Letter to the editor: Infrastructure Issues

I have visited your city for the past 21 years straight. My wife is from San Benito. Her mother and siblings still live there. I was just there over the 4th of July holiday. I visited San Benito, Harlingen, Brownsville and South Padre Island.

But here’s my concern of your city based on my observations. I have continuously noticed that in the 21 years that I have visited, there never seems to be any change to the infrastructure of your city. The streets remain the same. No new asphalt has even been laid to fix the pot holes or the street curbs and sidewalks. Many houses are below living standards. Yards have overgrown vegetation everywhere. Dogs run loose and at times causing threats to those who walk the streets or exercise by jogging or running. Some housing simply needs to be torn down or condemned.

The city buildings which once used to have commerce; are now boarded up. There are more pawn shops than there are legitimate businesses.

Your city stands along a popular route that ends at the U.S. / Mexico border. You cannot get there without passing through the twin cities of Harlingen/San Benito. You cannot also get to the Texas resort of South Padre Island without going through this same route.

Commerce is inevitable for San Benito. There has to be a way to restore it to what it once had.

I was raised in the City of Bastrop, Texas in central Texas but I now live in NW Austin / Round Rock, Texas. If you visit Bastrop, Texas, the biggest change is that it has grown from a population of 3, 000 to over 13, 000 in roughly 20 years. Bastrop sits along state highway 71. Its main highway is a popular route between Houston and Austin. But, Bastrop has focused on developing and maintaining commerce. While it has grown through the outskirts along state highway 71 with shopping centers, hotels, convention centers, restaurants, and locally owned businesses; it has also maintained its business district downtown by allowing for new businesses to prosper downtown, restoring old business buildings and maintaining the “Old Town” feel that established this town.

San Benito has to do the same. At least use Bastrop, Texas or some other city to model for its growth and invite commerce. I’m not sure how your city government is set up; but if you have an Economic Development Director; get rid of him and hire someone who can offer your city a vision of successful economic development. A city that will thrive. If you do not have an Economic Development Director; hire one. Someone who has a proven track record of bringing positive growth to your city. One with a vision to succeed by expanding growth, commerce and recognizing San Benito, Texas as a place to shop, visit and possibly be able to call San Benito, Texas home. If not now; in the near future.

Your city has a lot of potential. I have seen it with each of my visits there each year. But in my opinion; it lacks leadership. Be it with the council, the department heads…….it lacks leadership. Because if it had leadership; your city would not look the same as it has to me for 21 years.

Take the time to drive through your city streets, visit the few existing businesses that thrive to succeed and ask them what they need to make them more successful. Ask them what type of other businesses they would like to see brought into their city. Talk to the locals. Not the pawn shop owners, gas stations owners that are already there, but the locals who live there. Talk to those folks that call San Benito, Texas home. Give your citizens hope.

Find a way to offer current businesses incentives to spruce up their businesses. Find ways to offer incentives to bring in new business that will contribute to the community.

John Duarte
Austin/Round Rock,

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2019/08/04/letter-to-the-editor-infrastructure-issues/


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    • Concerned 30+ yr Taxpayer on August 15, 2019 at 5:16 am
    • Reply

    Lol.. what happened to the hotel by the expressway.. going towards Harlingen….what happened to the enforced lettered sent to home owners TELLING/ASKING ..whatever to cut and clean their yards..even the empty lots or properties… Why don’t they clean up the stores in downtown that are empty or have junk you can see thru the dusty windows.. drive by town.. you won’t miss seeing the eyesore view.. instead of building new plaza they should of revamp the town.. lower rent fees and perhaps people will open shops/stores.. they should have a food truck area like Harlingen.. at industrial park or somewhere along 77….that parking area where they were suppose to build a hotel.. this town needs new restaurants .. no more Mex food places please.. smh.. oh SB needs a second Little Ceasars..(that would be just about the only thing I would invest in if I was rich).. sorry other pizza vendors..L C is always packed..lol. sorry but that mayor needs to spend less time at his local elementaries and more in his office.. research what will help this town grow.make a difference…be the educated mayor that improved this town…. Go ask the L F city leaders..ask how they made their city grow. Maybe they don’t have high taxes .. that’s what hurting this town..besides all the SBCISD drama..smh.. the city is taxing a high price for everything and anything that they are allowed.. which in turn.. just doesn’t help the Resaca town grow. What do you do will all the taxes you collect from real hard working citizens?

      • Concerned 30+ yr Taxpayer on August 15, 2019 at 5:24 am
      • Reply

      maybe the owner of Little ceasars…can use the..former Popeyes.. and open a second Ceasars in that part of town. Someone would be rolling in the ‘dough’!.. damn wish I was rich!. Lol.

    • Nick on August 6, 2019 at 12:55 am
    • Reply

    Your post is almost completely unintelligible. No those cities are not “the best” the author points our multiple ways in which they are not”the best”. You just make an appeal to “memories that make people want to come back”. Which implies that they left, probably because those towns suck.

    • King on August 5, 2019 at 5:40 pm
    • Reply

    Whoever wrote that is just stupid because those towns and city’s are the best from what everyone knows of. Not everything has to be perfect so people remember them by it’s that memories that the fellow people have there that will make them want to come back more an more then you would ever know.

    Sincerely, the one and only

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