MCALLEN, RGV – Texas Regional Bank CEO Paul Moxley says he has contacted the Governor’s appointments office to offer his services as a commissioner of the state board that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation.
Moxley made public his interest in a current vacancy at the Texas Transportation Commission at a Border Texan of the Year event in McAllen on Friday.
“I have thrown my hat in the ring for the TxDOT position again. We need to pull the Valley together. We do not need an Upper Valley and a Lower Valley, we need one Valley. That is the way we are going to grow this area,” Moxley said.
Up until 2003, there were only three members on the Texas Transportation Commission, all appointed by the Governor. However, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., passed legislation to increase the board to five members. At the time, Lucio hoped one of the two new slots would go to someone from the Valley. That did not happen.
The current chairman of the TTC is J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., of San Antonio. The other members are Jeff Austin, III, from Tyler, and Laura Ryan from Houston. There are currently two vacancies on the board. Commissioner Victor Vandergriff, of Dallas, announced his resignation earlier this week. Tryon Lewis, of Odessa, announced last week that he is also stepping down from the TTC.
Moxley, who has offered his services before for a TTC slot, is hoping to replace Lewis, whose slot is nominally held by a commissioner from a rural area.
Discussion on the TTC vacancies came up briefly at a Border Texan of the Year event that was held in the board room of Plains Capital Bank in McAllen. Sen. Lucio, who was last year’s Border Texan of the Year, handed out checks to charity groups of his choosing. During the event, Valley banking icon and Border Texan of the Year committee member Glen E. Roney, via conference call, asked Lucio to work on getting the Valley representation on the TTC.
Lucio responded: “I will make a phone call to the chairman of TxDOT. I think it is time we had representation on that particular commission. As you know, Texas is run by boards and commissions appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. I want to see a presence on this important commission, from those of you who not only want to serve but are very capable of serving.”
Moxley said later that he would like to be considered.
“It is about 25 years since we have had any representation with the Commission in the Valley. We have our local Regional Mobility Authority here in Hidalgo County. You have one RMA in Cameron County and one in Hidalgo County. Two different RMA boards. We have got to pull these two counties together and work as a Valley. If we can take the Valley to Austin, united, it means a lot more when we have got more of us working together. It would help this community quite a bit,” Moxley told the Rio Grande Guardian and RGV Public Radio 88 FM, after the event had concluded.
Asked why it is important for the Valley to have a seat at the TTC table, Moxley said: “All the transportation we have got coming out of Mexico. It is just real important we improve our ability to move around this Valley and on up the country. Our closest representation is San Antonio. We talk with the Governor, we talk with them (TxDOT), we go to meetings. It is good to have someone from this area that can really support and understand our needs and take it back to Austin.”
Moxley said he also submitted his name last time there was a vacancy on the TTC.
“I just want to support Texas. I think it will help the Valley. I want to help Texas and the Valley. I know several people on the commission. It is by Governor appointment, but I am anxious to help any way I can with that.”
Interviewed after the event, Sen. Lucio said Moxley would make a fine transportation commissioner for Texas. He said S. David Deanda, Jr., president of Lone Star National Bank, is also interested in serving and that he would make a fine commissioner too.
“Paul would make an excellent member of the Texas Transportation Commission. There are a couple of people who have made it known, who have made it clear to me that they would like to serve. Paul is obviously a wonderful candidate. There are others like David Deanda, also, that have contacted my office who would like to serve, either on that board or another major commission. Those are two great people right there that have the credentials to serve on any commission.”
Asked why the Valley needs a presence on the TTC board, Lucio said:
“But, we do need, no doubt, a presence on the TXDOT board because that agency is a multi-billion board that has a major responsibility to address the infrastructure needs of every corner of the state. Our region, because of our growth, are getting to the point where we are going to need more assistance and more money coming our way and I hope we can get someone like Paul or David that might be able to relate to the Governor. The Governor, obviously, it is his call. I would gladly confirm someone from the Valley, but I would love for it to be Paul Moxley or David Deanda, someone who has proven ability to serve with distinction.”
Lucio said he and Moxley go back years.
“Paul and I go back to the early 1990s, when we became close friends. But, I knew him in the 1980s as well. He distinguished himself as one of the best financial business advisors anywhere in the state. He has got the necessary background and education and intelligence to be able to serve on any state board. I want to work with all of those who are interested in serving.”
Asked how disappointed he was that then-Gov. Rick Perry did not appoint someone from the Valley when his legislation increased the TTC from three to five members, Lucio said:
“It was my intention but Governor Perry, unfortunately, never addressed it. I had made it very clear I wanted representation from the Valley. Unfortunately, the governor continued to appoint people from other regions of the state. We are still good friends but that was one of my disappointments with Governor.”
Border Texan of the Year
Any proceeds left over after the annual Border Texan of the Year dinner are given to charity. The charities are chosen by the Border Texan of the Year. On Friday, Lucio, the 20178 Border Texan of the Year, presented $10,000 checks to Comfort House Services of McAllen, La Posada Providencia of San Benito, Proyecto Juan Diego of Brownsville, and Habitat for Humanity, RGV. Former Hidalgo Mayor John David Franz chaired Friday’s meeting of the Border Texan of the Year committee.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows banker Paul Moxley and state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., at a Border Texan of the Year charity announcement held Feb. 9, 2018, at Plains Capital Bank in McAllen.