After electing a new set of city council members to spur change in the city, Palmview residents seem to have done the same Tuesday night.
Jose Luis Perez, a math instructor at Salinas Middle School, beat incumbent Joselito “Hoss” Hernandez with nearly 54 percent of the votes for a Place 2 seat on the city council.
Perez ran in the “Palmv1ew Proud” slate with political newcomer Anthony Uresti who as of Tuesday received 50 percent of the vote, beating his opponent Arturo “Art” Alaniz by 18 votes, according to results from the Hidalgo County Elections department.
Ricardo “Ricky” Villareal, a former city council member who ran unopposed for mayor, was in the “Palmview Strong” slate along Hernandez and Alaniz.
According to Villareal, the victory for the “Palmv1ew Proud” slate may have been attributed to the resident’s frustrations with the city’s progress on their street paving project.
As part of the $42 million Agua SUD wastewater project, Agua SUD has torn up 20 miles worth of streets in the city to lay down sewer lines last year. As part of their agreement with Agua, the city oversees paving the streets and can pave them only after streets have been released to the city. The project, paid through a $2.8 million bond, began last May with several streets in the city left to go.
“It’s something everyone was talking about during the election,” Villarreal said of the street-paving project. “It’s a process that won’t happen overnight.”
Hernandez acknowledged that the project may have impacted his race, but said he was still proud of the four years he served in office.
“I’m proud I was able to achieve what we’ve done in the city to improve it, I hope they do the same,” Hernandez said Tuesday.
“Palmv1ew Proud,” which ran with the slogan “Paving a better future for Palmview,” criticized the street paving project on their Facebook page. A few posts dated Friday, Oct. 26 primed that the slate will pave the roads if elected.
In a statement to the Progress Times Uresti thanked supporters and said he and Perez look forward to working together with the current city council members.
For Perez, who sits on the city’s zoning board, the win is a reversal of his failed 2016 city council bid where he lost to councilwoman Linda Sarabia.
“We think that the amount of people who voted are waiting for something to happen” Perez said. “We have to go from there to enact change.”
Despite the loss of his slate members, Villarreal said he will work with the new city council members who will be sworn in at a future city council meeting.
“And not just them, but any member of the community who wants to contribute to the progress of Palmview,” Villarreal said. “We’re taking the city to another level and want to do what is best for the constituents.”