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Mission boots Salinas from EDC board

The Mission City Council voted to replace Noel Salinas as a director on the Mission Economic Development Board Monday evening, a move he argues was retaliation for speaking out about the city incorrectly withholding at least $3.4 million worth of sales tax money from the corporation.

Noel Salinas

City leadership denies the move being prompted by Salinas’ comments about those funds — comments that led to corrective action, council concern, and even preceded the near-departure of City Manager Randy Perez.

“I’m not surprised,” Salinas said Monday. “If everything is being run correctly, I don’t think I would have gone through this — but I guess there are problems. But I’m always going to be transparent and accountable; I guess they don’t want transparent citizens to serve on the board.”

Council approved Salinas’ replacement along with a long list of other appointments, three more of which were made mid-term.

The vote was unanimous, without discussion.

Talking to the press earned Salinas criticism from Mayor Norie Gonzalez Garza last month. She also sits on the MEDC board.

Garza said after the meeting that Salinas’ replacement wasn’t prompted by his comments to the Progress Times about the MEDC monies. In fact, she said she’d considered the move long before he spoke out.

“It had been a thought of mine for actually a couple of months now,” she said Monday.

Garza describes Julian Alvarez, Salinas’ replacement, as a better fit for the board.

A longtime Rio Grande Valley public servant, Alvarez served as a representative with the Texas Workforce Commission until late 2022, when he joined Lone Star National Bank as a senior vice president.

“He showed interest and I thought that it would behoove the city of Mission to have him on the MEDC Board as opposed to Mr. Salinas,” Garza said, noting Alvarez’s experience and wide professional network.

Salinas says he wasn’t contacted about being replaced before Monday’s meeting and that he wasn’t aware that his replacement had been a consideration for months.

That replacement, Salinas argues, wasn’t justified before he talked about the MEDC monies and isn’t justified now.

“What’s the integrity of a board if a board member’s not allowed to speak out about the situation?” he said.

Salinas criticized the way the city handled the situation after he spoke up about the funding issue, which he doesn’t feel has been adequately or transparently resolved.

In particular, he pointed out that despite the uproar his concern provoked, no one from the city ever reached out to him about it.

Salinas says he doesn’t regret talking about the MEDC funds. He’s also not particularly fazed by losing his board seat.

“If they’re going to continue operating the way they’re operating, I’m not going to be part of what they’re doing,” he said.

 

1 Comment

  1. Arnulfo Jr Salinas on January 10, 2024 at 4:43 am

    Sounds like corruption we need real leaders…their is a Reckoning coming from every corner of every state. We need young leaders. Not old politicians..also we need to have all Leaders. Drug tested we. Will Hold MISSION TEXAS accountable.. we have to. Decide the best for our kids future not these people have have SPECIAL Agendas for themselves

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