Dove Springs Recreation Center could be renamed after Constable George Morales

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be named after current Travis County Constable George Morales III. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be named after current Travis County Constable George Morales III. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be named after current Travis County Constable George Morales III. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
George Morales III serves as Travis County Precinct 4 constable.
The Dove Springs Recreation Center, located at 5801 Ainez Drive, Austin, could be renamed after current Travis County Precinct 4 Constable George Morales III.

Morales—who said he was raised in Dove Springs and has been connected in the community for 45 years—has served as constable since 2016 and in 2018 received a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Public Service. Morales has also served as president of the Dove Springs Advisory Board for 10 years.

Dove Springs Advisory Board member Robert Kibbie submitted an application with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department board in October to rename the center the George Morales Dove Spring Recreation Center. Included in the application were letters of support from state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, and Austin ISD trustee Arati Singh.

“I have had the privilege of working alongside George for many years,” Rodriguez said in the letter. “He is a stalwart champion for the people of Dove Springs and I am honored to consider him a dear friend.”

The Austin Parks and Recreation board unanimously approved support of the change at a meeting Oct. 22, and the name change could be brought to Austin City Council for action in December.

“It’s an honor, to be honest with you,” Morales told Community Impact Newspaper about being considered. “It’s exciting.”

Kibbie, who also grew up in Dove Springs, said he was motivated to honor Morales for being the first elected Travis County constable from the Dove Springs area and for various volunteer efforts he has spearheaded in Dove Springs.

"We were always told we'd grow up to be in gangs, into drugs or dead," Kibbie told Community Impact Newspaper. "He's showing kids in the area they can be anything they want to be."

However, some former residents who served on the Dove Springs Advisory Board in the late '80s and early '90s to help create the neighborhood park—including Cristina Jesurun, Ofelia Zapata and Rosie Salinas—told Community Impact Newspaper they are against changing the facility’s name.

Jesurun said the Dove Springs neighborhood in the '80s did not have a park or field for local children to use, and the community did not have a unified identity. The Dove Springs Advisory Board was formed in part to advocate for the construction of a park, and according to Jesurun, the park was officially named in the '90s after a community initiative to allow local children to vote on a name.

The board decided to allow students to pick the name in an effort to “empower” the neighborhood children and allow them to take some ownership and connect with the then new park, Salinas said.

“That really empowered them that they were involved and not excluded from the process,” she said. “[The community] wasn’t unified until we all started getting involved with the park.”

Zapata said that the name change would undo hours of efforts former volunteers, community members and children who grew up in the 90s spent to establish the park and select a name for the facility.

“It’s nothing personal against [Morales]; I just don’t think the name should ever be changed,” she said. “What the board did [in the 90s] asking for the kids’ input was historic.”

Jesurun, Zapata and Salinas hosted a community meeting to discuss the name change Nov. 11 and have started a petition opposing the name change, which has received over 50 signatures as of Nov. 14.

Similarly, a petition to gather support for naming the park after Morales has received over 1,000 signatures in two weeks.

“Everybody has a right to their own opinion,” Morales said. “Everybody has a right to speak out.”
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing in 2017. Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio in Columbia


Byron Smith, left, and Tim Manson are planning to break ground on their new storage business called XSpace in late January. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Australian businessmen betting on success of innovative storage model in western Travis County

A primary difference between their model and more traditional storage models, they say, is the fact that their units are for sale and not for rent. But there are other differences.

The Microtel Inn and Suites is located in Southeast Austin, only a 4.5-mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
City Council eyes $6.8 million purchase of 71-room hotel in Southeast Austin for second homeless shelter conversion

The Microtel Inn and Suites is a 4.5 mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council supported an investigation into the department at a Dec. 5 meeting. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Austin City Council supports expansive investigation into police department culture and training, likely suspends one future cadet class

The move follows allegations that a former high-ranking officers regularly used racial slurs throughout his career with no recourse from department leaders.

Residents in District 10 look over proposed zoning map during a meeting in October. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council will hear thoughts from residents on comprehensive revision to land use rules at weekend hearing

City Council will take its first of three votes on the land development code revision Dec. 9.

A photo of the exterior of the Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer facility, taken from the parking lot.
Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer celebrates move to new facility

Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer has moved to a new location in Dripping Springs.

Sarah House, a Wells Fargo Securities senior economist and director, speaks at the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, held Dec. 5 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economic analyst: Austin economy still strong, but growth has tapered off heading into 2020

At the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, Sarah House of Wells Fargo said Austin faces challenges of affordability and a tight labor market.

Courtesy Fotolia
City Council wants to know whether some public drinking prohibitions are equitable

The city of Austin allows the public consumption of alcohol except in six designated areas.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in May addressed constituents in Bee Cave regarding the $23 million Bee Creek Sports Complex. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Longtime Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will not seek re-election following end of current term

Daugherty has served western Travis County for the last 14 years, with terms from 2002-2008 and 2013 to the present.

The 8,800 square-foot space includes a dining room, bar, outdoor patio and butcher room. (Courtesy Carve American Grille)
Carve American Grille opening in Southwest Austin's Lantana Place later this month

Carve American Grille will open in Southwest Austin in mid December

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City staff must be more transparent as city moves toward motel shelter strategy, Austin City Council says

Austin City Council is preparing to purchase another motel for conversion into a homeless shelter, but urged staff to be more transparent as motels are chosen.

A photo of a ribbon cutting in front of a tiny home.
Infinity Ranch brings tiny-home rentals to Dripping Springs

Infinity Ranch is offering bed and breakfast-style nightly rentals in the Hill Country.

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council will consider the delay, and an investigation into the department, at a Dec. 5 meeting. Courtesy Austin Police Department
Austin City Council authorizes APD investigation after assistant chief accused of racist and homophobic slurs

In a unanimous vote Dec. 5, Austin City Council directed city manager Spencer Cronk to initiate a widespread, independent investigation into the culture and practices of the Austin Police Department following an anonymous whistleblower complaint that an assistant chief had regularly used racist and homophobic language throughout his career at the department.

Back to top