Eighteen years and running, Planning and Zoning commissioner Fred Palacios will be recognized statewide for his role in the guided growth of Edinburg, according to officials with P&Z.

Palacios has been awarded Planning Commissioner of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), a national organization representing over 39,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues.

"He's very influential," said Juan Lopez, director of Edinburg P&Z. "Working with people and different groups, including businessmen and regular citizens, he understands the issues. He is a consensus builder."

Palacios will be awarded on Oct. 9 at the 2009 Conference of the Texas APA to held in Galveston. Edinburg Planning and Zoning nominated Palacios on the merit of his 18-plus years of work on the P&Z Board, according to Lopez.

Palacios said the most important thing about P&Z is making sure the city heads in the right direction by keeping residential, commercial and industrial growth in place

"It's a great experience being a boardmember, getting involved with the community…you know what the city is doing, you know where we're going," Palacios said. "I have been very lucky that I have had very good people working with me, and Edinburg especially with its great residents…I feel great."