By Robert Halpern
Big Bend Sentinel
AUSTIN â€” Representatives from Presidio County, the city of Presidio, and the Presidio and Marfa schools met with several key state officials in Austin on Tuesday to advance their political initiatives and projects, including the expansion of the international bridge and going gently in the governorâ€™s agenda to bolster border security.
Tuesday was billed as West Texas Counties Day at the Capital, and Far West Texas state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, and his staff put together private meetings with Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Comptroller Glenn Hegar.
The delegation included Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara and Justice of the Peace David Beebe, and Presidio school board members Carlos Nieto and Aureliano Ramirez. Mayor John Ferguson, council member Phillip Aguilar, economic development Director Brad Newton, and Nieto represented the city of Presidio, while Superintendent Andrew Peters, Chief Financial Officer Victoria Sanchez, and trustees Mahala Guevara and Robert Halpern attended for Marfa ISD. In addition, Presidio businessman Jake Giesbrecht joined the group to advance the bridge expansion initiative.
Also in attendance were Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, Fort Davis ISD interim Superintendent Graydon Hicks III, and three Fort Davis High School seniors, Alexie Sanchez, Joseline Hernandez, and Madisen Chambers.
After a morningâ€™s worth of pleasantries and some pomp and circumstance – coffee, orange juice, fruit, and pastries in the well-appointed dining room behind the Senate chamber, the public acknowledgement of the group by official resolutions read in both the Senate and House, witnessing Gov. Greg Abbottâ€™s first state-of-the-state address, and lunch with Far West Texas state Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass — the Far West Texans group got down to business.