COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A concerned citizen prompted an unexpected change in what was considered to be an easy vote, during Thursday night’s College Station City Council Meeting.
The seven-member council was set to vote on a formal resolution, supporting State Representative John Raney’s (R-TX14) bill to ceremonially name a portion of Texas Avenue after Aggie Football great John David Crow and his wife Carolyn.
That was, until Mary Hirsch stood up. Her sole dissenting remarks at the meeting led the resolution to be tabled until mid April. It was a 6 to 1 decision, with only Mayor Karl Mooney voting to go forward in support of the bill.
In her first time speaking at a city council meeting, Hirsch expressed displeasure with the representative’s efforts to add a memorial to the road.
“Designating a name[d] memorial for such a prominent roadway should be done with the input and participation of the community,” Hirsch wrote in a prepared statement obtained by KAGS. “I am very troubled that a prominent family can simply call a representative and have their name attached to such a significant throughway.”
“The current procedure is that a legislator introduces legislation to dedicate a portion of a state highway to someone,” said Representative Raney in an interview with KAGS. “[Crow] Family members came to me and asked me to do that. I believed it was a good idea.”
Representative Raney’s office added that he has no ill will towards Hirsch and has received few complaints since filing HB 884, seeking to rename a portion of Texas Avenue between Villa Maria in Bryan and Krenek Tap Road in College Station after Crow. The plan would not change street signs, addresses, or mail, said Representative Raney. It merely asks for a marker at the end of the roadway honoring Crow.
Raney added he appreciates community input on all matters, but made a point to note that state highways, like Texas Avenue, are under the direction of the state.
“I would like to see a far more transparent process for assigning a memorial designation to Texas Avenue,” Hirsch added in her statement.
The City Council will now re-examine the matter on April 11, 2019.
John David Crow was the first Aggie to win the Heisman Trophy and went on to play in the NFL. He and his wife Carolyn were prominent figures in College Station, until their deaths in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Crow has a street near Kyle Field named in his honor.