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Pharr Celebrates 2024 State of the City Address Themed: “IMPACT”


Pharr, Texas – The City of Pharr held its annual State of the City Address themed “IMPACT” on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at the Pharr Events Center.

The Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker was Dr. Milton Louis Gonzalez, a distinguished educator, TEDx presenter, and multi-talented professional, serving as a podcaster, life coach, psychotherapist, and an international motivational teacher affiliated with the esteemed John C. Maxwell team.

This year’s theme, “IMPACT,” highlighted Pharr’s incredible commitment and the great strides the city has made over the past few years to make a lasting impact of change for citizens and the community. 

“Sometimes, we may not see nor understand the Big picture, but each action we take is making a significant impact in contributing to making an improvement in the lives of our Pharr families, who we hold at the core of every decision we make,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. in his opening remarks. “Let us ask ourselves what is the impact we are making, and what is the legacy that we leave behind,” he added. 

Mayor Hernandez proudly announced that the state of the City of Pharr is meaningful, intentional, and making a significant impact on Pharr families and our future. 

He began his address by highlighting some of the major long-term, multi-year projects the city has taken on including transportation, the Pharr Bridge Expansion, Pharr Connect, drainage, Pharr EMS, the Baldrige Award, quality of life, educational partnerships, and workforce/business opportunities.   

While reflecting on and discussing the great strides of success the city had in 2023, Mayor Hernandez covered topics including international trade and commerce, the Pharr International Bridge, strategic partnerships, the Pharr EDC Foundation, transportation, financial growth, public safety initiatives, educational collaborations, advancements and partnerships in health, legislative efforts, transportation expansions, drainage improvements, city services, city events, and infrastructure developments.

Continuing tradition, Hernandez ended his address by awarding the “Mayor Leo “Polo” Palacios Service Award,” bestowed annually on an individual who embodies the spirit of the award’s namesake. This year’s recipient was Felix Chavez, Jr., the owner of Junior’s Supermarket, which has been in business in Pharr for over 43 years. 

Each year, the City of Pharr donates excess funds raised from the State of the City event funded by sponsor donations to nonprofit or community organizations that are working to improve conditions and the quality of life of families in Pharr and the surrounding areas. 

Mayor Hernandez presented two local nonprofit organizations each with a $5,000 donation. The Capable Kids Foundation and the Pharr American Legion Post #101 were recognized.

The event concluded with the final award—the Team Pharr Award, which was presented to the Office of Strategic Excellence (OSE) led by OSE Director Melanie Cano, a small, three-person team that works toward enhancing city operations and efficiency. Under its leadership, the City of Pharr earned the prestigious Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence.

Mayor Hernandez concluded his address by stating, ” It is up to us to do our part to leave the world a little better than we found it, to make an IMPACT with the gifts, talents, and opportunities which we have been blessed.” He added, “So, I leave you with this question – what is the IMPACT you are making today, and what is YOUR legacy that you’ll leave behind?”

Watch the 2024 State of the City: