Commissioner Carlos Leon was the keynote speaker for Harmony Science Academy’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony. “Never tell yourself no,” was the theme of the afternoon, as the commissioner empowered our youth and sent them off into a bright and promising future.
Harmony Science Academy - El Paso is a college-ready school that focuses on math, science, engineering and computer technologies. Harmony Science Academy has a reputation for their high quality education, and their 100 percent college acceptance rate.
On June 9th, during Commissioners Court, Commissioner Carlos Leon presented a resolution acknowledging the county's seven constables who agreed to adopt a county-wide unified policies and procedures manual. This marked the first time all precincts will operate under one document, benefitting the county, the constables, and especially the constituents.
Commissioner Leon began working with the constables in early 2013 in conjunction with members of the County Attorney's Office to develop the procedures which will help guide constables and their staff through the myriad of duties they perform on a daily basis, much like any municipal police department or sheriff's office across Texas.
Policies included Anti-Harassment, Reserve Deputies, Outside Employment, Internal Affairs, Use of Force, Arrest Procedures, Warrants, Bias-Based Profiling and Civil Process.
UTILITY AND SIDEWALK WORK
On Montwood Drive:
Contractors have finished back-filling around a box culvert from Trinidad to Honolulu. They have also poured the wall and top for the box culvert.
Box Culvert from Trinidad to Honolulu
Contractors have also installed an 8" sanitary sewer line and associated manholes at the intersection of Montwood and Windrock.
Workers finished installing a curb from Stoneway to Buckwood on both sides of the road.
Between Montwood and Stoneway the contractor finished installing a sidewalk on both sides of the road.
Posted detours remain in place along Montwood Drive between McRae and Yarbrough. Eastbound and westbound traffic will continue travelling in the lanes south of the median
*Information provided by City of El Paso Engineering and Construction Management
Commissioner Carlos Leon was present for the El Paso Behavioral Health System’s ribbon cutting on Wednesday, June 4, 2013. Precinct 1 is quickly expanding, and having a mental health facility on the east side will be highly beneficial for our constituents.
El Paso Behavioral Health-East specializes in adult mental health and adult chemical dependency. It also offers numerous programs exclusively for women, handling gender specific issues.
On May 30, 2014, Commissioner Leon welcomed another small business to the Precinct 1 community. Helping Hands Visiting Angels provides in-home care for seniors and adults with an array of needs. Their philosophy is to keep the people of the community engaged in life mentally, spirituality and physically.
Helping Hands Visiting Angels offer help to the homeless, battered women and people battling depression. Other services they provide are support for families of felons and people who suffer from addictions. They also offer services to help the elderly live their last years with dignity.
Later that morning, Commissioner Carlos Leon and Mayor Oscar Leeser welcomed the expansion of Sierra Providence East Medical Center. This center specializes in cardiovascular services, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care and physical rehabilitation.
Commissioner Carlos Leon held his community meeting this morning at Denny’s Restaurant on Montwood Drive. Guest speakers Irene Ramirez and Gilbert Andujo, Engineering and Construction from the City of El Paso, were present at the meeting to answer questions for our Precinct 1 constituents concerning the Montwood Drainage Project. Mr. Andujo stated that the completion of the project is still set for February of 2015.
Other topics on the Eastside Annex, Sportspark and Vanpool were discussed at the meeting as Commissioner Leon opened the floor for questions and concerns.
On Friday, May 23, 2014, Commissioner Carlos Leon was present for the grand opening of Menchies, the Vaswani’s newest location at The Fountains at Farah.
Commissoner Leon emphasized how small businesses like Menchies are a critical component to our local economy. Commissioner Leon also stressed the importance of bringing people, families and children together to gain a sense of community in our growing county.
The National Association of Letter Carriers are having their annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive this coming Saturday, May 10, 2014. Be part of this great cause by placing your non-perishable donations in a bag by your mailbox. All donations will be delivered to a local food bank that will feed those in need.
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Commissioner Carlos Leon held his community meeting at the Pebble Hills Regional Command Center. Guest speaker, Congressman Beto O’Rourke, cordially addressed matters on Veteran Affairs, the U.S-Mexican border and Ft. Bliss.
In regards to Veteran Affairs, Congressman O’Rourke spoke about the ongoing improvement on the veteran health care course of action. Some of these improvements included cutting back on wait time when it comes to the claim process and being able to see a doctor within a two week time period as expected by returning veterans. O’Rourke proceeded to state, “…support those who put themselves on the line for this country.”
On issues related to the U.S-Mexican border, Congressman O’Rourke emphasized how trade, job creation and city development often rely on international bridges. He continued to speak on the importance of having a good relationship between both countries.
