Salinas finishes 16 years on McAllen City Commission

McALLEN — After 16 years on the city commission, District 3 Commissioner Hilda Salinas finished her final commission meeting Monday, retiring to life as a private citizen. And after four years, District 2 Commissioner Trey Pebley finished his final meeting as well. Pebley lost his re-election bid to Joaquin “J.J.” Zamora in Saturday’s election.

Both Salinas and Pebley were honored Monday, and though Salinas is retiring, she offered any chance to help the city in the future.

“I’m honored to have served,” Salinas said after the meeting. “If they need my help with anything, a bridge board meeting, whatever, I’m just a phone call away.

“I love my city so much, and part of that is it’s important to have fresh blood to move things forward.”

While their replacements on the commission — Zamora for Pebley and Omar Quintanilla for Salinas — were in the audience Monday, some work remained for the outgoing commissioners.

Salinas asked Public Works Director Elvira Alonso questions about the awarding of multiple contracts for the purchase of 30 new vehicles for various city departments. The total cost for the 30 vehicles was $780,687, which the city commission unanimously approved to purchase. Alonso said this total was under budget by $49,000.

Pebley asked to table a zoning item for next meeting because he felt it should be decided by incoming Commissioner Zamora, who said he plans to consult citizens in that part of his district.

Zamora and Quintanilla will be sworn in at the next commission meeting on May 22. Mayor Jim Darling, who won his re-election bid over Othal E. Brand Jr., will also be sworn in for his second term as mayor.