Featured: The Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall will be standing-room only on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, with the public swearing-in ceremonies for the city’s latest generation of leaders – newly-elected Mayor Richard Molina, along with newly-elected Councilmembers Gilbert Enríquez and Jorge “Coach” Salinas, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Following the public swearing-in event, which begins at 5 p.m., the new mayor and his four colleagues on the Edinburg City Council will hold its regular meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Edinburg City Hall is located at 415 East University Drive. Among the items for their review and action will be discussing and consider amending the bylaws of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, Article II Board of Directors, Section I Powers, Number and Term of Office; and Appointments to the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors. The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.
Photograph Courtesy HAMILTON & ASSOCIATES
Edinburg EDC: Public swearing-in for Mayor Richard Molina, Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, and Councilmember Jorge “Coach” Salinas set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall
Edinburg’s latest generation of leaders – newly-elected Mayor Richard Molina, along with newly-elected Councilmembers Gilbert Enríquez and Jorge “Coach” Salinas – will be featured early Wednesday evening, November 15, 2017 during their respective swearing-in ceremonies, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.
They will be joining incumbent Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. and Councilmember David Torres on the city’s elected-city governing body.
The length of the term of office for the mayor and city councilmembers is four years.
Following the public swearing-in event, which begins at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 East University Drive, the new mayor and his four colleagues on the Edinburg City Council will hold its regular meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Among the items for their review and action will be discussing and considering amending the bylaws of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, Article II Board of Directors, Section I Powers, Number and Term of Office; and Appointments to the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors.
The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.
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.
City Manager Richard Hinojosa, in his executive summary about the Edinburg EDC bylaws submitted to the mayor and city councilmembers, provided the following recent historical background for review by the elected city leadership and the public:
On June 2, 2015, June 16, 2015, and September 6, 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Bylaws were amended as follows:
“June 2, 2015: Article II Board of Directors, Section I. Power, Number and Term of Office, Subsection b and Subsection e will reflect the change of replacing the appointment of the Board Member representing the University of Texas Pan American to a resident of the City of Edinburg; and
“June 16, 2015: Article II Board of Directors , Section I. Powers, Number, and Term of Office. The amendments included:
‘• Except for the Mayor, the requirement to be appointed as a director shall be that the director need only be a resident within the City limits of the City for at least one year prior to being appointed or to have established a business continuously within the city limits of the City at least 5 years prior to being appointed;
‘• Other than the Mayor, each council member shall have the authority to appoint one director;
‘• Except for the Mayor, no member shall serve more than 3 consecutive 2 years terms;
‘• To provide for staggered terms so that, other than the Mayor, 2 members serving on the board will serve a 2 year term from the date they were appointed and the other 2 members appointed will initially serve a 1 year term from the date of their appointment and thereafter those members appointed will serve 2 year terms; and
‘• To provide that any director may be removed by the City Council for cause only and that that any council member may removed his own appointee at will.
“September 6, 2016:
‘Article II Board of Directors, Section I Powers, Number and Term of Office; and Appointments to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. Keep the same term limits of three years and length of terms of two terms. The appointee would be by the Majority of the Council and the by the original specific spot that was put in the charter in 1990 that the appointee be from an industry, UTRGV, a Chamber Member, and a Citizen.’”
In the agenda packet, which is available for downloading by the public at no cost, the city manager includes a copy of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Bylaws, with proposed amendment to Article II Board of Directors, Section I: Powers, Number, and Term of Office.
All other provisions of the Edinburg Economic Development Bylaws were not changed, the city manager noted.
MAYOR PRO TEM TO BE SELECTED
The city council session also is scheduled to feature action relating to the selection of a new mayor pro-ten. Current Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt did not seek reelection.
According to City Manager Richard Hinojosa, the mayor pro tem plays a vital role in the leadership duties of the city council:
“Article III, Section 2, of the City of Edinburg Charter, requires the appointment of a Mayor Pro Tem to serve during the absence of the Mayor, or his/her inability to act; the Mayor Pro Tem shall have the authority and perform the duties of Mayor.
“Section 2 reads as follows:
“At the first regular meeting of the city council each year, immediately following the election and qualification of new members of said board elected at said election, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the city council shall choose one of the council members as mayor pro tem.’
