A pro-gun rally planned for June 23 marks the first real political event of any kind in Santa Fe since the May 18 shooting at its high school. But the rally hasn’t drawn much concern or worry from local officials in the city.
Conservative group This is Texas Freedom Force is planning its “Carry for the Kids” event at Runge Park. The purpose of the event is to advocate for ways to arm more teachers in Texas schools, organizers said.
Various school board and city council members reached Wednesday said they hadn’t heard about the rally or weren’t concerned that its purpose would be ill-received by local residents.
“It appears to me that the city is supportive of the Second Amendment,” said Santa Fe City Councilman Joe Carothers on Wednesday.
Carothers said he only heard of the planned rally on Wednesday, and hadn’t heard of any locals who were concerned, or even interested, in the event.
Still, he didn’t expect negative reactions to the event, he said.
“I think that the Santa Fe response to the shooting stands in contrast to many other places where shootings happened,” Carothers said. Locals didn’t want “massive, pro-gun control rallies,” in the city, he said.
Councilman Corey Jannett said he “hadn’t heard a peep” about the event until reading about it in The Daily News.
Moving the state on gun-control legislation isn’t a top priority for the city council right now, Jannett said.
“Our main focus as far as the city is concerned is working on grants,” he said. “The city is trying to find ways to pay for a continuing resource center for shooting victims and the community.”
Santa Fe ISD school board trustee Patrick Kelly said school leaders have broached the topic of arming teachers.
“We’ve talked about everything,” Kelly said.
But officials haven’t made concrete decisions about what the school district would do, he said. The district is organizing a safety committee to discuss different security proposals. The deadline for the people to join the committee was Wednesday.
While most of the community events in Santa Fe since the shooting have focused on fundraising and healing, there are growing pushes of activism, Kelly said.
“I think a lot of people have come together and right now the confusion has switched to anger,” he said. “A lot of people want things done and they want them done now.”
Still, it was important for elected leaders to analyze and consider all their options before making security decisions, he said.
THE RACE IS ON
League City’s city council race isn’t until November, but one man has already thrown his hat in the ring.
Chad Tressler, an engineer at Houston-based government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, quietly filed an appointment of a campaign treasurer May 3. Last week, he launched his campaign’s Facebook page.
Tressler hasn’t even decided which seat he’s running for yet, but said that because he was committed to running, he felt compelled by state ethics laws to inform the city.
“The city secretary was a bit mystified when I showed up,” he said.
Tressler is interested in being a council member that can find “common ground” with other council members, he said. He expected taxes, drainage and traffic to be major campaign issues but also hoped to bring attention to water and water scarcity issues in the city.
“There’s nothing exciting about it,” he said, but it’s a major threat to League City’s future.
There is still much to determine about the Nov. 8 election. Candidates can’t officially file for a ballot spot until July 23.
League City Mayor Pat Hallisey already has said he intends to run again. Councilman Dan Becker is term-limited and cannot run. Councilmen Hank Dugie, Keith Gross and Nick Long can all file for re-election.
State Board of Education member David Bradley, who represents Galveston County, sparked controversy in April when he suggested a new course for high-schoolers be called “Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent,” rather than “Mexican-American studies.” This week, Bradley skipped an education board meeting where his proposal was discussed, because he didn’t want to miss work, he told the Texas Tribune. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber on U.S.-North Korea relations: “We must continue to keep our economic sanctions tight, reaffirm our security expectations and work with our allies to hold North Korea accountable.” ... Saturday is Election Day in Galveston for the runoff election in Galveston Council District 5 and for a Galveston College regent seat. As of Wednesday, 1,983 people had cast ballots early in those elections.