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Three Alumni are honored by The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and granted The Distinguished Alumni Award on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. This award recognizes high-achieving Individuals who stand out in their field and have made significant contributions to society in one way or another. UTRGV Photo by Silver Salas

Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley honored three outstanding alumni with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award during a ceremony on Thursday, March 1 at the McAllen Country Club. The award recognizes high-achieving alumni who have made significant contributions to society through their accomplishments, affiliations, careers and philanthropy. Shown at the event are, from left: UTRGV Founding President Guy Bailey, who presented the awards; recipient Gen. William F. Garrison of Hico, Texas, a retired major general of the U.S. Army and 1966 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution Pan American College; recipient Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen, a 1970 graduate of Pan American College who has served Texas Senate District 20 since 2002; and recipient Welcome Wilson Sr. of Houston, a real estate developer and businessman and a 1946 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution Brownsville Junior College; and UTRGV Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kelly Scrivner, who opened the event. 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 SILVER SALAS

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Presentations by South Texas Health System, Texas Workforce Commission, Toyota Motor North America highlight weekend joint session of Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Edinburg City Council

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

The Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Saturday, March 10, 2018 and Sunday, March 11, 2018, in consecutive special joint meetings with the Edinburg City Council, are continuing to move forward full-speed on 13 projects and presentations that feature South Texas Health Systems, Texas Workforce Commission, Toyota Motor North America, and Hilltop Financial Services.

A fifth presentation, to be led by City Manager Richard M. Hinojosa, will focus on key infrastructure projects in the city.

The two days of scheduled meetings, both which begin at 8 a.m. and are open to the public, will be held at the city’s Department of Solid Waste Management, located at 8601 North Jasman Road in north Edinburg. To drive to the location, motorists many travel north on U.S. Highway 281 (IH 69C) and take the FM 2812 exit, then turn right at FM 2812 until reaching North Jasman Road.

The Saturday morning presentations are scheduled to feature Carlos Guajardo, Chief Financial Officer, Lisa Killion, Marketing Director, and Marcy Martinez, Public Relations Coordinator with South Texas Health System; Commissioner Julián Álvarez of the Texas Workforce Commission; Mario Lozoya, Director of Government Relations & External Affairs, Toyota Motor North America; and Cris Vela, Financial Consultant, Hilltop Financial Services.

Both governing bodies also are scheduled to take up 13 proposed and ongoing projects in executive session (behind closed doors, as allowed by state law), with the agendas for Saturday and Sunday stating the same executive session items may be considered on one or both days.

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 Noé Sauceda, Ph.D. as Members.

This is the posted agenda for the Saturday, March 10, 2018 joint session of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Edinburg City Council.

Open Session

Call meeting to Order;

Roll Call and Certification of Posting of Meeting;

Presentations:

A. Lisa Killion, Marketing Director, and Marcy Martínez, Public Relations Coordinator with South Texas Health System [Joey Treviño, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation]

B.Commissioner Julián Álvarez, Texas Workforce Commission [Joey Treviño, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation]

C. Mario Lozoya, Director of Government Relations & External Affairs, Toyota Motor North America [Joey Treviño, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation]

D. Cris Vela, Financial Consultant, Hilltop Financial Services [Richard M. Hinojosa, City Manager]

E. Infrastructure Projects [Richard M. Hinojosa, City Manager]

Executive Session

“In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Vernon’s Civil Statutes Annotated, Government Code, exception to requirements that meetings be open, Section 551.074 Personnel Matters, and Section 551.071 Consultation with Attorney, the Board of Directors will announce that it will adjourn into Executive Session to deliberate the following items. The EEDC Board may elect to go into Executive Session on any item, whether or not such item is posted as an Executive Session item, at any time during the meeting, when authorized by the provisions of the Texas Open Meeting Act. The EEDC Board will deliberate on the following items:

• Discussion Regarding Los Pinos Hardware. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding McAllen Hospital, L.P. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding First Hartford Realty. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Oceangate. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Nu-Co Tool, L.L.C. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Main Street Program. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Santana Textiles, L.L.C. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Fiesta Nissan, Inc. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Student Housing Project. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding La Sienna Sales Tax Reimbursement Agreement. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding Burns Brothers, Ltd. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.);

• Discussion Regarding GRH Investments, L.L.C. (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; Closed Meeting.); and

• Discussion Regarding Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Owned Buildings located at 101 N. 10th Avenue and 107 N. 10th Avenue, Edinburg, Texas (§551.071. Consultation with Attorney; and §551.072. Deliberations Regarding Real Property; and §551.087 Deliberations Regarding Economic Development Negotiations; and Closed Meeting.).

