Has lived in OG for 30 years

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

City Hall is currently facing a time of transition, as retiring City Administrator Ron Young is passing the reins to the new Administrator Rick Lopez.

Although a resident of Orange Grove for more than 30 years, Lopez is taking the opportunity this first week on the job to get accustomed to his new position.

He will take over officially at the end of the month.

"I've been a resident in the area for over 30 years, and I know the community very well. It's a nice community," Lopez said.

Originally born in Houston, Lopez's family moved first to Corpus Christi before settling in Orange Grove in the early 1970s.

A graduate of Orange Grove High School and Texas A&I University, with a degree in Business Administration, Lopez has worked as a property adviser for the City of Corpus Christi for more than five years.

He has also spent some of his professional life as an independent contractor, building homes and apartment complexes, as well as working for an engineering company, designing plats and surveys.

Through his experience in construction and surveying, Lopez built a reputation of solid management skills through his time as a private consultant in the construction industry, officials said.

"As the new city administrator, I hope to improve on what is already existing. I think to be able to do my job effectively, it takes a great deal of honesty, and also strict attention to detail when it comes to following the required ordinances," Lopez said. "Over the last 30 years, as a resident, I've seen a lot of the outlying areas beginning to develop. Hopefully, the city will continue to expand outward and we'll be able to attract new businesses to the area."

As for his personal life, Lopez, 43, is married to Maricela Lopez, who is a Human Resources Director for a company in the Lake Corpus Christi area.

They have two sons, one just starting college, and the other a senior at Orange Grove High School.

"They were pretty excited about my new position with the city. I've spent so many years commuting from Orange Grove to Corpus Christi. This is a great opportunity for me to be closer to home during the working day," Lopez said.

Since it is just his first week on the job, Lopez hasn't had much of an opportunity to work with the mayor or the city council, but he believes that they are all looking out for the best interests of the community, and for the further expansion and growth for the city in the future.