LETTERS: On McAllen mayoral race, Hidalgo County elections administrator and Sharyland ICD

Reelect Jim Darling as McAllen’s mayor

As I write this letter to the editor, I would like to disclose that I am Jim Darling’s campaign treasurer. I accepted this position because Jim is by far the most qualified candidate for mayor of McAllen. I’ve known Jim for more than 25 years, and hundreds of leaders who are engaged in our community feel the same way as I do.

Experience, integrity, honesty, character and intelligence matter in leading the great City of McAllen. One only need review the résumés of each candidate to determine that Jim is the only one who measures up. Jim knows and understands the City of McAllen. As the current mayor, and the city’s attorney for over 28 years, Jim has advised and counseled numerous city council administrations to lead McAllen in a financially sound and professional manner. If one compares the audits of Water District No. 3 and the audits of the City of McAllen, it is clear that McAllen has the stronger leader. Individuals who have taken the time to learn the facts know this is true.

In addition, Jim is a great patriot. He is a Vietnam combat veteran who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal due to his 133 combat missions. He strongly supports local veterans and their needs and advocated for the funding and building of the Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas, which is located in McAllen.

Integrity, character and experience do matter. So I ask all of my friends, my friend’s friends and everyone else who cares about McAllen to vote for the most qualified mayoral candidate: Mayor Jim Darling. He is the best man to be McAllen’s mayor. He meets our high standards!

R. David Guerra, McAllen


This is a rebuttal to letters published Monday by Juannah Young and Paula Lindgren. First and foremost, the letter on mayoral candidate Othal Brand Jr., being such a great man, well let me enlighten you. He stood alongside his father when they paid farm workers low wages. There are allegations of family violence and misused water district funds against him. If true, does that make him a good Christian? I don’t think so. We are no longer ignorant so please do not insult us.

Speaking of ignorance, of all people to dump on illegal immigrants, I can’t believe that a so-called “Native-American War Mother from Oklahoma” would tell us that the immigrants take our Medicaid and food stamps. And what about the undocumented veterans who fought for our country, died, and are now being deported? As a veteran of several wars, I challenge Ms. Young to examine her conscience. Every generation of the Castillo’s family have served our country above and beyond the call of duty, going back to the Korean War. We even lost one member during WWII. How soon you forget the injustice that the white man brought upon your people.

Celerino “Cele” Castillo III, McAllen

Election administrator’s Monitor column

You could have knocked me over with a feather after I read Yvonne Ramon’s self-serving, apologetic, and dismissive Sunday column in The Monitor concerning “her job” as Hidalgo County elections administrator.

In her position, during elections, I believe she is probably the local person most responsible for the survival of our democratic system. In my humble opinion, after 30 years of administration and management for an international company, I can safely say her job is not to run around and fix “problems.” Her job, as the top manager, is to eliminate or minimize the chance of them happening.

Using her sliding door example, maybe she does not understand that not completely unlocking a sliding door and then trying to push it open may do costly damage to the mechanism. Her concern about candidates complaining about activities at the polls is equally ludicrous. A simple large sign reading: “If you need assistance with the machine please ask a voter assistant” would solve this problem. I believe Ms. Ramon and her staff’s job is to see that workers and those providing other assistance to the voting process, such as unlocking doors, are properly informed before hand. Clearly, your commentary indicates they were not. Your job should not be running around picking up the pieces after failure. It would go much farther toward insuring election integrity, were you to advocate for banning politiqueras from polling places, requiring the public to rely on trustworthy poll workers for assistance and proving to the county judge that, to do your job properly, you need additional staff.

Finally, you, not every city and school district in the Valley, should be assigning polling places and what measures and candidates are on the ballots at each location. They should be consistent, accessible and adequate for the number of expected voters. Only in that way can the county efficiently plan for staff and equipment and the location needed for each election. It is my opinion we need to spend money for a better run election system rather than a new Hidalgo County Courthouse.

Ned Sheats, Mission

‘New slate’ for Sharyland ISD elections

The Sharyland ISD board of trustees were selected to be our leaders. Raising district taxes must come to a stop. We, property owners, are tired of it. Taxes here are out of sight; spurning property investments. I have not been able to sell my district property as the first thing an investor looks at is the tax structure of the area. There are dozens of properties for sale in Sharyland right now. We need leaders, not followers, to run our schools and a new slate is needed. Enough is enough. Let’s be leaders not followers in the next election.

Fred Rivera, Plainview