McALLEN – Just like his previous four State of the City Addresses, the staff at MCN, the city's cable network prepared an introductory video to hype Mayor Jim Darling's entrance into the McAllen Convention Center.
In the video, Darling trained with police and fire fighters. He learned how to handle a perpetrator with the use of a deadly weapon. A last resort with the McAllen police department.
With the fire fighters he donned their signature 50-pound uniforms and repelled from a training tower.
As the video came to a conclusion the mayor was being hauled on a 6x6 all-terrain vehicle with the fire department's mascot. Providing comedic relief for the sold out event.
The mayor climbed a fire engine's ladder to the summit of the convention center as the video concluded. A rope from the roof above the main stage of the convention center drops, and Mayor Jim Darling descends to address the state of the city is safe and sound.
“Personally I have had people tell me 'you're from McAllen, it is not safe there,'” he said. “We need to send our message out.”
To those in attendance Darling gave them a command to go out and make sure to tell people McAllen and the border region is a safe place to live and work.
Not just people, corporations need to know that McAllen is safe and sound as well. Darling does not have an exact figure but he expects quite of bit of money that would go into investing in the region has been left on the table.
He notes UTRGV has done a great job recruiting people but it is a challenge for them too.
When people in Washington give out the rhetoric South Texas is not safe it hurts the region financially.
“It is almost the first thing people pop in their head because they don't come down here,” Darling said. “We have to send the message to people up North instead of waiting for them to come down here.”
As usual Darling gave way to a video as his favorite commissioners highlighted updates in their respected districts like the baseball park complex, a new park that will be home to a tree farm, the TTIC building that serves as a regional communications for law enforcement, new skate parks and the renovation of La Plaza Mall to name a few.
Darling admits 2017 was full of accomplishments and overall with internet sales retail has been down as a whole but in McAllen people were building retail locations.
“To me that says we have all weathered tough times before but we'll be ok,” he said.
The mayor knows traffic needs to improve within the city limits. East and west corridors need to be expanded and Darling knows it is a problem.
The grand entrance to the mayor's state of the city address always sets the theme for the upcoming year. McAllen is safe and sound. When the mayor asked if people believed they lived in a safe city the audience applauded.
“It is not a slogan, it is the truth,” Darling said. “Not only are we the safest cities in the state of Texas, we're one of the safest in the United States.”
Watch the full video from the City of McAllen here: