Renaming McNair Family Drive tabled again - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Renaming McNair Family Drive tabled again

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:29 pm

The Brownsville City Commission voted Tuesday to table for the second time an item that decides if McNair Family Drive will be renamed back to East Fronton Street.

According to Carlos Lastra, city engineer, there are about six signatures that appear on both the petition to keep the name as McNair Family Drive and the one to change the name back to East Fronton.

“On Monday we received a petition from Mr. McNair with signatures in favor of maintaining McNair Family Drive. Some of the signatures on there, about six signatures on there ... that are supporting the name change to Fronton and now they’re signing in favor of McNair,” Lastra said to the City Commission.

Mayor Trey Mendez said it was best to personally speak to those people and ask them their point of view before taking action on the item.

“I want to get this right and from the very beginning we haven’t been able to get it right. I know that it was difficult the first time because there wasn’t a policy in place and it was difficult for the commission because we rely on the city employees to kind of give us that representation ... If there is a discrepancy, I want to know that you speak to those people personally and we figure out really where they are,” he said. “I want to do the right thing and I want to make sure that everything is done properly.”

Mendez and Commissioner Jessica Tetreau asked City Attorney Rene De Coss to clarify the way votes are counted under the street renaming policy. De Coss said one owner equals one vote, even if they own multiple lots.

“I understand the situation where there’s an owner with multiple lots because the policy is written and says ‘owners of properties abutting the street’ and it is by owner not by property,” De Coss said. “I am fairly confident that that would be correct ... the correct interpretation.”

Juan Rene Hernandez, property owner on the street, said during the public hearing section that they have met all the guidelines to rename the street back to East Fronton Street and the only thing in question are the signatures of the people who voted on both petitions.

“As taxpayers and property owners we come before you to request that our historical street be changed back to its original name,” Hernandez said. “We are not here to question your guidelines or city policies ... but rather we are here because we’ve met all the requirements requested. You guys set up the requirements, 75 percent and we got all of that.”

Commissioner Rose Gowen said it would be good to investigate better ways on how the city can honor or memorialize families that have been meaningful to the city instead of adjusting a street name.

The decision to change the name from East Fronton Street to McNair Family Drive was made in May and an attempt by residents of the street to persuade the City Commission to reverse the change was unsuccessfully made in an Aug. 6 meeting.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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