Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) commissioners, at their regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8, heard from the organizer of June’s March for Equality, Aransas County Democratic Party Chair Pam Meyer, and Holly Francis, regarding the use of ACND property for last weekend’s Trump parade.
“I participated in the BLM event,” said Francis. “They (organizers) obtained all the required permits. They were told they had to pay a $300 fee (to use the festival grounds, so the location was changed to the site of the old city hall).
“The Trump (organizers) didn’t pay the fee. That is clearly a racial injustice.”
Ciji Medina, who organized the March for Equality, said her main issue is a Trump event was held on ACND property.
“The Harbor Master told me we weren’t allowed to hold any political event on ACND property,” she said.
Meyer said many people called who were “very upset” about the Trump event being held at the festival grounds.
“I just told them to stay away, and not respond to Facebook,” said Meyer.
She also noted there are Trump flags being flown in the harbor area, which she understands is against ACND policy.
“Many things that aren’t equal occur in the community,” she said. “It doesn’t encourage people to come here and spend money.”
Commissioners aren’t allowed to comment during this portion of the agenda, but Commissioner Tony Dominguez did so, before he was reminded commissioners can’t comment.
“There’s only one flag in America,” said Dominguez. “I’m a Mexican, but I don’t believe in flying the Mexican flag. If you don’t believe that, you don’t belong here.”
ACND Chairman Malcolm Dieckow did comment on the matter during his update at the end of the meeting.
“We didn’t authorize the lease of the festival grounds,” he said. “We were told it would be best to let them use it.
“It was our decision to allow the City of Rockport and the Rockport Police Department do what needed to be done (once it was determined the parade was going to happen and it was going to be much larger than the original staging site could reasonably handle).
“It is not our policy to support or not support a political party.”
Harbor Master Keith Barrett said the crowd was respectable, and picked up the trash.
After the meeting an ACND official said the (political) flags flown at the harbor are part of an actual business, which sells flags.