Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, front row, second from left, and former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, front row, second from right, who currently serves as Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. This image was taken on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, during the grand opening of the UT Health RGV Pediatric Specialty Clinic, located at 4150 Crosspoint Boulevard in Edinburg.
Photograph By ALEX RÍOS
Former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, among 24 renowned area residents who have applied for one of seven vacant powerful positions on the Board of Directors for the Edinburg EDC
Former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, is among 24 renowned area residents who have applied for one of seven vacant powerful positions on the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.
Gonzáles, an attorney, represented House District 41 from 2005 to June 29, 2012. She resigned her seat to become Vice President for University Advancement at the University of Texas-Pan American, which in 2013 become The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
The Edinburg EDC every year receives millions of dollars from the city’s one-half cent sales tax for a wide range of economic development programs. Its current annual budget is $5.9 million.
The Edinburg City Council is scheduled on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, to consider her candidacy and the applications of the other 23 individuals during its regularly-scheduled meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m., and to be held in the City Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall.
Although the meeting is open to the public, city officials will limit the audience capacity in order to meet guidelines for gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on restrictions and other requirements for members of the public to attend is available by contacting City Secretary Myra L. Ayala at 956/383-5661.
The city council meeting also will be broadcast live on Spectrum Cable Channel 1300, as well as on the city’s website at:
Videotaped recordings of all city council meetings are available online at:
The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors currently features five members:
• Councilmember Jorge Salinas, President;
• Mayor Pro Tem Gilbert Enríquez, Director;
• Councilmember Johnny García, Director;
• Councilmember David White, Director; and
• Hiren Govind, Director.
Also on the agenda for possible action by the Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Richard Molina, is a proposal to make the Edinburg EDC a department of the city government, and rename it “The Economic Development Department”, to be headed by a new position – the Assistant City Manager-Economic Development.
A separate measure on the city council’s agenda for Tuesday, June 2, 2020, includes a proposed salary schedule for dozens of key city government positions, including the proposed Assistant City Manager-Economic Development. The annual salary range for that position ranges from $131,482 to $183,214.
The proposed “The Economic Development Department” and Assistant City Manager-Economic Development would be overseen by the Office of the City Manager. Ron Garza, former executive director for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, has been Edinburg City Manager since he was hired by the Edinburg City Council in mid-February 2020.
Garza currently serves as Interim Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, but does not receive any salary for those responsibilities. His annual salary as City Manager is reportedly $250,000, plus benefits.
“The Economic Development Department”, along with the seven members of the board of directors, would be empowered to promote and develop commercial, industrial, and manufacturing enterprise, and to promote and encourage employment, according to the city agenda packet, which was released to the public online early Friday evening, May 29, 2020.
The list of the applications, as of 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, for membership on the Board of Directors for the Edinburg EDC, which is one of the most powerful boards in Edinburg’s city government, is a Who’s Who in business, government, marketing, banking, and law.
That list follows, in the order provided in the city council agenda packet. They applicants are identified by their name, home address in Edinburg, email address, employer, and employer’s address.
• Ponciano N. Longoria, P.E., CFM
3804 Anaya Street
TEDSI Infrastructure Group, Inc.
1201 E. Interstate 2, Mission
• Aaron (Ronny) Rivera
2512 Churchill Avenue
Rivera Funeral Home,
1901 Pecan Boulevard, McAllen
• Roberto Montelongo
7000 Queens Drive
Koch Specialty Plant Services
12221 East Sam Houston Pkway N, Houston
• Richard Mark García
909 N. McColl
Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1
902 Doolittle, Edinburg
• Moisés Segovia
2207 Jewel Cir
Life Star EMS
5219 S. McColl Road, Edinburg
• Daniel Antonio Díaz
3225 Dutchess Street
South Texas Health Systems, McAllen
• John Jett, MBA, CHFC
4739 S. Jackson Road
Jett Financial Group, LLC,
4739 Jackson Road, Edinburg
• Savannah González
107 E. Samano Street
Law Office of Savannah González
107 E. Samano Street, Edinburg
• Frank Lara
1101 W. Samano Street
Social Media Manager Company
• Verónica Gonzáles
1201 W. University Drive
Vice President of Governmental and Community Relations
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
• Roland Gómez
3816 Anaya Street
City of Pharr
• Hiren Govind
2708 South Business Highway 281
Qube Hotel Group
502 West Trenton Road
• Daniel Treviño
1708 Damasco Avenue
Keystone Professional Services
14220 N. Rooth Road, Edinburg
907 Rockmoor, Georgetown
• Sabrina Walker Hernández
3472 Los Lagos Drive
Supporting World Hope
P.O. Box 3122
• Michael Anthony Kent
419 N. Loto Lane, Apt. 4
F&T Valley Motor Sports, LLC
1007 E. I-2, Pharr
• Jeffrey Alvarado, DDS
2823 Fuente De Paz
The Lakes Family Dental, PLLC
3103 Center Point, Edinburg
• Agustín Hernández, Jr.
1610 Alcañiz Drive
Hernández Law Group
213 W Interstate 2, Suite A, Pharr
• Dr. Fernando Chapa
2608 Trisha Street
South Texas College
3201 W. Pecan, McAllen
• Josué “Josh” Vázquez
619 Edgewood Avenue
Lower Rio Work Force Board
3102 W. Business 83, McAllen
• Norma Ramírez
3904 View Point Drive
Sunny Produce, LLC
6500 South 23rd Street, Ste. 10, McAllen
• Dalia Buss
1002 South 15th Avenue
Buss Mechanical Service, LLC
• Michael J. Williamson
1501 Jonquil Avenue, McAllen
Texas National Bank
4908 South Jackson Road, Edinburg 78539
• Dora Zamora-Flores
1806 Woods Drive
GOAL Pediatric Health Weight Program
• Edna Peña
1808 Ann Street
Former Principal–ECISD; Small Business Owner, Real Estate and Insurance agent
Also according to the city council agenda packet:
The City Council shall appoint each Director based on experience, accomplishments, and educational background. All appointed members of the Board shall be residents of the City of Edinburg or a majority owner or executive management of a business or organization with the majority of its operations within the City of Edinburg.
Persons selected shall be serving or have served in a management of otherwise professional capacity within the following categories:
Four (4) persons representing private sector businesses among the following industries: manufacturing, trade, construction, retail, automotive, food services, lodging, healthcare, financial services, sports, entertainment, transportation, storage, telecommunications, utilities, media and professional services.
One (1) person representing education, including pubic and private institutions, K-12, higher education, and vocational training.
One (1) person representing small business, as defined by the Small Business Administration, located in the City of Edinburg.
One (1) person representing public service, community organizations, or the arts.
City employees may not serve as Directors. To promote diversity of industries among the Directors, if any Director represents a single industry, that industry may not be represented solely by another Director. For example, two Directors with management experience in retail businesses, but with no other management or professional experience, may not serve at the same time. However, a Director with management or professional experience in both retail and food services may serve at the same time as a Director with management or professional experience in only retail. The goal and purpose is to have as many industries in the above categories represented at al times among the Directors.
For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).