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Ramon Segovia started work at 16 years old as a sports coordinator for the Palmview Boys and Girls Club.
Tuesday night, 15 years later, he was named city manager of Palmview, which has about 6,000 residents. Segovia graduated from Mission High School in 2000, but he makes it clear he’s from Palmview. His grandfather, Ramiro Vela, was one of the founders of the community and served as mayor.
“It’s more than a job for me. It’s a part of me, my family, my life,” Segovia said. “We’re a small city with a big heart. We’re growing. We’re trying the best we can.”
At one point during college, Segovia left the city for two years, but he came back after earning a finance degree at the University of Texas Pan American. At that time, Segovia had just lost his father to cancer and he wanted a steady job so he could be more involved with little brothers and sisters. He’s now taking classes to earn a master’s degree.
At first, former city manager Johnn Alaniz made Segovia an executive assistant, but he promoted him about six months later when the assistant city manager retired. At 26, Segovia was the assistant city manager.
Alaniz announced his resignation in April after serving 11 years, stating that he was stepping away to get more involved in the family’s healthcare business, and Segovia was named interim city manager. Alaniz also serves as a trustee on the La Joya Independent School District board. He spoke during public comment Tuesday, telling members of the city council they’re moving in the right direction.
“Back him up,” Alaniz said. “Don’t look at age; look at experience.”
After an executive session, the council approved Segovia’s appointment unanimously. He was given a one-year contract and said they are still negotiating pay.
Segovia said many of the city’s 48 employees have been there since he started as a 16-year-old kid.
“At first I thought the transition was going to be difficult in that they’d still see me as 16, and now I’m their boss,” Segovia said. “But it’s gone well. I’m learning as I go but trying to do my best for the city.”
Segovia has high hopes for the future of the city, especially after $31.5 million was announced this week for a sewer system.
“I think we’re on the verge of a boom,” he said. “We just got the sewer approved, and I think that’s going to lead to a growth in economic development.”
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.