WESLACO, Texas – Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez has given a glowing report on Andrew Canon, the departing executive director of the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization.
In his capacity as a member of the RGVMPO’s transportation policy board, Hernandez said Canon is the most ethical public servants he has worked with.
After 19 years working for Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization and then RGVMPO, Canon is starting a new position as director of international trade, freight and corridor planning at the Texas Department of Transportation. He will be based in Austin, Texas.
Hernandez was the first chairman of RGVMPO. He played a key role in the merger of Hidalgo County MPO, Brownsville MPO, and Harlingen-San Benito MPO.
Hernandez made his remarks about Canon at the October meeting of the transportation policy board. It was the last one Canon would attend as the RGVMPO’s executive director.
Hernandez said: “Andrew, I have worked with you for almost a decade. We started off at the Hidalgo County MPO and there’s no secret I could not stand him because he’s a stickler for rules. And he continues to be that way. But that attitude has really served Hidalgo County MPO and now the Rio Grande Valley MPO. It really has. And over the years I can say, without a doubt in my mind, you’ve been the most ethical person I’ve ever known and worked with.”
Hernandez said Canon has produced “diligent work” for the Rio Grande Valley, “despite all the officials, including myself, breathing down your throat trying to get what we want, because that’s what we’re elected to do, but not really understanding the bigger picture which you always carry the flag for.”
Hernandez said Canon “always made sure” that Pharr and other communities got their fair share of transportation funding.
“I just want to personally thank you on behalf to the RGVMPO but also the City Pharr for always putting the Valley first. Always doing it. Always protecting your employees, because that’s what a good leader does. You empower people to do their best and that is what you did,” Hernandez said.
“I will always be grateful for your time here. I wish you the best. I know you’re not going to Vegas, you’re probably going somewhere else. But despite that, I wish you the best and you will always have a friend here in the Rio Grande Valley, among others here. You can always count on me to be your friend because I’m truly grateful for your sacrifice. Thank you.”
Hernandez was joking when he said Canon might be going to Las Vegas.
In his remarks, Canon thanked the board of directors for their support.
“It’s just sort of bittersweet after almost 20 years to be leaving the Valley. It is seeing so much growth and so many things change and I’m just honored to have served with so many elected officials in my capacity,” Canon said.
“I still remember Ken Jones and Polo Palacios interviewing me for this job, when we used to meet at the TxDOT offices. We didn’t have any place to meet. So a lot has changed since then. And my first MEDC (McAllen Economic Development Corporation) meeting I had and they were like, well we want to talk about the Anzalduas Bridge. I was like, great, what is that? I didn’t have a clue.
“So a lot of dynamics. I’m fortunate I took the position that I took with TxDOT because it still keeps me engaged with border activities. And the opportunities to still come back down here and work with all of you who I find to be dynamic, instrumental individuals in the growth of the region. So I’m humbled by that.
“And I just I appreciate the support that I’ve gotten over the last almost 20 years. So thank you for allowing me to do this and be a part of it.”
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