Letters to the Editor
To San Marcos Daily Record:
A recent open records request was filed to raise public awareness about possible unethical conflict of interest, unacceptable practices, by-laws and possible financial improprieties within the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC.) The response received was less than transparent and too little too late.
On Jan. 5, the Hays County Commissioners Court proceeded to adopt a list of names recommended by the HCHC ad hoc committee. Commissioners Mark Jones (Pct. 2), Lon Shell (Pct. 3) and Walt Smith (Pct. 4) voted 3-2 prior to the open records request response. Barely returning from the holiday season also helped endorse the agenda.
Addressing systematic injustices that continue to neglect, disrespect and withhold historical accounts in attempts to erase history and culture of the Indigenous is a call out to hold commissioners accountable who voted to disassemble the Tejano History Committee. The five members denied membership were the HCHC’s Tejano History Committee members who had reapplied for another HCHC term. These members had works that proposed and promoted Texas historical markers for the Indigenous People, Villa at San Marcos de Neve and Juan Martin de Veramendi in public spaces such as the Hays County Courthouse grounds.
The misinterpretations and the misunderstanding converted the Tejano History Committee back to the Hispanic History Committee. Renewed membership of some who did not meet the minimum requirement of attendance and were unwilling to do the work of presenting and protecting Hays County history and heritage resulted in three commissioners resigning from the Tejano History Committee.
Hays County Court Commissioners swore an oath in front of God and everyone to manage and represent all citizens of Hays County. As an extension of our county government, so did the Hays County Historical Commission.
The specifics of the controversy are selection of applicants who acknowledge no historical experience, did not meet attendance criteria, rejecting new applicants with excellent credentials and possible financial contributions made to one or more county court commissioners. Are there conflicts of interest? Did Lon Shell after receiving a sizable political financial contribution from the HCHC chair’s husband last November have reason to accept the HCHC ad hoc committee recommendations that excluded the Tejano History Committee? Have any current or former HCHC members received funds from other HCHC members for services rendered, employment, or contract labor?
This is an opportunity to reset the relationship the county government has with the Indigenous and Tejano community. A positive change can only come about with accountability from our leadership.
Irma Gaitan, Former Chair
Tejano History Committee HCHC
Founding Member CITC
I understand politics, religion, and law, they all go hand in hand and are inseparable. In every nation and cultures, their people are supposed to be guided by social principles that are based on their religious beliefs and customs. Every nation serves a god of some kind or other. These people even build their houses and building structures in the design and pattern of their gods' habitat, palaces and kingdoms here on earth. In the absence of their gods' presence, these people even worship these structures as if they were the gods' themselves. America from its founding to its present day ... is no different from ancient pagan days. The evidence to this truth is all around us and how can you deny it? We are a mixed people like everyone else and how can we hide America's paganism now? And from the founding of Paganism, it has birth sodomites, prostitutes, liars, thieves, baby killers, child molesters, murderers, and more perversions. Are we going to sanitize History to fit right nicely with paganism now? Is lying okay now? Well, I strongly disagree with both American political parties paganism and remind everyone at religious and political levels in America that I didn't Serve in the U.S. Army Infantry, and do not Serve, nor care to save monuments, but to serve the U.S. Constitution and the God who inspired it! Thanks.
Ruben N. Gutierrez