Hearne city council tables street renaming

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Though last on the agenda, the idea to rename Alamo / Brazos Streets to Martin Luther King, Jr. street met with the most enthusiasm at Tuesday night’s Hearne City Council meeting. While many appeared in council chambers in support of the proposed renaming, jus as many showed to oppose. At the direction of City Manager Pee Wee Drake, community members that proposed the renaming were instructed to gather names on a petition, specifically from those whose homes faced Alamo Street. Having more signatures than actual homes indicated that the city tax roll was used for property owners as well as residents. “Some were not home,” said Mrs. Darnell presented the argument for the renaming, “I knocked on doors and got the signatures that I could.”
During the discussion two letters were read in open council, expressing non-support for the renaming of Alamo Street. “Although Dr. King was a great civil rights leader and honoring his memory is a great thing to do, the fact remains that streets named after him too often are seen as streets where crime, poverty and urban neglect take place. I do not want to be known to live on a street where crime, poverty and urban neglect take place,” said Sherina MIles-Miller of Alamo Street in a letter presented to the city council.
“Only two people put it in writing,” said Mayor Ruban Gomez, “but others have come forward and spoke to me directly about this.”
One business owner suggested that another street within the city, perhaps with few residents would make a better M.L. King, Jr. Street. Both Hackberry and Sixth Street were suggested.
The house divided left the council in a quarry, not wanting to make an unpopular decision, the council voted to table the topic. “I move we table this discussion until Mrs. Darnell can hold a community meeting,” said Councilwoman Maxine Vaughn.  The vote passed unanimously.
Darnell thanked the council for their time and was heard to say that she would continue to fight for this positive change in Hearne.
Mayor Ruben Gomez, councilman Mike Werlinger and councilwoman Maxine Vaughn all took the oath of office on Tuesday. All three ran unopposed in what would have been the city election. That election was cancelled due to no opposition and the two city council members and mayor returned to their posts. A new Mayor Pro-Tem was named. Dr. Marc Catalina was named to the position. The Mayor Pro-Tem acts for the mayor in the mayor’s absence. The city council takes a round-robin approach to the Mayor Pro-Tem selection each year and up for the position was Larry Welch. Welch was not in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting and expressed to the Mayor that he would not want the position. Passing on the honorary position next in line was Dr. Catalina. The Vote then passed unanimously.
In economic development news, the old Lifetime Doors building is looking to reopen. ECMD, a Trim & Moulding Warehouse & Distribution center is looking at the location. The council voted to loan the company an incentive of $98,000,000.00 ($49,000 from 4A and $49,000 from 4B.)
ECMD began life in 1982 as a distributor of finely crafted millwork. Based in North Carolina, the company is looking to expand it’s operations to Hearne. ECMD is the holding company to several large distribution subsidiaries that span an 11 state coverage area.
The council approved the minutes from the previous meeting and approved to pay the bills.


Dennis Phillips / Publisher

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