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Surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues, Precinct 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar Jr. humbly sat and listened as County Judge Ramon Garcia read about a resolution in honor of Cuellar and his service to the residents of Hidalgo County.
Cuellar has served the community with distinction and honor for since January 2013. He began serving his second term after having previously been appointed to the post in 2010.
For the past four years, Commissioner Cuellar has dedicated his time and effort to improving the lives of Precinct 1 residents. His accomplishments include acquiring $6 million in new equipment, which allows for multiple projects to be handled simultaneously; garnering $8.4 million in FEMA monies to reconstruct and repair 38 roads; and collaborating with Urban County, Drainage District No. 1 and other departments on a $15 million East Lateral Project, which will provide drainage improvements to approximately 55,000 residents who live in the 56-square-mile-area that the project serves.
Following the resolution, Judge Garcia presented Cuellar with a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the Commissioners Court for his accomplishments throughout his years of service.
"Commissioner Cuellar we thank you for your outstanding leadership and to your commitment to this court," said Judge Garcia.
Upon receiving the resolution, Cuellar graciously thanked the Court for the prestigious honor and shed tears as people in the audience took turns at the podium thanking Cuellar for his tireless years of committed service.
"On behalf of the State of Texas and the Texas House of Representatives, I'd like to honor you with this official plaque," said State Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez. "One thing I can say is that you are a humble man who has always placed others before yourself."
"I'd like to wish you luck on what lies ahead, and I know they will be great things. You've always been a good man," added District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. "We go way back and I can't say enough good things about you. Thank you for what you've done for the DA's office."
Sheriff Eddie Guerra presented Cuellar with a plaque of appreciation and recognition for his years of public service.
A large group of residents from multiple colonias were on hand to pay their respects to their Commissioner who they credit for transforming and improving their communities. Representatives from four different colonias were present: El Obispado, Los Ouvares Acres, Goolie Meadows and Spanish Palms.
"You helped us with light, drainage and always lent a hand to us. You opened new doors. My colonia is beautiful and clean now," said Manuela Luna, a resident from Spanish Palms.
Also present were representatives from VFW Post 7473 in Elsa, TX. Senior Vice Commander Efrain Solis spoke through tears on what Commissioner Cuellar has meant to their post.
"We don't have much to say, but what we say comes from the heart," said Solis. "We want to thank you for what you've done for us and for all veterans."
Several others shared their personal and professional stories, including Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon, H&HS Chief Administrative Officer Eddie Olivarez, Drainage District #1 Manager Raul Sesin, Sheriff's Office Chief Oscar Montoya, Precinct 1 PIO Mario Cano and Precinct 1 Chief Administrator Raul Lozano.
Cuellar's oldest sister Sylvia Saldaña spoke on behalf of her family.
"I knew you would do great things in life, but I never would have dreamed you'd do and accomplish something so wonderful that would affect the lives of thousands of people," she said.
Teary eyed, Cuellar also thanked his family for their constant support.
"Thank you for allowing me to do what I love to do, and everyone else, we'll be seeing you. My number won't change; I'll still be around," he said.
Commissioner Cuellar was also recognized for his perfect attendance to all 158 Regular Commissioners Court meetings since taking office in January of 2013. Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo Jr., the official record keeper for the county, presented Cuellar with a certificate honoring his momentous achievement.
As a public servant, Commissioner Cuellar recognizes the imperative significance and value of attending meetings where important decisions are made for the residents of Precinct 1 and all Hidalgo County citizens.
"It was a pleasure working with you; your commitment not only shows in your untimely attendance, but by your actions, and your dedication to what you do," said Guajardo.
The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court hereby honors Precinct 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, Jr. for outstanding service, dedication, and commitment to employees and residents in Precinct 1, and for his work as a member of Commissioners Court.