Back to School schedule conflict issue addressed at city council


Four local groups, all working towards the same goal, experienced scheduling conflicts that were addressed at the recent city council on July 14. The events in question involve back to school fund raising efforts scheduled to take place in August.

Representatives for the Main Street Board, the Divine Restoration Apostolic Ministries, Edwards Association, and the Eastside Baptist Church attended last Thursday’s meeting to address the schedule conflict, requesting the counciladdress a possible solution.

The events, inadvertently on the same day, specifically Saturday, August 6, creating the potential conflict. Tiffany Hutchinson-Padilla advised the council that the Main Street board had begun promoting the event prior to council approval of a set date for the event and had been informed to stop.

“Since I am new at this position, I didn't know if they could do that without the event being approved. So I asked them to please stop.” Hutchinson-Padilla said.

Main Street and Divine Restoration Apostolic Ministries discussed collaborating for the event, ultimately deciding that the goals envisioned different forms of distribution of the school supplies being donated. Main Street elected to provide all supplies gathered directly to Gonzales ISD for distribution, with Divine Ministries wanting the items to be given directly to students.

“I spoke with the other leaders with me on the collaboration.” Pastor Kimberly Miller, of Divine Restoration Apostolic Ministries, said “We all decided that was not our vision, because the supplies were not going to the children, not because what they're doing is not great.”

Miller commended Main Street’s plan for their back to school event, noting, however, it was not completely aligning with their vision.

Miller stated she had reached out to Main Street board members, without yet receiving a response, stating that she didn’t want Main Street to pull their event having not heard back about declining the collaboration.

Mayor Steve Sucher stated that he and the council want all parties to “here a solution”, with Councilwoman Ronda Miller noting that the city wants to get behind all parties involved in order to unite the community for a “very successful event.”

“We want to see that collaboration. And that unity and just work was all good and positive going first kids and for the kids.

Suggestions were offered regarding moving events to different days, with all parties explaining

Inability to move either locations or dates for the event. Main Street board could not change dates related to athlete volunteers having a scheduling conflict in a football scrimmage already planned, according to Hutchinson-Padilla.

Miller, on behalf of Divine Ministries, stated she can not move the date, however it would cause issues for those that have already volunteered to assist.

"The way I have it set up I have people sponsoring to set up a photo booth, I have people that are sponsoring to take pictures, they will have to alter their schedule" Miller added, with her emphasis being this would cause unnecessary difficulty for these providers on short notice.

Councilwoman Sherri Koepp stated the council will continue to support both events on for the same day, moving forward.

"I don't think there's any getting away from having both on the same date. But we are going to have to come together as a city and work together for the common good of these kids." Koepp stated.

The council approved the resolution to keep Main Street’s back to school bash on August 6th. The vote was 4-0.

Sucher ended the discussion by stating:

"(It’s a) tough situation. I'm open to suggestions on how this can be avoided in the future, not only with this kind of event, or any other kind of event. I'm available anytime anybody wants to come visit with me. And I welcome your input."

During the same city council meeting other business was approved from the agenda, namely:

--approve to authorize the city manager to adopt via resolution civil rights requirements for the Texas Department of Agriculture to Texas CDBG Downtown Revitalization Grant.

– approved the event application for funding to Come and Take It Committee for originally budgeted amount of $10,000 and $15,000 in additional funding and authorizing the city manager to negotiate and execute agreement with Chamber of Commerce.

--the council approved unanimously to authorize appointment to Golf Course Advisory Board.

--the council approved to reject all proposals for JB Wells Park Arena and Expo feasibility study.

--approved the rejection of all proposals of JB Wells Arena Expo professional marketing services

--ordinance # 2022-12: approve a budget amendment for fiscal year Oct. 1, 2021 and ending Sept 30, 2022; $757,919 in expenses and $591,342 in revenue with an ending general fund balance decrease of $166,577.98.

--Ordinance #2022-13: approved 3-1 vote to amend the official map of zoning property parcel #11782 at 624 Saint James Street from C-1 Light Commercial District to DMU Downtown Mixed Use District.

--ordinance #2022-14: approved to amend the official zoning map by zoning property parcel #11972 located at 305 Saint George Street from c-1 Light commercial District to DMU Downtown Mixed Use District.