Mayor talks about accomplishments in ‘Coffee With’ event

SAN BENITO — Mayor Celeste Sanchez has been mayor for almost two years.

In that time, she said her experience in office has had its ups and downs.

“It’s been good but it’s also been rough,” she said. “The responsibilities are greater and so are the influences.”

Yesterday, Sanchez sat down with members of the community in the Chamber of Commerce event “Coffee With.”

There, she talked about some of her successes.

At the top of her list, Sanchez said one thing she is really proud of is being able to re-establish the chamber after years of being inactive.

The citizen’s academy is another success the mayor was proud to boast about.

In its first class, the citizen’s academy graduated about 17 local citizens who spent several weeks studying the inner workings of city departments.

“We are in the middle of the second class,” she said. “They leave feeling more secure about the city. Those people are our ambassadors.”

With that first class, the group was able to branch out and start Keep San Benito Beautiful.

The summer youth employment program was a great success.

Sanchez said 10 teens were hired to clean up downtown, paint curbs, and pick weeds.

Seeing the need for more workers, the Cameron County Workforce sponsored to hire five more and a church sponsored another one.

All of these successes, Sanchez said, played an important part of her platform for when she ran for mayor.

She wants to continue to make San Benito a community of choice.

“A community where people want to live,” she said.

Beautifying downtown, being transparent with its citizens, and bringing in more business are all the factors that play into people choosing to live, work and shop in San Benito.

“You want to live here because it’s a good place to raise your kids with good schools, a safe community, safe streets, and good shopping,” she said.

Recently, technology has been brought to City Hall.

Sanchez said residents soon will be able to watch city meetings via the website. Cameras are being installed this week and viewing will be available at any time.

Additional “Coffee With” guests will be invited to continue this series of transparency in the community.

Next Wednesday, Congressman Filemon Vela will be conducting his talk at 9:30 a.m. at the conference room of the Super 8 Hotel on US77/83 just south of Paso Real.

Sanchez encourages everyone to attend.

“Ideas are always welcome,” she said. “Ask for things for our city.”