The City of Kyle is reconsidering its decision to change the name of Rebel Drive to Fajita Drive.
Council members unanimously voted Tuesday on the name change for the 2-mile road that cuts through the city west of I-35. The decision was made as Kyle reexamines parts of the city that memorialize racist symbols. Last month, Hays High School similarly agreed to retire the rebel as its school mascot because of its association with the Confederacy.
But Kyle residents were quick to take to social media to say the city had missed the mark. Many thought it was a joke, and others were frustrated there wasn't more community outreach over the name change.
“The intention of the council was good,” Mayor Travis Mitchell said in a statement Thursday. “That said, the community has expressed more discomfort with the naming than we anticipated. As such, we will hold a public hearing on the item at the next council meeting and will decide what to do from there.”
Mitchell and other council members chose the name Fajita Drive to honor the late Juan Antonio “Sonny” Falcón. He was a long-time community member credited with introducing the first fajita at a Diez y Seis celebration in the 1960s. Council members also signed a proclamation this week declaring Aug. 18 an annual "Fajita Day" in the city.
“I think the City Council had the best interest at heart when it came to renaming this road,” longtime Kyle resident Abigal Silva said. “But I just think that this was a miss.”
More than 600 people have signed an online petition Silva started to have the decision reversed. She said it was “a stretch” to hope naming the road after a popular Tex-Mex dish would make residents think of Falcón.
“It's laughable. And I don't think that our culture is laughable,” said Silva, who is Hispanic. “Naming it after something that I think could be seen as something that's funny – I don't think that it does justice to our community or to our culture and any kind of diversity.”
Council members did consider naming the road Falcón Drive, but ultimately decided against it because the city already has a street with that name.
The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated Falcon Street had been named for Juan Antonio “Sonny” Falcón. It was not.
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