New McAllen mayor looks at traffic, taxes, water

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 4:27pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 8:15am

Jim Darling officially became the mayor of McAllen on Tuesday, as he was sworn into office.  The now-former city commissioner ran unopposed for the city's top position.  And he said McAllen's traffic flow is the top complaint he gets.  

"The city manager has given us a list of projects that they think will increase traffic flow," Darling said. "And so what I'd like to do is accelerate that by taking the issue to voters for a bond issue to see if they want to do that." 

McAllen has long bee a large collector of sales tax. Darling wants to keep it that way. 

"Sales tax means a vital economy, that all our businesses are doing good," Darling said. "Maintaining that niche is important in attracting new retail business to our communities has always been the number one priority in McAllen."  

The Valley has been in the grip of a drought. There may not be a better person to help deal with the issue of water than Darling. He has been called by at least one county official, the most knowledgable person in the area when it comes to water. 

"I want to hear what's going on, what other people think," he said. "I don't have all the answers, so hopefully by bringing people together and listening, we'll find the answers together."

Darling suggested that perhaps it's time to revisit the water treaty with Mexico and update it. But he also recognized that it's a cyclical issue.  

"What happens with is it always gets pushed to the edge, and we have a tropical storm or hurricane and everybody gets flushed with water and everybody forgets it." 

McAllen's new mayor, whether it's traffic, tax money or water, he's looking to keep it all flowing. 

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