San Marcos City Council postpones vote on resolution affirming city as welcoming place until federal lawsuit is resolved

The city council will return to consider the proclamation after the lawsuit is settled.(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
The city council will return to consider the proclamation after the lawsuit is settled.(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The city council will return to consider the proclamation after the lawsuit is settled.(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The San Marcos City Council voted Nov. 16 to table a resolution meant to affirm that the city of San Marcos is a welcoming community that does not tolerate hate, extremism and other issues.

Some council members expressed concerns that such a vote should not happen until after the outcome of a federal lawsuit alleging the city violated the federal Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 in its response to 911 calls from a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris 2020 campaign bus Oct. 30, 2020.

At that time, several supporters of Donald Trump used their vehicles to surround the bus driving north along I -35 in Hays County.

As reported in Community Impact Newspaper at that time, conflicting statements surfaced days later as to what department's responsibility it was, and the Hays County Sheriff's Office said it was a failure on the part of the San Marcos Police Department to respond.

Transcripts from the 911 calls were recently released as part of the lawsuit, alleging that the city’s police department failed to respond, causing a campaign event at Texas State University to be canceled.


The city issued a statement Nov. 2 on behalf of City Manager Bert Lumbreras that due to the pending lawsuit they will not comment publicly, and they deny the allegations.

The resolution would have revised a similar statement made by City Council in 2017 on behalf of the city, “affirming San Marcos is a welcoming city that respects the innate dignity of all people and will not tolerate hate, extremism and bigotry; [and] reaffirming the City Council’s support for the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Compact to combat hate, extremism, and bigotry,” according to the City Council agenda.

“Given the recent incidents of antisemitism and posters, et cetera, in our community, I thought the new council might want to review it and sign onto it,” Mayor Jane Hughson said. “I also thought it would be a good idea to have this ready for future incidents and not have to wait for the first council meeting to make a statement. I'm not necessarily asking the council to sign on; it's merely an offer for the council to be able to stand united against hate, extremism and bigotry.”

Council members provided a variety of responses that were skeptical of the intent of the proclamation.

“Why would we pass something that is seemingly just at face value? We're not actually going to do anything about our neighbors that are being targeted by this extremism,” Council Member Maxfield Baker said.

Baker mentioned that he would want to see the city vet police officers for violent or racist social media posts, for instance.

“I think we should postpone this until the outcome of the federal lawsuit alleging that the city violated the Klu Klux Klan Act, and until we can address other issues that impact the innate dignity of San Marcans,” Council Member Alyssa Garza said. “It's 2021 and people are exhausted and disillusioned by the government—[also known as] us. Performative actions cannot replace critical conversations that need to happen in a community,” she said.
By Eric Weilbacher

Editor, New Braunfels and San Marcos/Buda/Kyle

Eric joinedCommunity Impact Newspaper as an editor in July 2021, returning to journalism after several years in the New Braunfels business community. Prior to CI, Eric freelanced for multiple publications and was a reporter for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. He brings a passion for accurate, compelling story telling and human interest to his work.



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