The Gonzales City Council met for a regular scheduled meeting Thursday, Nov. 9 at City Hall.
One of the main agenda items from Thursday meeting was regarding the license agreement with the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association (TJHRA) to host the rodeo finals in Gonzales for another five years.
Gonzales has hosted the TJHRA Finals for 17 years since 2005 and has attracted thousands of attendees from around the United States.
The council had discussed this agenda item before in the October meeting regarding what was in the contract.
Several supporters of the rodeo finals came to speak in the public comments before the vote; Gonzales resident Suzanne Gunn spoke the council with numbers of how the finals has impacted the local economy.
“An average week, compared to rodeo week, we do $35,000 more that week. Rodeo, when compared to our next biggest weekend which would be Come and Take It with $24,000 more just for that week,” Gunn said.
“So I just wanted to leave it at the members and let us sit on that. But we really hope that you'll bring them back. We enjoy them. They're a great group of people there … and we hope to see them five more years, if not more,” Gunn added.
Before a final vote, Councilman Lorenzo Hernandez wanted clarify what he said in the last meeting regarding the TJHRA finals license extension.
Hernandez said he wanted to look into contract of the TJHRA between the city and added someone took his words out of context that he was against the rodeo being in Gonzales.
“I just want for the record to correct that was not my intention at all. For whoever started it, I don't know. I just want to get it straight. I am in support of the rodeos being here and I will be moving on,” Hernandez said.
Councilwomen Ronda Miller defended Hernandez asking questions about the contract.
“It’s our duty to ask questions and make sure that we make good decisions. So, just because we ask questions, it doesn't mean we're opposed to something. But we're trying to learn and educate ourselves and make the best choices that we can. And we also have the duty to listen to our constituents,” Miller said.
The council voted unanimously, 5-0, to authorize City Manager Tim Crow to execute a license agreement with TJHRA.
Gonzales Mayor Steve Sucher asked Crow about a year-round economic analysis of JB Wells Arena.
“I really would like to see us close the loop on that conversation sooner rather than later so that we can be armed with accurate information for one thing and be able to … push back on some of the political rhetoric around whether or not the JB Wells Arena is a good thing for the community or not,” Sucher said.
In other business, council had presentations from both Alley Cat Allies and Kingdom Rescue Team. Both of them went over the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program; and Kingdom Rescue team addressed amendments to the term of the existing cat shelter agreement and recommendations for the TNR animal control ordinance.
The council approved the following agenda items:
– approved to authorize city manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with Kingdom Rescue Team to run the cat shelter formerly run by Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter (FOGAS).
– approved to move the Jan, 11, 2024 meeting to Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.
– approved casting votes for the Gonzales Central Appraisal District Board of Directors for the terms beginning Jan. 1, 2024 and ending Dec. 31, 2025.
– approved authorizing the city manager to execute an interlocal cooperative agreement and lease agreement between Victoria College and the City of Gonzales.
– approve authorizing the Gonzales Little League to construct a batting cage at Independence Park Little League Fields to be located on city property.
– approved authorizing the Gonzales Golf Association Inc. to move forward with the curbing project on city property located at the Gonzales Independence Golf Course with the total cost of the curbing project being incurred by the Gonzales Golf Association Inc.
– approved authorizing the City Manager to execute an Encroachment Agreement with Kirk Mahon.
– approved authorizing the City Manager to negotiate and execute an Interlocal Agreement with Texas Department of Public Safety-Driver License Division for the use of City property located at 415 St. Matthew.
Closed Session Item:
510 St. Paul Street:
– approved to authorize the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation executive director to execute a subordination agreement and the fundamental extension on the terms as discussed in their executive session.