EDITORIAL: Hidalgo Co. Commissioners should serve the public

There’s no excuse why Hidalgo County Commissioners today won’t reconsider the appointment of Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fuentes’ uncle to the powerful Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority Board.

But, alas, the agenda for today’s 9:30 a.m. meeting in Edinburg has no such item listed. State law requires an item post 72 hours in advance of a meeting, so legally the issue cannot be taken up today. And today’s meeting is the last by commissioners before Fuentes’ uncle, Ezekiel Reyna Jr., a powerful and well-known lawyer from Weslaco, can step into the RMA position, which starts on Friday.

Despite indicating earlier that he might entertain rescinding his appointment and bringing the issue back to commissioners, Fuentes told The Monitor on Saturday that he has decided against doing so. “There’s going to be opinions on all actions that we take,” he said. “Sometimes we make decisions, and it’s not always the popular opinion.”

Popular or not, it should be the right choice. Appointing one’s close relative to a position that potentially could yield great power and influence, is unethical and that makes it wrong.

Fuentes told The Monitor’s Naxiely Lopez-Puente: “If you just look at the qualifications, the experience, the knowledge, I can’t think of a better advocate for Precinct 1.”

Really? Out of the entire mid-Valley? Perhaps Fuentes means campaign contributor, of which Reyna has donated heavily toward his nephew’s campaign.

But Fuentes isn’t the only one to blame. Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia could also have brought up the item today, if he had concerns. And we believe he should have.

Instead, commissioners today are scheduled to vote on a proclamation in support of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Alfredo “Freddy” Gonzalez’ death; to apply for a recreational trails grant; more firefighting bunker gear for Alton; an MOU with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to partner on a senior’s summit, and indemnification for a $20 counterfeit bill. Obviously the RMA appointment isn’t as important.

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