‘The mayor shall preside at all meetings of the city council, at which he/she is present, and shall exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as are or may be imposed upon him/her by this charter and the ordinances of the city. He/she shall be recognized as the head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for serving civil processes, and by the governor for purposes of military law. In time of public danger or emergency, the mayor shall, if so authorized by order of the city council, take command of the police, maintain and restore order, and enforce the law; and for that purpose may summon, deputize, and command such additional officers from among the citizenship of the city as he/she may determine necessary for the purpose.’
‘During any absence of the mayor, or his/her inability to act, the mayor pro tem shall have the authority and perform the duties of mayor.’”
Staff is asking City Council to consider an appointment for Mayor Pro Tem, Hinojosa explained, adding that the appointment of the Mayor Pro Tem is at the discretion of the City Council.
KEY BACKGROUND OF MAYOR, EDINBURG CITY COUNCILMEMBERS
According to official city documents or campaign literature, what follows is key background of the mayor and four city councilmembers:
Mayor-elect Richard Molina graduated from Edinburg North High school in 1996. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Joint Forge-Bosnia and was honorably discharged. Molina was an employee of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department and later served as an Edinburg Police Sergeant for 11 years. He is now the owner and manager of Molina Rental Properties in Edinburg. He has volunteered to sponsor and coach teams at the Edinburg Parks & Recreation Basketball League. He is also a current member of the Lions Noon club and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. He is married to Dalia Molina and they have four children, Vanessa, Richard Jr., and twin girls Kelley and Diamond.
City Councilmember-elect Place 1 Jorge “Coach” Salinas said he decided to run because, after 16 years of serving the community as a teacher and a coach, he believed it was time to “do this at a larger scale.” An Edinburg native, he grew up on the west side of the city. He has served the community and its children for 16 years as a teacher and a coach with Edinburg CISD, currently employed at B.L. Garza. His parents are José Luis (JL) and Arminda Salinas. He and his wife, Yovann, have two children, Brian and Kristen.
Councilmember-elect Place 2 Gilbert Enríquez is the president of E-Con Group, LLC., a family-owned business specializing in construction and development. He brings more than 15 years of experience in public service. A former commissioner for the Edinburg Planning and Zoning department, he also served as former Edinburg School Board trustee from 2000-2006, and was a director of the ESC Region One Board from 2013-2016. He has sat on the board of directors of numerous local organizations, including the Edinburg Boys and Girls Club, Edinburg Parks and Recreation, University of Texas Pan American Athletics and the Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS). Today, he is a member of the board of the American General Contractors Association, and serves as president of the Robert Vela High School Sapphire Booster Club. Born and raised in Edinburg, Enríquez is a 1992 graduate of Edinburg High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from The University of Texas-Pan American in 1996. He currently serves as president of E-Con Group, LLC., a family-owned business specializing in construction and development.
Councilmember Place 3 Homer Jasso, Jr. graduated from the University of Texas San Antonio in 1996 with a BS in Criminal Justice. The Edinburg native has worked for the Hidalgo County Adult Probation Department, the United States Border Patrol and is the owner of Superior Oil Express in Edinburg and Mission. Jasso is an active member of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Edinburg Leadership Class XXII and volunteers his time coaching Baseball and Basketball with Edinburg Parks and Recreation. He is married to Belinda Jasso and they have three children, Marco Christian (11), Matthew Gabriel (8), and Miranda Renee (5).
Councilmember Place 4 David Torres was raised in Edinburg and is a graduate of Edinburg High School. He attended Pan American University, and graduated from the Police Academy at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is a successful self-made businessman and entrepreneur. He is the owner of David’s Bail Bonds, At Home Health Care, A-Lightning Bail Bonds, Torres Rental Properties, and JDRED Investments. Councilmember Torres previously served two terms on the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees before running for a seat on the Edinburg City Council in 2015. While a school trustee, Torres was one of seven Edinburg CISD board members named by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and the Texas Association of School Administration (TASA) as the 2013 “Texas Outstanding School Board.” He is married to Ellie Montemayor-Torres and they have three children and one grandson.