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Commissioner Palacios honored by LUPE
Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios, center, holds a signed flag awarded to him by La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).
He was surprised at Tuesday's meeting with the group's tribute for his years of service and support to LUPE.
Commissioner Palacios honored by LUPE
Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios.

Commissioner Palacios receives community award for dedicated service to Precinct 4 

Hidalgo County Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios was received a surprise tribute from La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) for his commitment and dedication to the group.

A few members took the opportunity to thank Palacios for all the work he has accomplished throughout his tenure. 

"You have done so much for us these past eight years," said LUPE's Community Organizing Coordinator Martha Sanchez. "We appreciate all you've done to help our community, from infrastructure to paving roads, and more." 

LUPE member Alberta Ramirez read a Corrido, written in his honor, which narrated Palacios' accomplishments and echoed profound sentiment and gratitude.

"It started with a Corrido when I first ran, and it looks like it's also ending with a Corrido," said Palacios.

Some of the work Precinct 4 has accomplished over the past eight years includes road and drainage improvements and quality of life projects, such as building Community Resource Centers.

"It's a complete honor to receive such an acknowledgement. I want to thank LUPE, ARISE, and Equal Voice Network," said Palacios. "It's been a privilege representing you all for the past eight year; helping the cause."

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Brian McIntyre and Oscar Garcia.

Local subcontractors make up half of the companies working on the new courthouse as project remains on budget

Courthouse Project Manager Brian McIntyer, with Jacobs, reported that local subcontractors comprise about half of the companies working on the new courthouse.

"There are some subcontractors for items such as elevators that we can't outsource locally, but even with that, we feel we're getting a good deal, and this is pretty good news," said McIntyre.

Commissioners Court voted to approve the Guaranteed Maximum Price Amendment No. 2 (50 percent CD's) between the County and its Construction Manager at Risk, Morganti, for the amount of $127,951,849.

"Over the next few months you can expect a lot of underground/dirt work such as underground utilities and installing piers," McIntyre said.

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Dr. Jose L. Cazares Jr., DDS, FAGD
Dr. Jose L. Cazares Jr., DDS, FAGD

First dentist from RGV to be recognized as Dentist of the Year

Commissioners Court recognized Dr. Jose L. Cazares for his dedication and service to the community.  He was honored with a resolution, and congratulated for being announced as 2018 Texas Dentist of the Year.

Cazares was named Texas Dentist of the Year at the Texas Academy Awards celebration in Austin on September 21.

"I want to thank Commissioners Court for recognizing me, and for being pillars in the community," said Cazares. "I'm proud to represent McAllen, the RGV, and the State of Texas.

A 1985 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry, Cazares is the first dentist from the Rio Grande Valley to be awarded Dentist of the Year, which is considered the most prestigious honor a Texas dentist can receive. 

He was nominated by the Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society and chosen from among 19 nominees by a distinguished panel of judges.

The winner is determined based on contributions to dentistry, service to community, dedication to principles of continuing education, and other activities that indicate character and excellence.

County Judge Ramon Garcia commended Dr. Cazares for his efforts.

"Congratulations on all your accomplishments and your representation of Hidalgo County," said Garcia.

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RGVDA Chairman Amir Elsayed.

Proclamation declaring November 14 as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the disease

To raise public awareness about the importance of diabetes, and to encourage the public education about the resources available on the disease, Commissioners Court proclaimed November 14 as World Diabetes Day.

The International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization started World Diabetes Day in 1991 in response to the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It has since become the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign.

"We want to thank you for having us here to bring awareness to diabetes," said Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association Co-founder and Chairman of the Board Amir Elsayed. "Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer; it's important to be tested and we urge the community to become educated on the disease."

Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. One in two people with diabetes are undiagnosed, that equals 212 million people worldwide who do not know they are diabetic.

"We are constantly promoting awareness of diabetes," said RGV Diabetes Association CEO Diana F. Ramirez.  "We hold events on a regular basis and invite the community to come out and support the cause; we host cooking classes, children's camps, and fundraisers annually."  

The theme for World Diabetes Day focuses on the family to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of family in the management, care, prevention, and education of the condition.

"Please join us on November 14 for World Diabetes Day, we will be at the Mission Event Center at 6 p.m. where we will have information available for all those affected by the disease," Elsayed said.  "We want to also remind you all to wear blue next week in honor of diabetes awareness."

