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Posted on: August 23, 2017

COMMISSIONERS COURT CREATES PRECINCT 5 CONSTABLE AND JP OFFICES

Photo1-Pct 5

Delta area officials and residents in the audience applauded as Commissioners Court voted to create a Constable’s Office and Justice of the Peace to serve their area.


“We exist to provide service to our residents,” said County Judge Ramon Garcia. “This is a unique area to our county and they have united in asking the county to provide them with the same services we provide to other areas. To not do so would be an injustice.”


Garcia and the three Commissioners present, David Fuentes, Precinct 1; Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu, Precinct 2; and Joseph Palacios, Precinct 4 voted unanimously to create the offices. Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores was not present at the meeting but expressed his support.


“For the record, Commissioner Flores wanted me to say that, if he were present, he would be voting in support of this issue, so it is unanimous,” Garcia said.


Fuentes, whose precinct currently encompasses the Delta area, said residents and officials have been visiting his office to ask for help.


“They have had to organize themselves and come to my office to ask for assistance,” Fuentes said. “They deserve to be represented as well as others in our county.”


More than 40 Delta representatives were present at Tuesday’s meeting.


“I’m relieved and satisfied that our community is getting the help that it needs,” said Edcouch Mayor Virgil Gonzalez. “These services are needed by our residents. Thank you all for listening to our concerns.”


The cost for the new Constable’s office will be about $476,000, however about $200,000 of that expense will come from the Precinct 1 Constable’s office. In addition to the Constable, the area will be served by three deputies. Two of the deputies will be transferred from Precinct 1, said Budget Officer Sergio Cruz. The cost for the Justice of the Peace office with three employees will be $335,000.


“It’s not a question of ‘if’; it’s a question of ‘when’ and the answer is now,” said Palacios, who presented the motion to approve the creation of the new offices. “We’re presenting a balanced budget and giving $3.4 million back to the taxpayers, so now is the time.”


The two new county offices will be placed on the March Primary Election ballot, said Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon.


“Now that Commissioners Court has approved the new Constable Precinct 5 and Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Place 1 districts, the Hidalgo County Elections Department will begin the process of notifying all the voters in the Precinct 1 area who will be affected by the Precinct 5 change,” said Ramon.


There are 16,267 registered voters in the new Precinct 5 area, which is located between FM 493 on the west and Mile 12 North to the south, Ramon said.

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