Mayor, council members clash over how to honor historical family

Mayor Pat Hallisey and a couple members of League City City Council clashed June 8 over an agenda item related to renaming part a major road after a family significant to the city’s history. (Courtesy city of League City)
Mayor Pat Hallisey and a couple members of League City City Council clashed June 8 over an agenda item related to renaming part a major road after a family significant to the city’s history. (Courtesy city of League City)

Mayor Pat Hallisey and a couple members of League City City Council clashed June 8 over an agenda item related to renaming part a major road after a family significant to the city’s history. (Courtesy city of League City)

Mayor Pat Hallisey and a couple members of League City City Council clashed June 8 over an agenda item related to renaming part a major road after a family significant to the city’s history.

The agenda item proposed would have renamed Hobbs Road between Ervin Street and FM 517 to Winfield Road. The Winfields are a Black family who settled in League City 151 years ago and have been “forgotten,” Hallisey said.

“These folks have been forgotten for 151 years,” he said. “It’s a tragedy in this town.”

Before the meeting, a group of residents sent a letter to the city asking City Council to rename the portion of Hobbs to Winfield Road. Wanting to honor the family whose members still live in the city, Hallisey put the item on the agenda.

After Hallisey made a motion to rename the portion of Hobbs, Council Member Hank Dugie amended the motion to instead name a new road that will intersect with Hobbs to Winfield Road.


Hallisey became angry, telling Dugie and Council Member Larry Millican it is “embarrassing” how they do not want to support the name change.

“They deserve to be acknowledged in the same way that we acknowledge the Butlers and the rest of the founding families in this town,” Hallisey said.

Dugie eventually clarified that his amended motion would still honor the Winfields by naming a new road that has yet to be named to Winfield Road. He and Millican said this would be better than renaming part of Hobbs, which is a major road that has been and will be a staple in League City for years.

While Dugie explained his reasoning, Hallisey cut him off with bangs of his gavel.

“It’s just atrocious that you continue the racial garbage of not letting them in,” Hallisey said. “It’s not right.”

Again, Dugie clarified his amendment would still honor the Winfields.

“Nobody on the dais is saying not to give them a piece of history in League City,” Dugie said.

Hallisey pointed his finger at Dugie and said, “You’re going to find out who I am when you step out of a public deal. You’re an idiot.”

When given a chance to speak, Millican said he has a problem renaming a portion of a major road from a safety perspective. If an accident were to occur on Hobbs but part of it was named Winfield Road, this could lead to confusion, he said.

Millican said he still wants to honor the Winfields.

“There’s ample opportunity in the city to do that,” he said.

Dugie eventually apologized to Hallisey.

“I’m sorry if somehow I offended you, but I think we’re on the same page,” Dugie said.

The vote on Dugie’s amended motion passed 5-2 with Hallisey and Council Member Justin Hicks opposed. After, Council Member Andy Mann said there is reoccurring theme with some council members not ironing out details on agenda items before meetings, leading to amended motions.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

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