Commissioner Holland takes oath of office

 

 

By KREIG KOHL
Special to the PRESS

 

On June 28 Port Isabel City Commission held their regular second monthly meeting at the Port Isabel City Hall.

Before the meeting began City Manager Jared Hockema spoke to a concerned citizen’s comment on the appointment of Commissioner Alaniz. The citizen was concerned that Alaniz was appointed outside of the time frame allowed in the charter. City Manager Hockema stated that canvassing was finished and reported the vacancy on May 17 and the position was appointed on June 7. The next scheduled meeting for the City Commission to fill this vacancy after the canvassing was on June 7, the same meeting Commissioner Alaniz was appointed at.

During the June 28 meeting Commissioner Alaniz stepped down from Commissioner Place 1 so that Sarah Holland could take the position after her victory in the Port Isabel runoff election. Her oath of office was administered by Judge Benito Ochoa and was followed by a brief recess with refreshments for celebration of the election. Judge Ochoa praised both candidates for running a clean race for the Commissioners place and urged that citizens get out and exercise their right to vote.

Another citizen of the town raised his concerns that weekend traffic was causing a dangerous situation in the town, primarily at the two lights after the bridge. He stated that the lights being open was causing drivers to speed down the road as well as causing traffic backups during high travel hours to and from South Padre Island. While he himself did not have a plan to propose he hoped that bringing it to the city commissions attention would allow them to begin formulating a solution.

The Commission also heard the proposed Port Isabel Parks Master Plan for 2022 to 2032. This plan encapsulates all the items sent for Texas State Parks and Wildlife funding. With the old plan that this would be replacing the city received three grants totaling 1.2 million dollars in funding. For this new plan they used public input to determine the most pressing needs of the public parks and found security lighting and shade to be two of the highest priorities, with open play areas being on the list as well.

Some of the city’s goals with this plan are to promote healthy lifestyles and the area’s coastal heritage, while prioritizing the building of sports fields, water based features, conserving natural resources, and promoting family time. Another priority which scored high on public input was a pet friendly park area.

Following this the Port Isabel Rotary Club handed out their 4th annual First Responder Award. The recipients, Emergency Medical Responders Isaac Saenz, Charles Cuvillier, and Gualberto “Wally” Bennet, were selected by the Rotary Club based on input from their supervisors. It was noted that the three recipients this year stayed and served Port Isabel at a time when they could have easily left for better opportunities. They took extra shifts during the Covid Pandemic and are some of the most veteran members of their field.

City Manager Hockema also presented the proposed Capital Projects funding plan. This plan is meant to get-

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