Local businessman wants McAllen taxpayers to pay for Mexico security

McAllen – A McAllen businessman would like to see city administration, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and the McAllen Economic Development Corp, scrap the $300,000 allocation for “Amigos Always” marketing campaign, and use those funds to hire a security team to protect areas of Mexico, particularly the highway between the border and Monterrey that’s become riddled with crime and violence.

Jesus Gonzalez, owner of NIU Urban Living, expressed this need at a FUTERO McAllen forum discussing McAllen’s retail decline from Mexican Nationals. According to Gonzalez, via Rio Grande Guardian, McAllen’s sales tax revenue has dropped 5 million dollars, with experts citing border violence as the cause. Gonzalez even went further with the need for funding by requesting that McAllen double what’s already being spent on Amigo’s Always, which would make the request around $600,000.

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2017 McAllen mayoral race had a 42 percent drop in turnout since 1997

Othal Brand Sr’s 1997 runner-up vote totals were greater than Jim Darling’s winning totals in 2013 and 2017.

McAllen – Around 88 percent of eligible registered McAllen voters were not moved to vote in last Saturdays mayoral election, according to the unofficial election results provided by the City Secretaries Office.  Ultimately, their passiveness proved costly to challenger Othal Brand Jr, who had spent nearly two times as much as the Darling campaign, in effort to convince McAllen voters to elect him over incumbent Jim Darling.  Darling was declared the winner of the highly contested race with a comfortable margin of 4,409 votes to Brand’s 3061 tally.  While other traditional media outlets were quick to congratulate voters that turned out, a lingering question remained.  How could a city of over 134,000, with approximately 66,000 registered voters, have a major election decided by a very few?  Since 1997, the City of McAllen as seen a sharp decline in voter turnout for local races.

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Early Voting: McAllen mayoral race turns ugly

McAllen – The race for mayor is reaching a fever pitch, and neither side is showing signs of relaxing as each candidate trades last minute barbs in hopes of convincing undecided voters to swing their way.  Local races, including the mayoral race are heading into day 4 of early voting.

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McAllen Mayor Jim Darling did support Hospital District. *Video*

McAllen – Jim Darling told The Monitor’s, Mitchell Furman that he never supported the creation of a Healthcare(Hospital) District. This in effort to distance himself from what is generally perceived to be a toxic position due to the overwhelming defeat of the health care proposition last November.

Furman did not fact check Mayor Darlings statements, and a simple Google check would confirm that Mayor Darling did indeed support the creation of a Health Care District, going as far as testifying in it’s favor during a Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.

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Busted? The Monitor accused of providing Q&A questions to Jim Darling in advance.

McAllen – The Monitor was accused today of assisting incumbent Mayor Jim Darling by providing questions in advance during a MonitiorLive Q & A Session.

Below is the closing moments of Jim Darlings Q & A Session with The Monitor Staff Writer, Mitchell Ferman.  Ferman has covered much of the McAllen Mayoral race since all three candidates announced their intentions to run.

Video provided by Scott Casey of anonymousrgv.com

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UTRGV Medical School Funds Slashed – The Monitor Blames the Voters

 

Edinburg – The UTRGV School of Medicine may see it’s funds slashed, if the State Senate votes on reducing “special item”appropriations.  The University has suggested a $60 to 70 Million dollar operating budget, however the State may only be able to provide a bit short of $25 million over two-years.

Local representatives, including a delegation from UTRGV are in Austin to contest the budget slash and appeal for additional funding.  Meanwhile, now faced with reduced funding for the Medical School, the McAllen Monitor has sought to play the blame game, and took particular aim and local voters. Continue reading “UTRGV Medical School Funds Slashed – The Monitor Blames the Voters”

McAllen Mayor Grandstands Trump, but re-election uncertain

Shortly after the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, with the approval of his Commissioners, formally invited the new President to visit the City of McAllen.  The purpose for President Trumps visit would be for Mr. Trump to personally see the impact his policies would have on the border region, specifically when it comes to Trumps strong illegal immigration and trade positions.

Despite appeals from Mayor Darling, aswell as local congressmen, it’s very unlikely Mr. Trump will accept the invitation to visit the Rio Grande Valley, especially within the first 100 days of his administration.  Meanwhile, Jim Darling shouldn’t keep the light on for Mr. Trump.  What is also uncertain would undoubtedly be Jim Darlings re-election hopes.  Since 2013, Jim Darling has served as Mayor of McAllen.  And in these few years, the City of McAllen has been faced questions regarding its transparency of city operations, and concerns on whether he, along with City Commissioners have been fiscally responsible with city funds.  Despite these troubles, Darling has remained confident in his re-election bid.  However, to those that seek to unseat him as mayor, there is no doubt that Darlings performance has made him vulnerable. Continue reading “McAllen Mayor Grandstands Trump, but re-election uncertain”

No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg

Edinburg – Today, 3 local Mayors and hosted a luncheon at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Topic of discussion was how the new School of Medicine would benefit the health care industry in Hidalgo County.  However it didn’t take long until true motivations were revealed, and that being how wonderful a Hidalgo County Healthcare Tax would be on tax paying citizens of Hidalgo County. Continue reading “No Shame! Healthcare Tax Masterminds Meet in Edinburg”

Mayor Jim Darling, Show Us the Money!

It’s been about 5 months since McAllen’s second annual Holiday Parade, and the City of McAllen undoubtedly wanted to do things bigger and better than the inaugural year.  For the most part, the Holiday Parade and Christmas in the Park were a success in the hearts and minds of the local community, and no doubt help usher in the 2015 Holiday Season.  However, based on a simple itemized financial statement released by the city, the event all together was a financial disappointment, and netted the city, or more importantly, the tax payers, a $765,000 loss.  Despite the loss, an economic impact study was conducted on the event, and it was revealed that approximately 9.2 million was earned through local consumption associated with the parade.  With these returns, officials within city administration deemed the event an overall success. Though these same officials had an answer for the meager returns on the event, and promised better returns in subsequent years with better promotion to cut cost and increase revenues. There is one specific expense the city, especially Jim Darling refuses to reveal.  And that is the amount the City of McAllen paid Latin-pop superstar, Enrique Iglesias… Continue reading “Mayor Jim Darling, Show Us the Money!”