Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo González
McALLEN, Texas – On September 5, 2023, McAllen City Commissioner Omar Quintanilla invited constituents to the Las Palmas Community Center for the District 3 Town Hall Meeting. A tradition that occurs once a year, the meeting allows citizens to receive updates on local projects and voice their concerns and suggestions directly to city officials.
Town hall meetings are essential to local governance, offering a direct communication channel between elected representatives and their constituents. Quintanilla noted, “It’s beneficial for the residents of District 3 and also for the residents of McAllen to come and talk to representatives, other commissioners, assistant city managers, and department heads.”
Representatives from multiple city departments, including the City Manager’s Office, Code Enforcement, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Police, and Traffic Operations, attended the event to engage in discussions with constituents. Their presence showcased the event’s comprehensive approach to addressing various local governance sectors, from public safety to urban planning.
Commissioner Quintanilla offered valuable insights into District 3, describing it as a mostly residential area in West McAllen stretching from Taylor to 23rd Street. It includes two school districts, Sharry Land District and McAllen I.S.D., and features South Texas College in its heart. A recent census revealed that the district is home to approximately 15,000 residents.
One highlighted achievement was completing drainage improvement projects around Las Palmas Community Center and other vicinities. Sidewalks have also been installed in areas frequented by school-going children. Vine Street and areas just west of Nikki Rowe High School have benefited from drainage and street improvement projects.
Daffodil Street, a crucial roadway within District 3, was another focal point. The local community had been pushing for its expansion for years, and Quintanilla confirmed that the project was nearing completion. Expected to be fully operational by year’s end, the Daffodil widening project is a significant achievement for McAllen and the city’s broader goals to improve east-west traffic movement.
The Commissioner hinted at future development, stating, “We’ll look to see where we can program that into our budget,” particularly addressing a small yet congested section from Ware Rd. to 23rd Street. The complexities of acquiring easements in areas close to growing subdivisions make some projects challenging, but they are still on the table, according to Quintanilla.
Public participation is the cornerstone of any town hall; this meeting was no exception. Commissioner Quintanilla recalled that past meetings had led directly to implementing several projects, including the recently completed sidewalks near Las Palmas. “That’s the reason to have town halls: to hear from residents and to see what we could do to help,” he stressed.
Quintanilla mentioned that upon completing significant projects like Daffodil’s expansion, the city plans to host ribbon-cutting ceremonies to commemorate the achievements. “We hope to see you there, especially the residents of the neighborhoods right next to it,” he added.
The District 3 Town Hall Meeting is more than just an annual event; it shows the democratic process at the grassroots level. It reinforces the mutual relationship between elected officials and their constituents, offering a direct line of communication to discuss projects, plans, and concerns.