A great place to live

BY Bill Reagan

There are many great reasons to live in Harlingen. The beach is only forty-five minutes away. Mexico is but a half hour drive. No snow. Very little traffic. Nice neighborhoods. Low cost of living.

This past week’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast highlighted one of the best reasons to live in Harlingen — great civic leadership. We are fortunate to have a city commission composed of men of faith. I know them all and am acquainted with their personal commitment to God. That commitment makes a difference.

Please do not mistake these comments as a political endorsement. There are, I am sure, many able and honest people, Christians and members of other faiths or no faith, who could serve our city admirably. There are also many women in our community who can and should serve in elected office. I’d like to see some women on our city commission!

The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is not a city sponsored event. It is a reflection of Mr. Boswell’s faith and the commitment of community volunteers to the spiritual vitality of our city.

When we think of the attractiveness of a place to live we often think of quality of life amenities such as natural resources, economic prosperity, cultural activities and sports venues.

Quality of life is more than that. It is lack of corruption, good public safety, well maintained streets and safe public places. Harlingen fares very well in these categories, I believe, because of the integrity of our leaders. The fruit of faith is seen in the decision making process of our civic leaders, from how the budget is determined and administered to the employment of our city personnel.

It is in no way the role of any government to promote faith among the citizenry. However, when men and women of faith serve, the values of fairness and justice, honesty and public welfare have a positive effect on their community.

Bill Reagan is executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.