The Merchant Minute Episode 2

This post is by request of Helotes City Councilman Matthew Merchant, Place 5. 

I am writing the “Merchant Minute” to provide the community some feedback, insight, and some very general thoughts of mine. For this episode, I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences while observing and interacting with Helotes City Staff. I hope to continue this endeavor monthly. I appreciate all feedback, comments, or concerns.

It all starts at the top! To give credit where credit is due, the current Mayor and City of Helotes inherited a very good staff, handpicked by the previous Mayor, Mr. Tom Schoolcraft. Let me be the first to say, publicly, “Thank you, Sir.” The Helotes City Staff is “Top Notch”!!

I will provide some examples as to why I think these people are so good and worthy of your tax dollars and praise. The people who work for the city are the friendliest people you will ever meet. Every time I go into a city building, I am welcomed with a friendly smile and courteous greeting. Not to say that I didn’t expect that, but it happens – every time. It makes no difference which building I walk into – City Hall, Public Works, Dispatch Center, Police Station, or the Fire Station. This is what I appreciate. No matter what business I have with the city, the potential for a positive outcome all starts with a smile and friendly greeting, both of which can be counted on by our city staff.

The city currently employs 68 staff. They are directed by our City Administrator, Marian Mendoza. You can read her bio on the city web page. Please allow me to impress upon you how amazing she is! I am inspired by her knowledge, work ethic, dedication to our city, and her contagious smile. Since the most recent election in May, she has worked tirelessly (I won’t mention the number of hours she works but it is a lot!) to ensure our new Mayor gets up to speed on executive responsibilities to make Helotes run so smoothly (see Mayor Whitehead’s July message here. He talks about accomplishments: She is a dynamo who sets the example for the staff and is worth your time to meet with!

The City Secretary is Celina Perez. She is every bit as knowledgeable and dynamic as Ms. Mendoza and serves as the go-to for all things City Council. These two work in tandem to ensure that the City Council and Mayor have all the information they need to make informed decisions for the city. If you are interested in getting involved in city service, she has the answers! She is very responsive to the questions and needs of all citizens. Ms. Perez is very approachable with a friendly demeanor, excellent communication skills, and a contagious smile! And again, worth your time to meet with!

I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the fantastic Independence Day Celebration fireworks display on July 3rd at the Helotes Festival Grounds or MarketPlace in Old Town Helotes on the same day. These events were all made possible by a dedicated team of Helotes Employees. Many quiet professionals work tirelessly to ensure that we get to enjoy our city and the events within the city. They include, but certainly not limited to the office staff who handle the permit process for vendors at city events. The Public Works staff who are behind the scenes setting up and cleaning up the venues. The Firefighters and Paramedics who ensure fire and first aid support and the Police Officers who quietly watch and ensure public safety for all, and so many more!

Being that this is only supposed to take a minute to read, I cannot possibly mention all the people who work for Helotes and its citizens. Helotes is a great place to live and experience all that we have to offer because of the fine people who work for and support these events. If you get the opportunity to swing by City Hall, be sure to say “thank you!” The Helotes City Staff are absolutely, without a doubt worthy of your praise.

Matthew Merchant, Helotes City Council Place 5

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