Mayor Jim Darling drops in to deliver State of the City address
By Bryan Ramos
peration Darling Drop was in full effect Tuesday as Mayor of McAllen, Jim Darling, made a grand entrance at the State of the City Address by rappelling down a rope to deliver his annual the annual speech inside the McAllen Convention Center.
While the entrances may come off as flashy, Darling said there is a method behind the madness.
“The entrances for the State of the City’s are a lot of fun, but like the last four, they’re there for a purpose,” he said. “They set the way for what we’d like to accomplish in the future. The purpose is the message and the message is carry forward each year. The first year, we rode in on a bike with the aim of making our city a healthier city. The second year, we ran in as ‘Rocky’ with the with the aim of building a better future for our kids, and in the third year, we marched in with our veterans with an aim of including all citizens in what is good in McAllen. I think we have made significant progress in all of those visions. Last year, we danced in with our public works employees with the aim of making citizens more responsible to their community.
“This year, our theme is ‘Safe and Sound’. How many people believe they live in a safe city?” Darling asked the crowd who responded by raising their hands. “But we have a problem. The rest of the state, and many in the United States don’t believe that. As a result, we have trouble recruiting business, retail, healthcare professionals, and even guest and event participants to our area.”
“Safe and Sound” is more than a slogan to Darling, who backed it up with numbers that have been trending in the right direction for what he calls the “safest city in Texas.”
“Here’s proof as to why we’re safe and sound: When compared to all major Texas cities, the city of McAllen has the lowest overall crime rate and is one of the safest cities in the United States,” he said. “By the way, Washington D.C. is 100 times more dangerous than McAllen statistically. At the end of 2017, the city of McAllen completed an 8th consecutive year of reduced crime. In fact in 2017, McAllen had the lowest crime rate this city has posted in 33 years.
The state of the city also covers information relating to the financial condition of the city and all the great things that happened in 2017. The full 2017 annual report is available on the city’s website.
Darling also listed a number of business and attractions that are on here or on their way to McAllen after a good 2017 including a new six-story Rio Bank, a baseball park, the Texas A&M satellite campus, a UTRGV Research Center and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.