No one should take pleasure when a government agency fails at its tasks, especially one that is designed to help low-income residents. But we should take pleasure when government leaders realize there are inefficiencies, restructure their agencies and reach out for help. Such is the case recently in Hidalgo County with the Community Service Agency, a county-run office that is supposed to distribute federal grant money to residents in need, but apparently one that has failed to properly administer $3.3 million in federal funds over three years that were supposed to help pay indigent residents’ electricity and propane bills. Last month, Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia publicly admonished the agency’s longtime executive director, Maribel Navarro Saenz, for not distributing all available funds to the needy here.
GRANJENO – A new disaster-ready unit is in the Rio Grande Valley. The Hidalgo County Community Service Agency (“CSA”) helps families with utility assistance. Now, the agency is on standby to help Hurricane Harvey families. CSA officials activated their special response unit when Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal areas. CSA Executive Director Jaime Longoria explained they created this due to a local storm. In 2016, straight line winds between 85 to 105 miles per hour left the city of Granjeno in pieces. A year after the storm, the damages can still be seen in the community. As the city rebuilds, the winds left homeowner Jennifer Alvarez worried for the next disaster.