Hidalgo County has adopted several employee and community healthy living initiatives, and encourages all residents to help fight this disease and its deadly complications by increasing awareness of the risk factors for diabetes, and providing support to those suffering from diabetes.

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Community Service Agency Executive Director Jaime Longoria and staff along with Commissioners Court (center) honors employee Roberto Ayala
Community Service Agency Executive Director Jaime Longoria and CSA staff, along with Commissioners Court, honors employee Roberto Ayala, second from left holding the resolution, for 34 years of service to the county.

CSA's Roberto Ayala recognized for 34 years of service

Commissioners Court honored Robert Ayala for 34 years of outstanding work and dedication to the citizens of Hidalgo County at Tuesday’s meeting.

Ayala first joined the CSA as an Intake Clerk in January 1984, immediately following the devastating freeze of December 1983 that decimated the valley economy, said CSA Executive Director Jaime Longoria.

“I’m here today to pay recognition to one of the county’s unsung heroes,” said Longoria.  “His first task as a CSA employee was to provide financial assistance to many of the families affected by the freeze and he also served in many capacities throughout the years.”

Ayala developed the agency’s first Migrant Assistance Program and Homeless Intervention Programs while providing assistance to thousands of Hidalgo County families.

His best memory was receiving a call from a client’s family member, after she had passed away. Ayala said he was moved because the client had included him on a list of people she wanted her family to thank for their assistance during her struggle with cancer.

"That has stayed with me all these years," Ayala said.

 Ayala was joined at Commissioners Court by his wife, Maribel. They have one daughter, Daisy. He plans to retire to his home is Weslaco; enjoying his family.

“We appreciate your dedicated service to the county,” said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia.  

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New Food Bank CEO and staff pose with Commissioners Court
L-R: Manager of Corporate Engagement Philip Farias; COO DeAnne Economedes; CEO Ron Meijerink; Commissioners Court; Director of Development Jackie Flores; and Manager of Communications and Advocacy Omar I. Rodriguez.
Food Bank CEO Ron Meijernik
RGV Food Bank CEO Ron Meijerink.

New Food Bank RGV CEO Ron Meijerink introduced

RGV Food Bank newly appointed CEO Ron Meijerink was introduced at Commissioners Court.

Meijerink, who began his new position Monday, has extensive experience in non-profit, manufacturing, wholesale & distribution, and retail management leadership. 

"Thank you for having me here today," said Meijerink. "You all know the role the Food Bank plays in the county; the numbers they serve are staggering; and the staff are all committed to serving the region."   

Meijerink's most recent work was expanding the Goodwill brand in the Rio Grande Valley as the Director of Retail Operations for Goodwill Industries of South Texas. 

Meijerink was born, raised and educated in the Netherlands. He has a genuine passion for assisting people in need and feels strongly about the mission of the Food Bank RGV.

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13th Court of Appeals Judge Linda Yanez.
13th Court of Appeals Judge Linda Yanez explains asylum process.

Commissioners Court supports Resolution opposing the militarization of the U.S. Mexico Border

Commissioners Court passed a resolution urging, that until further measures can be worked out by Congress and/or the United Nations, the United States treat all immigrants in a humane manner and that Congress work on a long-term solution that does not militarize the border. 

Hidalgo County is one of several Texas counties that shares a border and numerous ports of entry with Mexico.

"We are here asking for your support because we believe that having an active army at our border isn't a proper response to people who are fleeing violence," said Proyecto Azteca Executive Director Ann Williams Cass.

Judge Linda Yanez, who serves on the 13th Court of Appeals, explained the asylum law.

"The laws of the United States offer people the right to request asylum at United States ports of entry with proper requirements and procedures," said Yanez. "We have to give people the opportunity to apply for asylum."

Hidalgo County may be negatively impacted by increased militarization of its border with regards to trade and other economic partnerships between the county and Mexico. 

"It is imperative that our government be supportive of proactive approaches to immigration that considers the deep complexities of why people migrate," said Equal Voice Network's Christina Patiño Houle.

Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia quoted a report that states that sending troops to the border is bad for the economy.

"We need to protect our borders and follow the law in doing so," said Garcia. "I do not agree that the militarization of our borders is the proper way of doing so, and this is the reason why I'll be supporting this resolution."

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Did you miss Today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!

If you missed today's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking hereYou can also watch Today's Commissioners Court and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m. Or watch it on Friday morning at 9 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners Court will be on Tuesday, November 20
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court at 9:30 a.m. Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Court house Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
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To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at
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