EDINBURG — Former Pharr City Manager Juan Guerra will begin his new post as city manager Monday.

Guerra, a former U.S. Marine, brings 18 years of city government experience to the city, Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina said Friday, listing off Guerra’s accomplishments and qualifications.

Guerra, who most recently worked as the Pharr city manager since 2015, holds a master’s in business administration, and is a certified public accountant, state certified public manager, certified government finance officer and a licensed customs broker.

But what really caught the council’s attention was his selfless service to the country, the mayor said.

I want everyone to know that Mr. Guerra volunteered for active duty in the Marine Corps after the Sept. 11 attacks and served as a military policeman in 2002,” Molina said.

That to me, and to our team here in the city council, shows that he is a true public servant.”

Guerra, who will take over after Pilar Rodriguez resigned in mid-September after a nearly three-month stint as city manager, said he was humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve Edinburg residents.

I’m thankful to be part of Edinburg’s exciting future,” he said. “I look forward to working with the honorable mayor Richard Molina, and the Edinburg city council, as well as the city of (Edinburg) employees as we work to implement the vision and mission of the Edinburg mayor and the city council.”

Guerra beat 10 other candidates who applied for the post, including former Weslaco City Manager Leonardo Olivares, who was the only other finalist being considered for the position at a special meeting Friday at noon.

Guerra thanked Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and the commission there for allowing him to grow professionally. Under his guidance, Pharr decreased the tax rate by more than 3 cents — the largest margin in 25 years — and saw the unemployment rate go down. He also was able to maintain a general fund reserve of about 75 percent.

Without their help, what we achieved would not have been possible,” Guerra said about his former bosses. “Without a good team, no man or woman can do anything.”

Guerra’s contract remained under negotiation Friday.

nlopez@themonitor.com