial New). The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez as President, Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda as Members.
Featured, from left: Mayor Pro Tem David Torres; Councilmember Place 1 Jorge “Coach” Salinas; Mayor Richard Molina; Councilmember Place 2 Gilbert Enríquez; and Councilmember Place 3 Homer Jasso, Jr., following swearing-in ceremonies for Salinas, Molina, and Enríquez on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
The new leadership of the five-member Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Mayor and Edinburg City Council, will hold its first public session in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The meeting comes following action on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by the Edinburg City Council, which includes the mayor and four councilmembers, where they unanimously approved the appointment of new individuals to serve on the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors. Those appointees are: Gilbert Enríquez, who is City Councilmember Place 2; Miguel “Mike” Farías, who is a current member of the Board of Trustees, Place 7, of the Edinburg Independent Consolidated Independent School District; Julio César Carranza, Developer and Mortgage Lender, Landmark Mortgage, LLC; Noé Sauceda, Owner, TeacherBuilder.com; and Isael Posadas, President, SDI Engineering, LLC. Agustín García is Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The following morning at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, the city will generate statewide positive publicity when Austin-based The Texas Tribune, which has the largest statehouse news bureau in the United States, will be holding a legislative round-up titled “A Conversation on Health Reform”. The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance is located at 118 Paseo Del Prado. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya, Congressman Filemón Vela, D-Brownsville, and John Krouse, Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, will be the panelists who will give their views on the state and future of medical care. Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune, will moderate this event, which is free and open to the public.
UTRGV Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jongmin Kim on Tuesday, Nov. 08, 2016 at the Academic Services building in Edinburg, Texas.
UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy
Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has been ranked in the top seven colleges in Texas for civil engineering majors by Zippia.com, a career resource website. Shown here is UTRGV Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jongmin Kim during a class at the Academic Services building on the Edinburg Campus. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
As part of its regional and statewide reach, the Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, are scheduled to appoint members of the city’s top elected officials to three major regional groups – the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Organization, and Amigos del Valle, Inc., the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. On the agenda for the city council’s regular meeting is a scheduled discussion on deciding who from the five-member City Council, which includes the mayor and four city councilmembers, will represent Edinburg on regional advisory groups which control the flow of millions of dollars a year in state and federal funds to Hidalgo County and deep South Texas. “The city’s top elected leadership has delivered for its constituents through their key participation and roles in Congress and before the Texas Legislature, and in working with the many federal and state agencies that have funds and policies that greatly benefit our community,” said Edinburg EDC’s García. “The work of the mayor and city council on boards and commissions here in deep South Texas is just as important.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor-elect Richard Molina as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Molina, Councilmember-elect Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember-elect Jorge “Coach” Salinas, who won their campaigns for their respective positions on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, will be sworn into office beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 2017, followed by the city council’s first regular meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Both events, which are open to the public, will be held in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 East University Drive.
Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, with his wife, Erica, on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, prior to the House District 40 state legislator addressing the Edinburg Rotary Club on various issues that affect his constituents.
Photograph By ALEX RÍOS
Texans deserve more power to know what their governments are doing, says Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who has formally asked Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to create a special House-Senate legislative panel to improve transparency and accountability to citizens. Canales, the House District 40 state lawmaker from Hidalgo County, during his career in the Texas Legislature has authored, sponsored, and voted for legislation designed to strengthen public knowledge about the actions of local and state governments, before, during, and after such efforts by those public entities take place. “I have a proven track record of fighting for open-government legislation during my five years as a state lawmaker, through carrying measures that bear my name, and through my work in House committees and on the floor of the House of Representatives, where I have always spoken in favor and voted for dozens of measures that protect the people’s right to know about what our local and state governments are doing in our name with our public resources,” said Canales. In general, open-government is a set of beliefs that all government business should be open to regulation and scrutiny by the public. The Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Open Meetings Act are the two most powerful sets of laws in the state regarding public disclosure of actions of local and state governments. During the recently-concluded 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which was held from January through May 2017, Canales authored one of the few proposals dealing with open government and public information that became state law. As of September 1, 2017, as a result of Canales’ House Bill 214, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – the highest courts in the state – are required to dramatically improve the ability of the public to see what is going on in the two Austin-based powerful trial courts. “Recording and broadcasting courtroom proceedings can promote transparency and allow the public to evaluate the efficacy of the judicial system,” explained Canales. “To increase the public’s access to the judicial branch, H.B. 214 builds upon previous policies by requiring the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to make video recordings of their oral arguments, and any open meeting the courts have, and publish the recordings on their respective websites.” The Texas Supreme Court is the state’s highest court for civil matters, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the state’s highest court for criminal matters.