Congressman O’Rourke also spoke on the significant growth Ft. Bliss is undergoing and the impact it currently has on El Paso at this time. Ft. Bliss currently holds 29,000 active duty soldiers and 70,000 family members. The congressman expressed how we have a moral purpose to support the military, putting Ft. Bliss first foot forward.
Commissioner Leon and Congressman O’Rourke vocalized how valuable community meetings are, elaborating on the importance of holding such meetings in order to gain knowledge on the opinions and expectations of our constituents. Immediately following the meeting, our precinct 1 constituents had the opportunity to bring up questions and concerns Congressman O’Rourke was able to touch light upon as he answered each question.
During the April 14, 2014 Commissioners Court session, Commissioner Leon presented a resolution declaring April 14, 2014 as UTEP Women’s Basketball Team Day. Head Coach Keitha Adams and Director of Athletics Bob Stull, along with other UTEP staff members graciously accepted the much deserved recognition made on this eventful occasion.
Under Coach Adams, the 2014 UTEP Women’s Basketball Program has become known as a state and national power with five 20-win seasons, three conference championships and three postseason tournament berths in the last eight years. The 2013-2014 Lady Miner’s team tied the school and Conference USA record with 29 earned victories. These Miner ladies have set several school records this season including points, rebounds, assists and steals.
This year’s UTEP Women’s Basketball team captured the hearts of many El Pasoans with an exhilarating WNIT championship game, bringing entire families, alumni and fans together. The UTEP Miner ladies sold out the Don Haskins Center for the first time in program history with 12, 222 UTEP fans filling the venue for the WNIT games against South Dakota State and Rutgers.
During the presentation, Coach Adams presented the county officials with a basketball signed by the 2013-2014 Lady Miners. Commissioner Leon also presented Coach Adams with a signed ball on behalf of the county officials. Director Stull and Coach Adams genuinely expressed some words over the success they have shared with these ladies, academically and on the court.
I am happy to announce that I have been appointed to serve on the Citizens Forum Board of the International Boundary and Water Commission. The board was established to open a dialogue between community members and interested parties regarding the concerns and needs between the USIBWC and the communities it serves.
With boundary and water issues among the top concerns for El Paso County, having a voice in the discussion of these critical issues will be a great benefit for the citizens of El Paso County. The fair apportionment of water from the Rio Grande is of vital importance to both El Paso County residents and to the agricultural community, which contributes millions of dollars to our local and regional economies and creates employment opportunities for thousands of county residents.
Looking forward, I am eager to work with USIBWC Commissioner Ed Drusina along with board members representing various entities and communities from throughout our region.
Below is the press release of the appointment from the IBWC.
International Boundary and Water Commission
United States Section
For immediate release
January 9, 2014
USIBWC APPOINTS RIO GRANDE CITIZENS FORUM BOARD; PUBLIC MEETING SET FOR JAN. 14 IN EL PASO
Commissioner Edward Drusina of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) has announced the appointment of 12 people to serve on the 2014-2015 Rio Grande Citizens Forum (RGCF) board. The purpose of the RGCF is to promote the exchange of information between the USIBWC and the community about Commission projects and related activities along the Rio Grande between Percha Dam, NM and Fort Quitman, TX.
Commissioner Drusina has appointed the following individuals, who will serve as volunteers for a two-year term:
- John Balliew, El Paso Water Utilities, El Paso, TX
- Daniel Chavez, Hudspeth County Conservation & Reclamation District No. 1, Fort Hancock, TX
- John Cornell, Doña Ana County Associated Sportsmen, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Hillsboro, NM
- Travis Johnson, attorney, El Paso, TX
- Conrad Keyes, Jr., Paso del Norte Watershed Council, Las Cruces, NM
- Carlos Leon, El Paso County Commissioner, El Paso, TX
- Zachary Libbin, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Las Cruces, NM
- Austin Marshall, University of Texas at El Paso, Professor of Civil Engineering, El Paso, TX
- Suleiman "Sal" Masoud, Del Rio Engineering, El Paso Association of Builders, El Paso, TX
- Dale Reinhardt, Mayor, Town of Clint, TX
- Gill Michael Sorg, Las Cruces City Council, Audubon Society, Las Cruces, NM (Olga Pedroza, Las Cruces City Council, as Alternate)
- Miguel Teran, El Paso County Water Improvement District #1, Rosedales Neighborhood Association, El Paso, TX
"We had an outstanding group of applicants this year," said Commissioner Drusina. "I know this board will do a great job in helping us with outreach to the community about the region's water issues."
The first meeting with the new board is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at USIBWC Headquarters, 4171 N. Mesa Street, Building C, El Paso, TX 79902 (see attached agenda). At the meeting, staff will give an overview of the Commission's history, mission, and projects followed by orientation for the new board. The meeting is open to the public.