Open Session

A. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Los Pinos Hardware.
B. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding McAllen Hospital, L.P.
C. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding First Hartford Realty.
D. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Oceangate.
E. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Nu-Co Tool, L.L.C.
F. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Main Street Program.
G. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Santana Textiles, L.L.C.
H. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Fiesta Nissan, Inc.
I. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Student Housing Project.
J. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding La Sienna Sales Tax Reimbursement Agreement.
K. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding GRH Investments, L.L.C.
L. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Owned Buildings located at 101 N. 10th Avenue and 107 N. 10th Avenue, Edinburg, Texas.

2018 UTRGV DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR IMPACT ON THE UNIVERSITY, TEXAS AND THE WORLD

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, March 1, 2018 honored three outstanding alumni with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor UTRGV alumni can receive.

The award recognizes high-achieving alumni who have made significant contributions to society through their accomplishments, affiliations, careers and philanthropy.

UTRGV Founding President Guy Bailey presented the recipients with their awards at a ceremony at the McAllen Country Club. They are:

General William F. Garrison (R) of Hico, Texas, a retired major general of the U.S. Army.  He is a 1966 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution Pan American College, where he played basketball.

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen, Texas, a 1970 graduate of Pan American College. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 2002 and represents District 20.

Welcome Wilson Sr., of Houston, Texas, a 1946 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution Brownsville Junior College. He is a real estate developer and businessman well known for his support of higher education.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kelly Scrivner opened the event by welcoming guests and introducing the honorees.

“Tonight, we are honoring these men – for saving lives. General; for improving lives, Senator; and for creating opportunities for better lives, Mr. Wilson,” Scrivner said.  “I’m inspired by each of you and the work that you do.”

Alumni making an impact

Opening the awards portion of the ceremony, Bailey commented on the caliber of the honorees.

“We’ve never honored alums who have had more impact than the people we are honoring tonight,” Bailey said. “Their impact on not only Texas and the university, but on our world, is enormous.”

In introducing Garrison, Bailey said, “He didn’t go to West Point. He was drafted out of college and rose to the rank of major general. How many people can you count who did that? It’s really remarkable.”

Garrison, after accepting his Distinguished Alumni Award, said UTRGV is contributing to society in a meaningful way.

“Our great republic will prosper and excel as long as we have institutions like The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley that teach our young people, our young men and women, how to think instead of what to think,” he said.

“Dr. Bailey, I have been a lot of places and received a lot of honors. I have never received a greater honor than to be recognized by this great institution,” Garrison said. “The greatest honor I have is to be able to say publicly how much I appreciate and how much I respect what you and your staff and faculty do for our young men and women. “

Bailey next introduced Hinojosa, crediting him for pushing legislation that resulted in the creation of The UTRGV School of Medicine.

“We have him to thank in large part. His impact on our institution every day is almost immeasurable,” Bailey said.

Hinojosa accepted his award, recalling his days as a migrant farm worker.

“I am who I am today because of Pan American, because of this university.  It gave me an opportunity to receive and get an education.”

Hinojosa also called for commitment from other alumni.

“A university cannot succeed without the support of alumni. Those of us who graduated from Pan American, now UTRGV, must always provide a hand and support our university’s growth,” he said.

He ended his acceptance speech with applause and his “V’s up.”

“I’m just very proud to be, now, a Vaquero,” Hinojosa said.

Bailey introduced Wilson, the final recipient of the evening, with praise for his commitment to higher education and his contributions at The University of Houston.

“When the history of that university is written, his name will loom very large there,” Bailey said.
He said the Brownsville, Texas, native served in the Executive Office of the President for both Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.

“This is a man who has seen much of what happened in the middle of the 20th century, first hand,” Bailey said.

In his acceptance speech, Wilson astonished the crowd when he disclosed his age.

“The best thing about being 90 years old? No peer pressure,” he quipped.

Wilson described a life-changing conversation with a dean at Brownsville Junior College in 1945.

“Dean Nelson called me into his office and he said, ‘I want to tell you something.’ He said, ‘Welcome, I don’t think you recognize that you are a leader. You are a natural leader, but I don’t think you know that.’

“Well, I had never thought of myself as a leader. My brother was older, and he had always been the leader of our small group. But that changed my life. A month later, I ran and was elected president of the student body.”

Wilson told the crowd, “You become a leader by helping other people, not by telling them what to do. The people in this room know that.”

Bailey made closing remarks.

“We’re becoming a great university, not only because of the people in the university. We can make it good, but all of you are the people who make it great,” he said. “What makes a university great are the people who went there, who succeeded there and who support the university.”

About UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

PHOTO GALLERY: https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00005VpyHfz6R6c/G0000GlvsqWAXW3M/20180302-Distinguished-Alumni-Awards-EC-SS
Password: utrgvdaa (case sensitive)

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.

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Lisa Peña 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

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