La Feria commissioner resigns after death of son

LA FERIA — Former Mayor Victor Gonzalez sat near the back of city hall as he listened to Eric Hoff read his resignation letter to the city commission.

Hoff held office for two years and four months and his first term was set to expire next May.

But at the last city meeting Hoff explained in his prepared statement that his decision to step down as City Commissioner Place 2 is because he plans to move out of town and is still mourning the death of his 26-year-old son, Riley.

He died unexpectedly last year.

“It’s hard,” Gonzalez said. “It has to be hard.”

Gonzalez was referencing Hoff’s loss with a sad look on his face. He said since taking office, Hoff didn’t have time to morn his son with his wife properly because of his commitment to the city.

“It’s a loss so painful, and I just pushed it back,” Hoff said about Riley’s death. “It’s the sharpest cut you could imagine.”

Hoff’s major announcement comes after the revelation that $3 million in bond money borrowed by the city for capitol projects was found to have been spent and will have to be paid back.

In his statement, Hoff reviewed the 2016 annual audit that found the city had taken in almost $40 million in the past five years, but had spent almost $48 million leaving the city in a tough situation.

Hoff said the city is in good hands and is heading back on track.

“The city is fixed. We have good leaders and almost every director has been changed,” Hoff said. “The city is running well, but it has a huge hole to dig out of.”

The commissioners continued the meeting as Hoff took a seat with members of the public. The commissioners moved forward calling a special election for November to fill his vacancy.

“The city will continue and we will keep working,” said Julian Guevara, La Feria commissioner place 4. “Everything is going to be running the same way.”

Guevara said Hoff will be missed and praised him for his outstanding job as a city commissioner.

“There is a lot of experience on the commission, and they will find a great replacement,” Hoff said.