The USIBWC established the Rio Grande Citizens Forum in 1999 to facilitate the exchange of information regarding USIBWC activities in the greater El Paso, TX-Las Cruces, NM region. It is designed to bring together community members, enabling the early and continued two-way flow of information, concerns, values, and needs between USIBWC and the general public, environmentalists, irrigation districts, municipalities, and others interested in the Rio Grande.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with two Fort Bliss Soldiers
SPC Tyler Rouse and SPC Joshua Martin who both founded and minister
“NO D.U.I. El Paso”(NDEP)
NDEP was founded in 2012. It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to drive clients
home safely, who feel they have had too much to drink.
The organization consists of teams of two volunteers. When called the two volunteers arrive at the establishment to assist the client. One volunteer drives the client home, in the client’s own vehicle. The other volunteer follows. Once they arrive safely at the client’s drop off location, he picks up the other volunteer.
I believe this program is a great alternative to using a cab or towing service.
NDEP can be reached at their toll free number:
I would like to wish all my fellow neighbors and residents of El Paso County a very safe and Happy Holiday!
Commissioner Leon is committed to making county government open to the public. One of the first concerns he addressed was county travel. When he took office, this information was not easily available.
In order to make it possible, he met with several department heads upon whom the responsibility would fall to make this information available. He wanted the public to know:
WHO WENT; WHERE DID THEY GO; FOR WHAT REASON; HOW MUCH DID THE TRIP COST; WHO PAID FOR THE TRIP?
After meeting with the County Auditor, Human Resources, Information Technology and the County Attorney, Leon put an item on the agenda for consideration. The item passed with unanimous support from the other commissioners. Starting in August of 2013, all travel would be made public online on the Travel Disclosure Report (TDR).
There are actually two parts to the TDR online. One report is for travel that is funded by the county. Once a county employee is approved for travel the information is immediately posted on the TDR page.
The other part of the TDR is for travel that is not funded by the county but is paid by a 3rd party. Many times county officials or employees are invited to share their expertise or to take part in educational presentations. The officials or employees are traveling in their capacity as a county representative so the public has a right to know what the travel was and by whom the trip was funded.
Pictured above is the county website homepage with the text box pointing to the link that quickly takes the viewer to the TDR page. To view the TDR, click here. Under reports, click on one of the links to see the report.
The TDR not only provides the public with valuable information, it also provides commissioners and department heads the status of travel. It is a quick and easy tool to manage county travel expenses.
Last month Commissioner Leon participated in the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony for “MY TIME FITNESS” gym.
This success story is the culmination of a public/private collaboration between John Ball, the owner, and the Southwest Texas Border Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a program of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBDC is the largest management and technical assistance program for small business development in the U.S.
Commissioner Leon attended the ceremony to show his support for this very special public/private collaboration. The agency has contributed greatly to the expansion of commerce and jobs in his precinct. Over the past two years, the SBDC has provided services to almost 900 businesses in Precinct One.
During his tour of the gym, Leon learned about the background of Mr. Ball. The new business owner is recently retired as a Command Sergeant Major from the Army. Ball trained soldiers in a variety of physical fitness regimens and has implemented the techniques of his training into the concept of his gym.
The SBDC assisted Mr. Ball with the set-up of some administrative manuals, the research for the opening of the day care at the gym, and with some aspects of his grand opening ceremony. The agency offers much more in services to aspiring and existing small business owners.
The following is part of what the SBDC provides as free services: business start-ups and planning, SBA Financing Programs, research and training. The agency also provides one to one confidential counseling in areas such as personal evaluation and management. There are also over 100 seminars provided on a variety of business topics designed to help small businesses.
Commissioner Leon strongly believes small businesses are the backbone of commerce in El Paso County. When small businesses succeed, money stays in El Paso and creates more commerce and jobs. He encourages existing and potential small business owners to contact the SBDC to take advantage of their services.
To visit the SBDC website, Click here.
To visit “MY TIME FITNESS”, Click Here.
Commissioner Carlos Leon and his wife Bonnie were honored to participate in the 2013 First Light Federal Credit Union Sun Carnival Parade. The crowd of people along the parade route on Montana Street was estimated to exceed 300,000. While somewhat cool in the morning, the temperature was perfect for the rest of the day.
This edition of the parade was the 77th parade since its inception. The first parades were held on January 1st in conjunction with the Sun Carnival ending with the Sun Bowl Football Game. Eventually, the day of the parade was changed to Thanksgiving Day.
Recently, the parade was ranked by AOL Travel in the top five nationally of Thanksgiving Day parades.
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