court house_jr_March 7, 2018

Hays County Historic Court House.

 

The Hays County Commissioners Court voted on a resolution in support of the preservation of the Dunbar Home Economics Building and the restoration of the Naomi Cephas Wade House during its July 13 meeting.

Both buildings are a part of San Marcos' Dunbar Historic District, a historically Black area in the city.

The Dunbar Home Economics Building is the only surviving property after a fire in 1986 that wiped out nearby buildings. It's also the only present-day African American school building in Hays County. The Naomi Cephas Wade House was facing demolition if not approved for restoration.

After the support demonstrated by Hays County citizens, calling the buildings historical and cultural treasures, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and the commissioners explained why it was important to stand behind the decision.

"I don't want to take this lightly," Becerra says. "I think this is a wonderful opportunity for us. I can just feel the court, as the chair of this body, I can feel the court is in support of it as well. So, it's a no-brainer for us."

The commissioners also voted to adopt a charter for the Hays County Citizens Advisory Commission on Redistricting. This charter will include seven members, each commissioners will appoint a member to the redistricting commission. They will also give input to the Commissioners Court and hold at least four community meetings.

A representative for the League of Women Voters Linda Calvert says she's concerned about the transparency of the charter.

"My only remark is that I still don't know enough about the layout of the charter," Calvert says. "It sounds good just hearing it on the first run, but I really do urge the nonpartisanship, the transparency and probably more meetings in public."

Becerra says that, although he wants the charter to keep certain information public, it will be at the discretion of the charter.

"It'll be up to the body that we just created to open it to the public. I encourage every meeting [to be] open to the public, but that will be up to them to decide," Becerra says.

The Hays County Commissioners Court has meetings every Tuesday at 9 a.m. Visit its website for more information.

Correction: Previous information from the brief involving the Hays County Commissioners Court "unanimously voting to approve the preservation of the Dunbar Home Economics Building and the restoration of the Naomi Cephas Wade House" and  the methods of choosing appointees to the Hays County Citizens Advisory Commission on Redistricting were incorrectly reported but are fixed as of July 16. We sincerely apologize for the error.

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