January 5, 2022 420 PM
PRESIDIO — At Monday’s city council meeting, which marked the first of the year, Mayor Pro Tempore Irvin Olivas formally announced plans to step down from his post. Olivas became the mayor pro tempore — a council member who fills in for the mayor when the mayor can’t attend meetings — after Rogelio Zubia resigned from council in November 2021.
With Councilmember John Razo on the road, there wasn’t a sufficient quorum to formally accept Olivas’ resignation, but the city hopes to move ahead with selecting a new council member after the upcoming January 17 meeting. That process will involve placing an ad in the newspaper seeking applicants, whose fitness for the position will be discussed at a future public meeting. The council will then vote to fill the position on a temporary basis until May 2022. Applicants wishing to serve a full term will have to run for office.
The council recently undertook the same process to appoint Arian Velasquez-Ornelas, who also serves on the city’s tourism board, as Zubia’s replacement. Olivas said that Velasquez-Ornelas’ appointment was a big factor in his decision to step down. “I was thinking about it and struggling,” he said. “But knowing she was going to be a part of this, I probably got the best sleep I’ve had in awhile.”
Everyone present touted Olivas’ accomplishments on council, and Mayor John Ferguson also took a moment to recognize his achievements in the community as a personal trainer and owner of EditBody Fitness. “I do love serving the community,” Olivas explained. “I’m going to find a way to keep doing it.”
He said that spending more time with his family was a priority and a large reason why he is stepping away from his responsibilities as a council member. He has two daughters about to start high school and a son in seventh grade, and felt that the Monday night meetings cut into opportunities to spend time with them and attend games and practices. While he enjoyed his time on council, he recognized what a significant commitment it is. “You go in thinking, ‘They can do better, why aren’t they doing this?’ And then you come in and you realize they’re doing the best with what they’ve got.”
Monday night’s meeting was primarily a “housekeeping” meeting, easing into the year by getting smaller procedural measures out of the way for a larger, discussion-heavy meeting later in the month.
Council approved a number of bank accounts, including signatory privileges for the new council members, approval for an EMS billing company, and two accounts that fulfill requirements for grants aimed at tackling the city’s ongoing water system projects.
With another new member on the way, there’s a lot of change coming to Presidio City Council, but regular meeting attendees expressed optimism for the city’s future. Presidio Municipal Development District Executive Director Jeran Stephens took a moment to sing Arian Velasquez-Ornelas’s praises. “This town has a lot of strong women doing great things,” she said. “We don’t see that everywhere in Texas, not even in the big cities. So I think Presidio should be really proud.”