New Rio COG officers bring rural perspective to panel

EL PASO, FAR WEST TEXAS – The newly appointed officers of the Rio Grande Council of Governments board of directors bring a rural flavor to the panel for the coming year.

Brewster County Judge Eleazar Cano has been appointed as the new chair of the board, El Paso City Representative for District 2 Alexsandra “Alex” Annello is first vice president, and Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara is now the second vice president.

While Annello is an urban representative, she lived in Marfa for several years and was active in the community.

Cano replaces former El Paso County Commissioner Andrew Haggerty who was defeated by newly elected Commissioner Carl Robinson in the November elections.

Annello was formerly second vice president, and Guevara now replaces Annello.

The terms for all three board officers run through October of this year.

Cano most recently served as first vice president of the COG board is also newly appointed chair of the First Responders Committee.

The RioCOG, headquartered in El Paso, is a voluntary association comprised of local governments, school districts, and special political subdivision districts along the border in Presidio, Brewster, Jeff Davis, Hudspeth, Culberson, and El Paso counties in Texas and Doña Ana County in New Mexico. The group’s goal is to serve as a catalyst for this region in designing and identifying regional solutions that promote efficiency in public services and a higher quality of life for its citizens. It’s also a clearing house for state and federal grants, oversees the Area Agency on Aging, runs a regional solid waste initiative, and supports the Far West Texas Regional Water Planning Group.

Cano is a native of Alpine and recently began his second term as Brewster County Judge. Prior to running for office, Cano was a counselor at Sul Ross State University and also maintained a private practice. He also previously served as a member of the Alpine ISD Board of Trustees, as well as a member of other local non-profit boards and organizations.

Guevara is a Marfa native and U.S. Army veteran. A longtime justice of the peace, she recently was elected to her second term as county judge. Annello lived in Marfa for five years, 2009-2013, where she was an art teacher for the Marfa Studio of Arts SITES program, which brings art instruction to the students of Marfa ISD. She also helped curate art exhibits, events and installations.

After moving to El Paso, she earned a graphic arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2017 and is serving her first term as city representative.

After being sworn in as chair, Cano shared a few words with those in attendance at the RGCOG’s monthly board meeting: “I want to be an active chair and my office has an open door policy, so if there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate,” said Cano.

Daniel Hernandez of the Rio Grande Council of Governments contributed to this report.