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County Judge Chief of Staff Isaac Sulemana
Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez' Chief of Staff Isaac V. Sulemana

County approves MPO merger

Commissioners Court voted its approval of a resolution supporting the merger of the Rio Grande Valley's three Metropolitan Planning Organizations into one and authorizing County Judge Richard F. Cortez to sign the re-designation agreement.

The move brings the merger one step closer to becoming a reality, which would create a united Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.

"The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court hereby supports the merger of the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization into the proposed Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization – the Valley MPO," the resolution reads in part.

The merger would make the Valley MPO the fifth-largest MPO in the state, allowing access to greater TxDOT funding opportunities.

"In the past, the four top MPOs have received 83 percent of funds allocated by the Texas Department of Transportation, while the other 21 MPOs have to divide the remaining 17 percent of the funds," said Cortez.
MPOs were created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 to plan and oversee the use of federal transportation dollars. 

District Court Judge Joe Gonzalez
370th District Court Judge Noe Gonzalez

Court Reporters receive pay raise

Judge Noe Gonzalez, who presides over the 370th District Court, advocated for a pay increase to help retain and recruit court reporters.

Speaking on behalf of other Judges, Gonzalez said Hidalgo County courts are losing court reporters to other counties that offer higher salaries. That, combined with a smaller pool of certified court reporters, is causing a backlog of work.

"This is not a Hidalgo County problem, we are seeing this issue statewide," Gonzalez said. "There is a dire need to not only attract court reporters but to not lose the ones we have."

Hidalgo County Budget Officer Sergio Cruz said revenues generated by a civil case filing fee should cover the salary increase.

Commissioners Court approved the across the board annual salary of $98,000 for court reporters. 

More Pictures


IT Director and Wellness Program Coordinator introduced

Wellness Coordinator and Commissioners Court
Wellness Coordinator Diana Huallpa joins Hidalgo County. She is pictured here with Commissioners Court.
IT Director Daniel Rene Salinas
IT Director Daniel Rene Salinas 

IT Director Daniel Salinas has 25 years in the technology field, most recently managing the technology department for Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District.

"I am honored and excited to take on the role of Director of Information Technology," Salinas said.

Wellness Program Coordinator Diana Huallpa talked about a comprehensive wellness program for Hidalgo County employees that utilizes a holistic approach.

Prior to joining Hidalgo County, Huallpa worked for a Mexican government agency as a Health Program Coordinator. A global health professional, she holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and Pre-Medical Studies from UTPA and UTRGV, respectively, and a Master's degree in Global Health and Social Justice from King's College London in the United Kingdom.


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 10 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners court will be on 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9:30 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court at 10:00 a.m.

Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
Hidalgo County YouTube Channel.
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at www.hidalgocounty.us.
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