Mayor of McAllen Speaks on State Of City Address

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POSTED: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 5:14pm

UPDATED: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 9:33am

MCALLEN - As McAllen springs into it's 100th year, the State of the City Address is a chance for the Mayor to highlight what is to come.

Hundreds of Upper Valley residents and local, state and national officials gathered to hear Mayor Richard Cortez speak about the state of McAllen's economy. But before he spoke of future plans, he wanted to remember made McAllen the city it is today.

"The main topic was that we are here to celebrate our history, a very proud history, and we have a lot of gratitude to the people that came before us. And what they taught us is that if we are friendly to business and if we are fiscal, responsible ... good things are going to happen," Richard Cortez, Mayor of McAllen.

Even though McAllen is one of the largest cities south of San Antonio, the Mayor is not satisfied with the current rate of growth. 

"I particularly want to see growth in the commercial side, but we also welcome residential growth, but the growth that we want to grow in is we want to be accommodating to the various life styles that people are seeking," said Cortez.

Tourism for our southern neighbors in Mexico is another aspect Cortez feels McAllen should address. He said that McAllen needs to bring in high end stores like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, or even large bulk stores like Costco. Because without these stores, travelers will bypass McAllen to visit San Antonio, Austin and Houston.

"If Mexican's feel that they need to go that far for certain things, that means that McAllen is not offering those things. So that's a big focus for what we're trying to do for the future, is to bring those type of things that are not found in McAllen today, bring them into McAllen," said Cortez.

Cortez does say that public safety, education and the arts, are showing positive advancement.

But even after 100 years of growth, the Mayor acknowledges that there still is a lot more work to do and a lot more heights that McAllen can reach.

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