San Benito’s new city commission to hold town hall Aug. 3

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The San Benito Municipal Building is pictured Friday, June 2, 2023, in San Benito. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

SAN BENITO — The city’s new commission is reaching out into the community.

On Aug. 3, commissioners are set to hold this summer’s second town hall meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Building at 210 E. Heywood St.

During his campaign leading to the landmark May 6 election, City Commissioner Tom Goodman vowed to hold town hall meetings to give residents a chance to speak out.

“We’re here to help,” he said in an interview. “It’s great. I love communicating with the people and hearing what is important to them. If we can help, we want to.”

Reaching out

For years, many residents claimed former City Manager Manuel De La Rosa closed himself off to residents’ concerns.

Now, the new commission wants to help open up City Hall to residents, Goodman said.

As part of today’s meeting, commissioners are counting on getting more residents involved in local government, he said.

“Part of our objective is to seek community involvement in boards and committees,” he said. “We want to encourage people to participate in their own government.”

Responding to concerns

Last month, commissioners held their first town hall meeting at Resaca Vista, drawing about 30 residents.

During the 90-minute meeting, residents spoke out about concerns including flooding in the low-lying area.

“We’re looking at ways to alleviate drainage problems,” Goodman said, adding the meeting included Cameron County drainage district officials.

Meanwhile, some residents complained of what Goodman described as the past administration’s restrictive policies regarding the granting of variances required to undertake home improvement projects such as building car ports.

Now, officials are considering revising policies to streamline residents’ variance requests, he said.