La Joya Mayor Billy Leo sits in his campaign camp May 15, 2011, at the La Joya polling location.
Commissioners recognize Billy Leo
for career in public office
Despite spending most of his adult life in public office, longtime La Joya Mayor Billy Leo says he never enjoyed the public spotlight.
always felt he
won office by "sheer luck" because he
hated public speaking and other political necessities.
But after making the transition to private life last year, he
said it was nice to get one last round of applause.
"I've never liked the spotlight," Leo
said Tuesday after Hidalgo County commissioners recognized him for more than 40 years of public service.
Leo, who served as a mayor and school board member in his hometown as well as Hidalgo County clerk, was given a proclamation from county commissioners praising his years in elected office.
Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said Leo did "a tremendous job of filling the shoes" left by his father, Leo J. Leo, who had his own stint as mayor from 1965 to 1979 and was a lifelong leader in the area.
, who was first elected mayor in the 1980s, won the seat again in 1999 and spent another decade in office.
Alejo Salinas, a former La Joya superintendent, said Leo emphasized that elected officials are "servants to the people who depend on us."
had to "slow down" since suffering a stroke last year that limits his
, who told supporters he's
looking forward to traveling in retirement, joked that he
planned to stay involved by forming a government watchdog group to rival the red-shirted OWLS, or Objective Watchers of the Legal System.
Once in a while, I get excited and think I'm Tarzan," Leo