By Allan Jamail
Jacinto City, Texas – Saturday, May 8th, 2021 will go down as one of the most popular days in Jacinto City’s history since its incorporation in 1946. The city was celebrating its 75th anniversary, and the city’s administration and staff hit a home run with celebrators. The day was filled with dignitary speeches, live entertainment, a free photo booth, homemade arts and crafts, homemade preserves, cookies, local honey, tamales and boiled crawfish and a spectacular nighttime exploding fireworks show.
The official formal celebration ceremony was from 3 to 5 PM at the city’s town center on Oates Road. Mayor Ana Diaz brought the guest to attention followed by Councilman Allen Lee who gave the invocation.
Mayor Ana Diaz said she was most appreciative of having a good city with good services, good citizens and good city personnel and proud of the positive progress she’s witnessed over the years of having lived here all her life. Council members Carmela Garcia, Mario Gonzales, Allen Lee, Jimmy Rivas and Gregg Robinson each welcomed everyone and made their comments.
Congratulatory resolutions were presented to the city by the following: Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia; Sheila Jackson Lee wasn’t able to attend so her new Chief District Director Yuroba Harris represented her (Congresswoman Lee phoned in her congratulatory remarks); County Commissioner Adrian Garcia; Senator Carol Alvarado and State Representative Ana Hernandez were in legislative session and were represented by Betty Mcginnis and Linda Jamail; Constable Jerry Garcia was present.
Guests were asked trivia questions about the city’s history. The city’s history was orally given by Joyce Raines, and in a separate room tables were filled with old photos and memorabilia. Former elected officials were given a gift bag which included a flash drive of old photos and souvenirs.
As a former city official, it gave me a good feeling and a sense of pride knowing I served such a great small Texas town when I served as a mayor, councilman, chief of police and emergency management director. As they say, “dynamite can come in small packages” — well this describes Jacinto City. It blows up other small cities when you compare it with any city across the nation. With a population fewer than 10,000, the city explodes with some of the best personnel and services anyone could hope to have.
Kyle Reed (24 years) Public Works Director heads up all the public works departments; they’re the life blood of the city. His departments provide the best of drinking water, streets, sewer service and keeps city properties mowed and cleaned weekly.
Police Chief Joe Ayala (39 years) staffs one of the finest and well qualified departments; it has a response time of 2 minutes or less to reach citizens call for the police. The police dispatchers take their job serious and they recognize lives of the citizens and officers depend on their performance.
Fire Chief Rebecca Mier (22 years) is a “can do” administrator. She’s been known to drive the fire trucks and ambulances, and will jump in anywhere she sees a need. Aside from supervising the fire and ambulance service, she also heads-up the city’s Market by Night event and stays on top of her wife and mother duties to her family.
Joyce Raines (36 years) the City Secretary keeps the city in compliance with the ever changing laws governing city meetings, elections and maintaining minutes and records. She’s the “go to” person when you need anything, and if she doesn’t have what you need, she points you in the right direction to get it.
Kathy Greiner (41 years) the City Bookkeeper maintains everything that involves funds coming in and going out. Come pay day, she’s the most popular lady in the city for employees and officials. She and Joyce Raines are always out front of any city event; they “make it happen.” Without them the city would be in deep trouble.
City Attorney Jim DeFoyd (54 Years) writes the ordinances, codes and resolutions and provides the legal advice.
Ivan Rojas, Parks & Recreation Director, oversees one of the city’s most active and busiest departments, which provide adults and youth with sports activities, entertainment and clean parks year round. He’s a “hands on” supervisor; he’s not hesitant to jump in and lend a hand to get the job done.
Elizabeth Flores, Heritage Hall’s Program Director, is the city’s senior’s caregiver. She heads up a very critical department and is our very special lady who makes sure our seniors have daily meals, entertainment and physical exercise activities. She’s assisted by Program Assistants Maria Espinoza and Debbie Martinez; these three ladies take care of the seniors as if they were their own family.
Israel Favela, Head Librarian, and Gaby Prado, Youth Services Librarian, maintain vital services to help educate adult citizens, students, preschoolers and story time reading to toddlers. They provide classes to teach the skills needed to use computers via the internet and help in teaching foreign languages.
Jacinto City has a full time City Manager form of government. The City Manager oversees the entire operation of the city. The mayor and the five council members are not full time; they get paid a monthly salary plus an additional gas allowance. The gas allowance is paid to them for driving their personal vehicle while taking care of city related business.
City Manager Lon Squyres closed out the program by heaping praises on city personnel who made the day’s event possible. Lon has been with the city 29 years, working in the fire department, as a paramedic, an emergency medical technician and as emergency management coordinator. He is in his 6th year as City Manager.
He also said, “It was wonderful to see so many past city officials, employees, and residents come back to join us to celebrate 75 years of growth and accomplishments. Many past officials were amazed to see the new police station, swimming pool, splash pad, renovated fire station and new elementary school. In turn we were so impressed when we reflect back on the many accomplishments made by our predecessors that laid the groundwork for what has been accomplished. In the near future we will be posting many of the event’s photos on our website and Facebook page.”