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Mission CISD looks at raising taxes

MCISDlogoThe tax rate at Mission CISD might be raised anywhere from 5.5 and 13 cents to help make ends meet as the district faces a $3.2 million shortfall this current fiscal year.

Committee members discussed the shortfall and possible tax increase during a recent finance committee meeting when budget personnel estimated an even bigger shortfall next year if the tax rate is not increased.

In 2011, voters approved a tax ratification election that did not change the overall tax rate, but bumped up the district’s maintenance and operations tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17 and lowered the district’s debt service rate by 13 cents. Before and after the tax ratification election, the overall tax rate remained the same at $1.30.

Read more: Mission CISD looks at raising taxes

   

Future of Palmview at stake in upcoming election

20140411 Palmview-Leadership-CandidatesPALMVIEW–It’s four against four in the fight for the future of their city as the May election looms and two informal political parties take shape.

Palmview Leadership is a group of businessman who believe they can get the city’s finances under control while improving the city. None have run for office before.

“The city should be running like business,” said Joe Chapa, the slate’s mayoral candidate. “It takes businessmen to run a business. The other four individuals running for office are not businessman. We are businessmen. You cannot earn $10 and spend $20.”

Meanwhile, Palmview Proud includes two men who’ve already served on the city’s board of aldermen as well as two others who grew up in the area and have helped out in previous elections. They plan to focus on the Boys and Girls Club, infrastructure, public safety and economic development.

Read more: Future of Palmview at stake in upcoming election

   

Forgotten Friends works to save dogs

20140328 Nonprofit-dog-photos  7122 featureEight black puppies piled onto each other for naptime Friday morning in cage in a back room at Smith Ranch Kennels in Los Fresnos.

Their mother was a stray who’d had several litters before, but Christine Compton, president of Mission-based Forgotten Friends Texas Rescue RGV, rescued these lucky pups two weeks earlier. There were originally nine, but one foster family decided to keep its pup.

The agency works with Smith Ranch Kennels to send dozens of dogs from around the Valley to shelters in states around the country through the ASPCA.

“The only reason we could do this was because we had grant money. But this time there is no money. We’re still going to apply,” Compton said, adding that several fundraising ideas have fallen through because there aren’t enough people to help them. “I’m just so tired of begging people for money. I want somebody else to do it.”

Read more: Forgotten Friends works to save dogs

   

2 challenge Salinas for Mission mayor title

20140404 Mayor-Candidates-for-webAfter 16 years at the helm of the City of Mission, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas has said he’s not ready to quit just yet.

But two Mission residents both say it’s time for change and unity in the city. Dr. John Robert Guerra and businessman Jaime Gutierrez are opposing Salinas in his bid for re-election.

“I truly believe we have to renew,” Gutierrez said. “Whatever doesn’t renew, it stays in the same place. It’s time to open scenarios for new generations. This generation is not here to divide. We’re not here to break down what has been done; it’s to take it to another level.”

“We want to be able to treat everybody fairly and equally,” Guerra said of his own bid for the seat. “I’d like to have a city government that is of the people, by the people, for the people. His (Salinas’s) poster says ‘one mission,’ instead of ‘our mission.’”

Read more: 2 challenge Salinas for Mission mayor title

   

Mission hires San Juan city manager for deputy position

City-of-Mission-logoSan Juan Deputy City Manager J.J. Rodriguez will take over as Mission’s deputy city manager April 9.

“One of the things that stood out for Mr. Rodriguez is his experience—the fact that he worked at an organization that is very similar to us as far as population, size, growth,” said Mission City Manager Martin Garza.

Rodriguez served as city manager of Edinburg before moving to San Juan in 2010. Overall, Garza said, Rodriguez spent 22 years with Edinburg, and that tells him Rodriguez will be committed to the organization. He began as an intern in the Edinburg planning department and worked his way up to deputy city planner before he was named to the post of city manager.

Read more: Mission hires San Juan city manager for deputy position

   

Mission CISD committee hears construction updates

MCISDlogoMISSION—Members of the Mission CISD Facilities Committee discussed the status of upcoming and pending projects for the district on Wednesday evening. 

Mission High School 

ERO Architects gave an update on the planning for the Mission High School Phase III project. Manuel Hinojosa with ERO Architects stated they have spent multiple hours with the MHS principal, staff and facilities administration to detail the specific needs.  

“What happens now is a lot of testing of what we put together starts to be put into play,” Hinojosa said. “We have met with the cafeteria department, nursing department and special education department.” 

Hinojosa said the company also has met with city officials and brought in consultants to follow guidelines. He added by the next board meeting in May they would have plans ready for board approval.

Read more: Mission CISD committee hears construction updates

   

Howling Trails: La Joya ISD drops $5 million on golf course

20140328 Martin Valley Golf lg-26 featureMartin Valley Ranch Golf Course soon will be Howling Trails Golf Course as La Joya ISD is expected to close on purchasing the property this week at a $5 million price tag.

La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the new name and logo for the golf course at a meeting Monday. The owners of the golf course approached the school district last year to suggest the property when La Joya ISD board members first started talking about a natatorium.

“The idea is to expand our golf program and to provide more opportunities for our kids so we can keep our kids off the street and engaged in other things,” Superintendent Alda Benavides said when the board first agreed to negotiate the sale.

The board now will move plans for the $9 million natatorium to the site, where they also plan to have tennis courts, a student learning assistance center, fields for science experiments and possibly a planetarium.

Read more: Howling Trails: La Joya ISD drops $5 million on golf course

   

MCISD, city study pool improvements

MCISDlogoMISSION—The Mission CISD Board of Trustees discussed the use of the North Side Swimming Pool at the March regular board meeting.

Issues with heating, drainage and filtration maintenance have left the facility inoperable for student practice.

The board discussed and agreed on a memorandum of understanding with the city of Mission to conduct a feasibility study to correct issues.

“Just to let the community know that we do have a contract with the city of Mission, as far as the swimming pool is concerned, for 50 years,” said trustee James E. Olivarez.

Read more: MCISD, city study pool improvements

   

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