McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez announces retirement

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McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez

McALLEN — City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez has confirmed in an exclusive interview with The Monitor his plans to retire later this year.

“I am confirming that I have decided to retire, and so I’m in the process of communicating with the city commission,” Rodriguez said in between flights to Washington D.C. on Tuesday, where he and a contingent of city staffers will be meeting with the Rio Grande Valley delegation of federal lawmakers.

“We met last night in executive session and this is something that’s gonna happen… it’s just the right time for me to do it,” Rodriguez said, explaining that he has already informally spoken with McAllen elected leaders.

Rodriguez, 60, said his retirement won’t happen immediately. Instead, he plans to formalize the announcement via letter to the McAllen City Commission soon.

Then, he’ll guide the city through one last budget planning season before finally stepping down.

“I’m gonna finish the budget. The budget is too complicated to hand it over to a new person, and so we will complete it and then we’ll decide on a date,” Rodriguez said.

City staffers have already begun the laborious months-long process that will ultimately lead to a completed budget by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

As the largest city in Hidalgo County, McAllen wields a fiscal budget in excess of half a billion dollars — one that includes the region’s busiest international airport, two land ports of entry, a convention center and more in addition to typical departments and operations.

Rodriguez has spearheaded the city’s gargantuan public operations for more than two decades and has led it through one of the city’s longest periods of stability, economic growth and prosperity.

“The city is in great, great shape — probably the best financial position ever, and so it’s the right time for me to end,” Rodriguez said.

McAllen City Hall on Monday, July 12, 2021, in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Rodriguez also sought to thwart any speculation, which he acknowledged can sometimes accompany the news of the departure of a high-level public servant.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong. Honestly, I think that we are … on top of the mountain right now and it’s my decision to leave when we’re there,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want to have it any other way — and I want you to write that. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way but leave when we’re at our best,” Rodriguez added.

The longtime city manager also heaped praise on the hundreds of employees who serve as city of McAllen staff, as well as the city commission.

“The city has a very strong city commission, which I feel the utmost confidence will continue on this great path,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has spent more than 20 years in service to the city of McAllen — first as the general manager of the McAllen Public Utility before rising to become the city’s top administrator in 2014.

Earlier in his career, Rodriguez also worked as a city engineer for the cities of Weslaco and Harlingen, as well as Jefferson County, according to a biography posted to the city of McAllen’s website.

Reflecting on his long career in public service, Rodriguez said he was proud that he has been able to accomplish most of the goals he set out for himself.

Moreover, he was proud of the service he and the city of McAllen have provided to residents.

“Most of all, we’ve been very responsible to our community. Our community always comes first when we make decisions about budget and I think that the record will show that we were very prudent and caring to our residents,” Rodriguez said.