Mayor Barry Patel sent a message to the Paul Y. Cunningham Jr. family, asking for its permission to rename the South Padre Island city hall after its patriarch.

Cunningham could share stories about riding over to the Island and much, much more. He had stories about the planning of the Island and stories of when he defended the Island from being annexed to Port Isabel.

This week the Island will rename city hall after Cunningham for the leadership and guidance he provided to the city’s growth. He went on to become the Island’s first and only city attorney until his death earlier this year.

“Mr. Cunningham has been an instrumental part of the city for more than 40 years,” said Susan Guthrie, SPI city manager. “This building will serve as a permanent tribute to his service to our community.”

The City of South Padre Island invites the public to the building dedication ceremony in honor of Cunningham’s dedication and contribution to the city. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at city hall, located at, 4601 Padre Blvd.

“It’s our small way of showing our appreciation for all the work he has done for the City of South Padre Island,” Patel said. “He was an outstanding city attorney, and had guided the city through many trials and tribulations through the years.”

Cunningham served as the city attorney from South Padre Island’s incorporation in 1973 to February 2017. Cunningham, 74, died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was first diagnosed in October 2016.

He served on the planning and zoning board prior to becoming the city attorney, a post he held for more than 40 years.

“He was a one-of-a-kind man and attorney,” said Bob Pinkerton, former SPI mayor, in an earlier interview. “I served 22 years with him on the council.”

Pinkerton said there was no one better to help guide the city leaders.

“He knew how to put issues and problems into perspective,” Pinkerton said. “He’s going to be missed by many.”

By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer