J. Joel Garza Jr, a Brownsville native, began his public service career with the City of San Benito more than a decade ago. Soon after, he was hired by the Harlingen-San Benito Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) as their GIS Specialist/Transportation Planner. And within a few years, the Harlingen-San Benito MPO Board of Directors appoint him to be their next Executive Director. In that role, he managed more than $50 Million in transportation projects and an annual operating budget of just under $600,000. Later he transitioned into municipal administration and was hired as the Special Projects Director under the City Manager’s Office for the City of Harlingen. As the SPD, he assisted with several economic developing projects, including the $6 Million Multimodal Transportation Terminal in Downtown Harlingen.
Currently, Mr. Garza is the Multimodal Transportation Director for the City of Brownsville, leading more than 90 city employees and managing an annual budget of $9.4 Million. The Multimodal Transportation (MMT) Department is a critical function of the City of Brownsville with its main division - Brownsville Metro. B-Metro is the City’s public transportation agency, providing more than 5,000 trips per day (Pre-COVID).
Mr. Garza has an undergrad from the University of Texas RGV and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration. He is a Certified Public Manager (CPM) through the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service at Texas State University. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Regional Transportation Advisory Panel and an Associate member of the Texas City Management Association.
Mr. Garza is married and has a son.