City of Kyle creates committee to rename Rebel Drive but doesn’t have plan for Fajita Drive signs already ordered

Hays

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — From Rebel Drive to Fajita Drive to West RM 150—it’s a road in Kyle that’s still not quite named yet.

On Tuesday, city council created a committee to come up with suggestions after backlash to the name Fajita Drive.

“I love the City of Kyle. I love living here,” said Brenna Kadjar, who has lived in Kyle for 20 years.

She says one of the most surprising decisions she’s seen was back in August, when city council renamed Rebel Drive, which had confederate ties, to Fajita Drive, after the local fajita king.

“I just thought it was so presumptuous that they would do such a thing without community input,” Kadjar said.

Since then, city council members have expressed regret.

“I want to apologize to the residents of Kyle for getting out ahead of my skiis,” Mayor Travis Mitchell said during a special city council meeting Aug. 25, one week after naming the road Fajita Drive.

Council members have also renamed the road to RM 150 while the 15-member committee deliberates a new name.

But signs for Fajita Drive were ordered about a week before council voted on that choice.

“There’s an element for staff preparing for items that is kind of a ‘go with your gut’ kind of situation, and from the vantage point that I had, doing the best that I could without discussing with all of council, I felt like—I felt like the renaming of Fajita Drive was going to happen,” Mitchell said on Aug. 25.

An invoice received through a public information request indicates the purchase was close to $1,500.

An invoice from the City of Kyle shows the purchase of Fajita Drive road signs. The public works department says the order was placed on Aug. 12. The city council vote was on Aug. 18.

“It’s certainly not lost on me that had it to do over, the sign order would’ve happened after the council action,” Mitchell told the public at the August special meeting.

He also said the city would come up with a way to get that money back.

But when asked on Wednesday what will happen to the signs and how the city plans to recover that money, a city spokesperson replied “**n/a.”

The mayor also sent the following statement:

“City Council had expressed intent to move forward with name change and City Staff acted proactively to order signs when the decision was made. While the vote was made unanimously, it was ultimately reversed. This was a trying experience for us all, and many lessons were learned. We will do better next time.” 

Mayor Travis Mitchell

Kadjar says she appreciates the steps taken, so far, but that money needs to be accounted for.

“There would be plenty of people that would love to have Fajita Fiasco of 2020 sign, and they could either be auctioned by the city to go back into funds or they could be given to charities to auction off and raise funds,” she said. “I think there would be, in a humorous way, people that would like to do that.”

Here are the next steps to a new name for what’s formerly known as Rebel Drive:

  1. The city says staff have reached out to members of the new renaming committee to schedule their first meeting.
  2. Then, the committee will review the city charter requirements for renaming public areas and roads.
  3. The committee members will also decide a timeline for presenting their name recommendations to city council.

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