Kyle City Council held a public hearing Aug. 25 after widespread distaste emerged over the Aug. 18 decision to rename Rebel Drive to Fajita Drive.
Council ended up voting unanimously to direct city staff to establish the parameters to create a committee to reach out to Kyle citizens about a new name for the roadway. That process will be revisited at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting.
Council also voted to rescind the vote on the renaming, which effectively reverted Fajita Drive back to Rebel Drive.
Finally, council voted to set up an ordinance to rename Rebel Drive to RM 150, its other existing name, and then delayed the implementation of that action until the renaming committee could recommend a new name. That ordinance will also appear at the Sept. 1 meeting.
Officials explained the purpose of the final motion was to keep the name Rebel Drive to address the postal concerns of the businesses and residences along that road until a new name is chosen.
Mayor Travis Mitchell kicked off the agenda item by saying that he believes council voted in good faith on Aug. 18 but that he realizes the matter should have been more broadly discussed with stakeholders in the community.
"It certainly was never lost on me that renaming Rebel Drive was polarizing," Mitchell said, adding he still believes the spirit of the decision was sound when paired with the city's vote to make Aug. 18 National Fajita Day. The proclamation was in honor of Juan Antonio “Sonny” Falcón, who is credited with popularizing the fajita by introducing it in 1969 in Kyle, according to city information.
"That said, I would have liked to have had a much more involved public process," Mitchell said.
He added that if he had the action to do over, he also would not have pre-ordered street signs prior to council's official vote.
District 3 Council Member Robert Rizo also publicly apologized to the community for what he characterized as too enthusiastically pursuing the name Fajita Drive.
"I guess my excitement just got the better of me, and I'm sorry," Rizo said in an address whose tone of contrition was echoed by the five other council members.
During the public hearing, more than a dozen attendees both online and in person addressed officials.
A prominent point of concern for some citizens, especially business owners and residents who live on the roadway, has to do with the amount of work and the costs associated with a change of address. Some did not want the street renamed for varying reasons, including longstanding pride in the name Rebel Drive. Still others stated that Fajita Drive was a silly name.
Kyle resident Frank Molina said he believed the renaming was done with the best of intentions, but he still questioned why the road has to be renamed. He said he is on board with keeping the name RM 150.
Mayoral candidate Peter Parcher told the council that more public involvement should have been sought prior to making the decision.
"I appreciate your effort, and I think on this one, it just got a little ahead of everybody, including us, the public," Parcher said.