EDINBURG, TEXAS – A retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force has praised the City of Edinburg’s staff for their responsiveness. 

At an Edinburg2040 community forum at Los Lagos Golf Course, Marty Meyer told how the city council not only listened to his ideas on flood control but actually implemented them. As a result, he said, about 100 homes no longer get flooded during a severe storm.

Here is what Meyer said to council leaders and the audience:

“I want to give you all an example of the responsiveness of your city, which I was impressed with. 

“We got hit with a hurricane three days after we moved here, July 2020. Thank you very much. And then the storms the next July caused a significant amount of flooding in the region. So, I was looking at all that – the drainage – for the region and just trying to figure out where I am going to buy land and build, right. 

“So, I settled on Los Lagos, right behind you. I was concerned in July because we had some significant flooding over there. So, as I took a look at it and the drainage and that sort of whole regional layout, I noticed that there was kind of a gap from one of the ponds, through a community into kind of the big drainage culvert and then, eventually, to the Gulf of Mexico. 

“So, I kind of put together some correspondence and sent it to the engineer, and some of the managers, and the mayor at the time. And said, hey, for all of us little people out here, if you did this, it would solve drainage issues, flooding for about 100 homes. And put together kind of a layout of it, took some satellite imagery, which is real simple nowadays. And submitted it with some reasons why. Including safety, kids. You got the package, right mayor? 

“To my complete shock, coming from the bureaucracy of Washington, D.C., where I worked for 27 freakin’ years, which was horrible, by the way. It really is that bad. That is why I moved down here. They looked at it and said, well, that is a good idea. That was sort of an epiphany, for me, No. 1, and the spirit of the community. And what really struck me was, through that progress of time, was the plan was not only accepted but communicated. And that is unheard of. You should really be embarrassed that you actually communicated with one of your citizens in a positive note. I am saying that sarcastically, right? It is true. 

“To the point to where the assistant city manager actually called me up at home. I was working, because I still work out of my house, and said, hey, I just want to let you know we approved the plan. I had fallen out of my chair by that point. So, I picked myself up and said, what do you mean? Well, we approved it. Really? Yeah, do you want to see the plan? Yeah, I would like to see the plans. So, email it to me. I kid you not. A minute later. So, I took a look at it and said, well, that’s it. 

“To really reduce significantly by a capacity of about 150 percent, greater flood control, for a community. The cost was $8,920, which affected about 100 homes. So when you do the math, that is really in your favor. It is like $90 a home to prevent flooding, which, you can get into the whole FEMA argument and everything. But, the point is, you did something about it. You kept the cost really low, the timing was exquisite and you communicated it. Which, again, in D.C., never happens. It just never happens. 

“So, hat’s off to you for that. Thank you and thanks to the council.”

Meyer’s pleasant experience in dealing with Edinburg City Council is shared by most of those surveyed as part of Edinburg2040. Departments such as fire, library and police are viewed very favorably by those who have taken the survey. Even those areas where there are most concerns – such as streets, drainage and traffic – did not trigger a “dissatisfied” rating by the majority. The “dissatisfied” rating for streets is at 48 percent. For drainage it is 39 percent, and for traffic it is 35 percent.

A majority of respondents – 35 percent – think first priority should be streets. Drainage is viewed a first priority by 22 percent. 

When asked about the top three priorities, the total responses for streets, drainage and traffic are approximately equal everything else. 

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a four-part series on Edinburg2040.

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