MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/ Fox 24)- A City Councilman, Mayor, and a third-generation business owner, native Midlander Jerry Morales is now saying goodbye to a title that meant so much.
“I wanted to be the Mayor of the people. I wanted the people to know that I was there for them, supported them, listened to them, and I’m very glad that we were in my opinion very transparent the communication the doors were always wide open.”
Elected in 2013 and taking over in 2014, Morales led Midland during one of the biggest oil booms and felt the growing pains of a quickly expanding City.
“When it was $100 barrel oil was incredibly a scary moment in the sense that this economy we knew was going to really flourish. Finding enough labor to keep up with all of this growth, fixing roads, picking up trash, fixing broken utilities, all of our labor just like any other industry was just the hardest part.”
Morales is most proud of his work to improve downtown, the parks, and the quality of life for those in Midland.
“We’re starting to see a 12 hour day, the restaurants the clubs so just downtown is one goal that I’m excited came to fruition. The parks now have soft pads, they’re safer, there’s more equipment to play on. We knew what our housing storage was back then and today we are seeing over 600 homes, 3,000 apartment units and the new water tower is going to give us 10,000 more water connections.”
Morales says he is ready for the next chapter in his life with some final words of advice for Mayor-Elect, Patrick Payton.
“If oil hits $70 it’s the new $100 barrel to me so you’re going to see just the same challenges: housing, roads, quality of place.”