LETTERS: On McAllen mayoral election

Mayoral election debated

What are the most important qualifications to consider when electing a mayor? Voters obviously need to study the candidates’ history of financial management. Have the entities the candidate has managed maintained a healthy fund balance and consistent, high ratings from Standard and Poor’s? What experience does the candidate have in making sure the entities live within their means? Voters should give extra attention to a candidate who has overseen entities that are able to fund depreciation, preventing a possible financial crisis when costly fixed assets must be replaced. When I consider the history of financial management by the McAllen mayoral candidates then Mayor Jim Darling is the only candidate who meets this qualification.

When voting for a mayor, two other significant qualifications are knowledge and experience. Voters must look at each candidate’s education, work experience, and community. Again, when I consider knowledge and experience, Mayor Darling stands above the other two candidates. As our former city attorney, former assistant city manager, former city commissioner, current ‘mayor’s seat’ on the McAllen Public Utilities Board, he possesses a wealth of knowledge about our city from innumerable perspectives, and his experience in city government far outweighs that of his opponents.

Voters should also consider each candidate’s vision for the community. Mayor Darling has clearly and definitively outlined his vision for McAllen, a vision that follows the city’s Strategic Business Plan, which includes: an active, healthy, livable McAllen; growing retail and diversifying the city’s revenue; a safe and prepared community; healthy finances focused on services deemed important by our citizens, and strong infrastructure.

I want McAllen to continue to thrive. In order for this to happen, we must choose the most qualified candidate to serve as our mayor. That candidate is Jim Darling.

Irma L. Garza, McAllen

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I have lived in the Valley for 22 years. The Monitor has gotten much worse since I have been here. Take Proposition 1 and how the newspaper tried to get people to vote for it. God bless Beto Salinas for his words in this newspaper. Monitor: You must think all of us who live here must be dumber than a stamp. Well we are not and we remember all the bad press poor Donald Trump received from this paper, which is simply sickening.

And now look at how you are going after mayoral candidate Othal E. Brand Jr. Once again you are so disconnected from the rest of us.

Darling is a slow decision-maker, at best.

You have a strong knack for leaning towards your one-track mind set. This is just plain and simple and you do a very good job at that.

William W. Tehan, Mission

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Please join me in re-electing Jim Darling as McAllen’s mayor. I was born and raised in McAllen and although I moved away for a few years, I returned to my hometown. We have elected leaders who have served our community in many different capacities over the years, leaders like Jim Darling.

Mayor Darling started as our city attorney, a position he held for a total of 28 years. In 2007, he ran for District 6 City Commissioner and won. He ran again in 2011 and was re-elected. In 2013, he gave up his seat to run for mayor, and his win made him the 20th mayor of our city.

I am aware that Mayor Darling’s service extends far beyond his political roles. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has served as a board member for the Senior Companion Program since 2004 and has served on the McAllen Crime Stoppers Board, the Hidalgo County Bar Association, and the Amigos del Valle Executive Committee, to name a few. His leadership roles in our community are also too numerous to mention, but I would like to mention a few of the most notable: chairman of the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority since 2008, vice chairman of the Region M Water Planning Group since 2007, board president of the McAllen Boys and Girls Club, and president of the board for Communities in Schools.

Because he is a humble man, many people in McAllen probably don’t know that he has provided pro bono legal services to McAllen Affordable Homes (now Affordable Homes of South Texas) for many years, saving this important organization an untold amount of money that has helped them to continue serving our community.

Years of service, years of knowledge, and years of experience make Mayor Jim Darling my family’s choice, my choice and the obvious choice for mayor of our great city. If you haven’t already, please vote for him on Saturday.

Elida M. Hernandez, McAllen

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