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In Response to Ms. Klowetter’s Letter

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to Ms. Klowetter’s October 5, 2016 Letter to the Editor. This response is from myself as a La Feria resident and not from my capacity as a current City of La Feria Commissioner.

I’ve lived in the RGV for nearly half my life and have used “Not born in Texas but got here as soon as I could” over & over. I am a La Feria homeowner, La Feria Business Owner (Bottle Shop Liquor Store) and newly elected City of La Feria Commissioner, Place 2. Again, this response is from me personally and is not from the City Commission.

I never had any political aspirations until buying a business in La Feria and being met by an extremely unfriendly City Hall. After meeting with several Commissioner Members about my poor experience, I was invited to run for City Commissioner though I am of different ethnic and political persuasion of the rest of the Commission.

Change isn’t always easy but was badly needed in La Feria. In my humble opinion, we have a wonderful Commission now in place that is listening to our residents. We don’t always agree but respect one another and all want to make La Feria better. Our La Feria citizens are the nicest folks I’ve ever met in the RGV

My answers to Ms. Klowetter’s questions, again as a Resident and not from the City Commission:

1. Long time Police Chief resigns? Donato Garcia retired after a 30+ year career in Law enforcement and has great plans for lots of fishing. Nothing sinister here.

2. Long time City Manager fired? As publicly documented, the City Commission unanimously voted to terminate the City Manager. Again, change is not easy but I am extremely excited for what’s occurring in La Feria and wish the Ex-City Manager much luck in his new position.

3. New City Mayor is the Police Chief in Mercedes, how can she find time to do both jobs? As I’m sure Ms. Kowetter knows, City Commission positions are volunteer and unpaid. Mayor Maldonado is a true Civil Servant with decades of experience. I never knew the Commitment of time that is required to be a Commissioner and the Mayor’s position is only more. Olga Maldonado is the first female Police Chief ever in Mercedes and our first female Mayor in La Feria. She donates hundreds of hours a year to our City and Citizens and is quite a Lady. I know of no other City in the RGV that the Mayor doesn’t work to earn a living.

4. Interim City Manager resigns? The City Secretary and Interim City Manager gave no notice of her resignation and it was effective immediately. No one can force an employee to work at any position and a new team will be assembled by the newly Hired City Manager, Jamie Sandoval beginning next week.

5. New Police Chief appointed Interim City Manager, how can he do both jobs? The City Charter requires that an Interim Manager is a current City Employee so Chief Cesar Diaz stepped in to help the City as required bγ the Charter. We are extremely lucky to have him available and the new City Manager begins next week.
The Garbage/Treasures issue was a policy enacted by the Ex-City Manager to combat high dump fees. I have heard several complaints about it and will bring it up to the new City Manager to review.
The Rabb Rd./Bus 83 “run-down monstrosities” is a complexed issue with tenants and a property owner. Unfortunately, when there are tenants involved, there are several legal hurdles which come into play. Our new Budget, has the demolition costs included in it and we hope to have it demolished this year but only after settling these legal issues. By the way, this new Budget is the first “in-the-black” budget in over 5 years for La Feria, with no tax in Creases.

And finally Water Rates, again we have adopted a new “in-the-black budget” with no tax increases. The water rates were already in existence by the Ex-City Manager and past Utilities Board but I will be happy to ask our new City Manager to look into it. But, I know that clean and safe water is expensive and as we have all heard about Flint Michigan, it can be a nightmare for a City that tries to save money and not upgrade equipment.

I hope that I’ve answered all Ms. Klowetter’s questions and invite her and any other La Feria citizen to stop by the Bottle Shop Liquor Store anytime to ask me additional question. Also any citizen including Ms. Klowetter can call my personal cell at (956) 650-0720. As a City Resident, I am extremely excited to see our beautiful City moving forward, becoming a business friendly Community and continue to be a wonderful place to live.

– Eric Hoff

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