By ESTEVAN MEDRANO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Former Port Isabel Mayor Quirino Z. Martinez died on Thursday, March 26, at Harlingen Medical Center. He was 76. Martinez worked diligently towards the improvement of the City during his tenure in office, serving as city commissioner from 1970-1976, mayor pro-tem from 1972-1976, and as mayor from 1976-1984 and again from 1996-1998.
“He was a very respected man in the community, not only the community, but throughout the Valley and the state of Texas,” said current Mayor Joe E. Vega. “He laid the foundation and planted the seeds for many of the projects that we have today… I know many public officials and many politicians that when they would run for office, one of the first places that they’d be knocking was on Mayor Martinez’s door asking for his support and for his advice,” he said.
Mayor Vega and the Port Isabel City Commission held the dedication of the Mayor Quirino Z. Martinez Park Pavilion at Washington Park in 2011 to honor the former mayor’s commitment to improving the quality of life for the Port Isabel community and visitors alike.
“He would always call me and give me advice,” said City Manager Edward Meza. “He would talk about growing up in Port Isabel and about the events he created. I respected him very much. He was a visionary and it’s sad to see him pass.”
The coastal community flourished under Martinez’s leadership, which was instrumental in the development of the Chamber of Commerce complex, a community center and new library. Martinez cited the latter two accomplishments as his biggest achievements while serving. He also led the way for the expansion of the local museums, the public library and renovation of local parks. Martinez was a lifelong Port Isabel resident.
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