McALLEN – Mayor Jim Darling begins on Wednesday a one-year term as President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, the State of Texas’ council of governments and regional planning group for the deep South Texas area.
As president of the Lower Rio Grande Development Council, Mayor Darling will head board of directors that includes mayors, city and county elected officials and others. The group meets once a month in Weslaco and takes on a variety of issues such as transportation and mass transit, emergency communications, housing assistance, law enforcement and health issues among many others.
All the issues before the president and the board are looked at through a regional lens, and challenges seek regional solutions. And Darling knows the LRGVDC well having served as its legal counsel for some time.
Mayor Darling said part of his approach to leading McAllen has been to be regional and that will help him as the organization’s new leader (Darling has served on LRGVDC board since elected as Mayor in 2013). He looks forward to the challenge.
“I have enjoyed my relationship with the LRGVDC over years, and I think my experience gives me a unique perspective to my new role as president,” said Darling. “The LRGVDC and staff serve an important role to our communities in the Rio Grande Valley. I am proud to be part of the team.”
The LRGVDC meets monthly at the offices of the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization. The monthly meetings cover a variety of issues. Former presidents include Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell, La Feria Mayor Steve Brewer and many others. LRGVDC Executive Director is Kenneth Jones. Here’s June’s meeting agenda: www.lrgvdc.org/meetings.html
The LRGVDC promotes cooperation among local units of government and provides forums and opportunities for them to work with economic interests and citizen groups in order to improve the region's health, safety, and general welfare and to plan for future development, according to the LRGVDC.
State law authorizes commissions like the LRGVDC to make studies and plans to guide unified, far-reaching development of a region, eliminate duplication, and promote efficiency through coordinated development.
The LRGVDC is also a regional planning organization designated by the state as a council of governments. It serves the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy and is tasked with developing a “Regional Strategic Plan” for the Lower Rio Grande Valley.