UPDATE: Letter From Mayor Shetter to MsPlacedDemocrat 4/3/09
FROM: Mayor Ken Shetter, City of Burleson
RE: Burleson Tea Party
SUBJ: City of Burleson is Not Shutting Down Tea Party
The City of Burleson is NOT TRYING TO STOP THE APRIL 15 TEA PARTY.
Members of the Burleson Tea Party group have contacted the City of Burleson wanting permission to conduct a demonstration in an area near the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard (State Highway 174) and Hidden Creek Parkway. The area is across the street from the location of the Burleson Super Wal-Mart, and adjacent to a residential area. The area where the demonstration has been planned includes right of way for the state highway, municipal right of way, and a city street. The organizer said the event is expected to draw between 300 and 500 people to participate in the demonstration.
From the beginning the city has made it clear that no city permit is required for the gathering. This being said, the city has also made it clear that there are a number of safety related concerns that need to be addressed at the originally proposed location. It is one of the busiest street intersections in the city. The posted speed limit on Wilshire/SH 174 is 50 mph. It is a 4-lane highway with a center turn lane. It is a heavily travelled highway, particularly during the hours of the planned demonstration (3-7 pm) when school is dismissing and evening going home drive-time traffic is at its peak. The original request also included the barricading of four residential streets to keep group members from parking in the neighborhoods. The city’s main concerns are safety of the demonstrators and other pedestrians, traffic safety, and the ability for fire trucks to get in and out of the residential streets and hook up to fire hydrants. In speaking with representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation, it is clear that TxDOT and the city share the safety concerns.
The city has a special events committee that reviews requests for street closures (for example, neighborhood block parties, festivals). That committee met Thursday to review the request. Due to the topography of the area and the design of the highway, the number of anticipated participants in the demonstration, and the other safety concerns the special events committee has suggested that an alternative site be considered. In fact, in an attempt to accommodate the group, City Hall, site of many community festivals, was offered as an alternative site. Nevertheless, although the site originally proposed for the demonstration presented numerous safety concerns, the committee was willing to take steps to accommodate the event if certain steps could be taken by the organizers of the event to assure safety for everyone involved.
At the time the attached news release from the city was issued this morning, we had not heard back from the organizers of the event. We since have had several discussions with the organizers and it is our understanding that an alternative site has indeed been secured. You can contact the organizers of the event for the final location.
There are a few things that need to be made clear. First, Rey Gonzales, one of the members of the city’s special events committee, is a good man and dedicated public servant that works very hard every day to make our city a great place to live. He is not trying to stop the tea party, and from my understanding has worked hard to accomodate the organizers. Second, our city functions with a Council-Manager form of government. As such, the mayor is not responsible for running the city on a day-to-day basis, and I have no authority to try to stop a function like the tea party. Third, a number of people have e-mailed nasty comments about our city and our city government–Burleson is a great place to live, work, learn and play. The members of our City Council and staff are concerned with one thing only–doing what’s right for our citizens. If you come to Burleson I think you will agree it’s a great place, and I hope you spend some time in some of our great stores and restaurants–you might want to check out our “Old Town” area.
By the way, I have read and studied our Constitution–I’ve even taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend it. I take that oath very seriously.
Mayor of Burleson, Texas
PATRIOT ALERT: BURLESON, TEXAS TEA PARTY CANCELLED?
I just saw this item over at MsPlacedDemocrat and tracked it back to FreedomWorks.org.
Time to jam the email boxes, phones and fax machines and let Mayor Kenneth Shetter of Burleson, Texas know that the Tax Day Tea Party WILL BE ALLOWED (oh please, I can’t believe I even have to type that – carry your copy of the Constitution as your official permit and proof of insurance), and ask that Mr. Gonzales (fascist-not-even-in-charge) must be fired or step down for not reading the Constitution and not being a true American.
BREAKING NEWS: The City of Burleson, Texas is trying to shut down a Tax Day Tea Party planned for April 15th!!
According to local organizers, unelected “street supervisor” Ray Gonzales, informed them that he was going to prevent the event from happening.
Mr. Gonzales told organizers that he is on a special events staff, which is under the city manager’s office in Burleson. Gonzales explained to one local organizer that the special events staff had decided this protest was “not in the public interest.” He is telling organizers that David Wynn, the city manager, is his boss, and could overturn this decision. For the record, the city manager’s office told local organizers that they do not need a permit to demonstrate in Burleson, and they are not saying that the organizers need one now.
I will post an update as soon as I get one from the local organizers, but I have been told that Mr. Gonzales is trying to get the Texas Department of Transportation to stop the tea party from happening.
Those who cherish liberty must stand with our friends in Burleson, Texas, and demand that the local government immediately drop all attempts to cancel the Burleson Tea Party.
Call and email them now!!!
Burleson Mayor Kenneth Shetter
Burleson City Manager David Wynn
firstname.lastname@example.org (817) 447-5400 x 234
Burleson City Council
I can tell you that the people will show up anyway, but we need to send a message to the city of Burleson, just like we did in Cape Coral, Florida.
April 15, 2009
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Across the street from Wal-Mart
951 SW Wilshire Blvd.
Burleson, Texas 76028 (email@example.com)