City to continuing following governor’s guidelines


Last week, Gonzales city council confirmed through the passing of multiple resolutions their commitment to reopening Gonzales while following the guidelines of Gov. Greg Abbott.

In a press conference in early May, Abbott announced that hair salons, gyms and pools will be allowed to open on May 18. The businesses will be required to follow certain rules as the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the regularly-scheduled council meeting, councilmembers voted to authorize city manager Tim Patek to determine if/when summer youth activities will be allowed as well as whether the city will open their swimming pool.

 “In talking with other towns around us, they have not made a decision yet [on opening pools],” Patek informed council. “Cuero and Luling are still waiting. If they open, they would probably open mid-to-late June or July.”

One concern city staff has, Patek mentioned, was lifeguards and their training. With current social distancing guidelines, it would be tough to safely train lifeguards for the city pool.

The city does have a Splash Pad they can open. An announcement will be made as soon as city staff determines a safe way to open both the pool and the pad.

At the time of the meeting, summer youth activities were still not approved by Gov. Abbott. Since then, Abbott gave a green light to camps opening beginning June 1. The resolution passed by council gives Patek the authority to determine whether or not summer youth would be available. The city has stayed in talks with Gonzales ISD. With summer school expected to take place online and not on campus, summer camps were placed on hold before Abbott’s announcement. Camp usually starts the first week of June and ends by July 4.

In other news:

  • Council approved the Star Spangled Spectacular fireworks display. An announcement will be made next week on how Main Street will run the fireworks, though a concert isn’t expected to take place due to the pandemic. “I would certainly love to have the concert,” Mayor Connie Kacir said at the meeting, “but if the motion is to include the concert, we have to uphold the governor’s orders and it would have to be subject to that approval.”
  • A request from First United Methodist Church (FUMC) to use Confederate Square for drive-in church services on May 31 and June 28 was approved by council. “I commend the church for thinking outside the box,” Mayor Kacir noted.
  • Council also showed support in hosting the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association finals at JB Wells from June 22-27, subject to the governor’s approval, which came days after council met. “We’re on record on supporting the event, so long as the governor gives criteria,” Mayor Kacir said at the meeting. It was noted that the high school rodeo was scheduled to happen in June in Abilene, albeit a modified version. The junior high rodeo event is expected to be modified as well, to stay consistent with the social distancing guidelines.
  • The Code of Ethics that passed in October 2019 made its way on the agenda for discussion. Councilman Gary Schroeder moved to push the agenda item to a future meeting, when public comment is open. But during discussion, Mayor Connie Kacir clarified that citizens were provided the opportunity during public comment on Oct. 10, 2019, when the current Code of Ethics was adopted. Mayor Kacir’s full statement on the Code of Ethics was provided to the Inquirer and is available down below:

Recently, questions have been presented regarding a Code of Ethics adopted by City Council in the Fall of 2019.  I am happy to provide the following clarifications and overview of this item.

City Council adopted a Code of Ethics October 10th,2019.  Gonzales citizens were provided the opportunity during Public Comment on this date to present their thoughts regarding this agenda item.  Following consideration and discussion, the City Council voted to adopt the item.

The City’s Code of Ethics Encourages:

Freedom of speech complying with the laws of the nation, the State of Texas and the City Charter. 

Freedom for all individuals to campaign for their political candidates of choice and participate in political campaigns according to fair campaign practices, election code and the city’s code of ethics. 

Fair, moral and ethical conduct working for the common good of the people to earn the public’s full confidence and trust.

The City’s Code of Ethics Discourages:

Abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other city officials, employees, volunteers and members of the public.

Any appearance of impropriety.

City board members and volunteers are guaranteed their rights of free expression and action that are fundamental to democratic government. The Code of Ethics requires a commitment to refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks on city officials, employees, volunteers and the public to reflect professionalism (Code of Ethics Sections 9.804 & 9.805) Thus, board members are not removed for expressing different opinions presented in a professional and respectful manner. 

City board members are volunteers who believe in working together with city officials to direct the city’s future and prosperity.  The city currently has approximately 73 volunteers appointed by City Council serving on city boards and commissions, of which 5 chose not to commit to a Code of Ethics.  On behalf of the City of Gonzales, we thank all our volunteers for their countless hours of work and support to improve our city.  We respect the decision of those who did not sign the Code of Ethics and we wish them well.

Be confident your City Council, city staff and city volunteers are all working united to continue moving our city forward.  I am available to you for questions or concerns at 830-263-0876.   If you are passionate about Gonzales and interested in serving your community as a member of a City of Gonzales Board or Commission, please contact Kristi Gilbert at 830-672-2851 or for an application.

Mayor Connie L. Kacir

Come and Take It!