On Wednesday, the San Marcos City Council considered a resolution expressing the City Council’s support for exploring a possible collaboration with the Indigenous Cultures Institute in establishing an Indigenous Cultures Center.
The council voted 5-2 to approve the resolution and explore the collaboration with council members Saul Gonzales and Mark Gleason voting against.
However, during the council’s 40-minute discussion on the item, several council members expressed mixed feelings on the proposed idea.
Gleason said he liked the idea of the center but noted that the city had organizations that had been asking for help in similar fashions that nothing has been done with.
According to Gleason, he has constituents reach out to him the last few days asking if the city was going to be looking for land for the center when there are residents who qualified for new homes under flood recovery and who are still looking for land to build new homes.
“We’re having a hard enough time finding land now as it is,” Gleason said. “And with the open space bond, one of the reasons I supported it was because we need parks and open space to save green space, to build a park on the east side…to protect us from flooding but also protect green space.”
Councilmember Maxfield Baker said he thinks finding ten acres for the institute was a small thing the city could do to right historical wrongs.
“I think our children and our future generations can definitely benefit from this as can our economy,” Councilmember Melissa Derrick added.
Derrick also noted that the institute is looking for greenspace or parkland property to dedicate as the center and wants to keep it greenspace or parkland.
Michael Cosentino, City Attorney, clarified that the resolution was written broadly on purpose to not make any specific commitments.
Mayor Jane Hughson said she would vote for it because the resolution specified exploring a collaboration with the institute and did not promise anything.
According to the agenda, the proposed multidisciplinary center will feature an exhibit, gallery, classroom spaces, outdoor gardens, ceremonial space, and performing arts capacity.
The facility is proposed to be a “signature icon of San Marcos” focusing on the 14,000-year-old history of the original indigenous people of the area.
The resolution associated with the item expresses the city’s support of the indigenous cultures institute to pursue funding through the Hays County Parks and Open Spaces bound process.
The Resolution also includes the City’s commitment to exploring available and feasible options to locate the proposed Center.