Socorro removes street signs named after controversial city leaders
Socorro, TX (KTSM) — The City of Socorro removed 22 street signs in Socorro Wednesday that were named after several former Socorro City Council members, including Jesse Gandara Jr. and Willie Madrid Jr., and instead named the streets after flowers.
The streets were in the former Las Margaritas subdivision, which is now named the Jardin de Flores, Spanish for Garden of Flowers.
Previous city council members, including Gandara and Madrid voted to name the streets after themselves. Residents called on the new council to change the street names following a judge's ruling in March, that the previous council was in office illegally, and also after Gandara's three different arrests.
City Representative Maria Reyes said removing the street signs is just another step in overcoming the embattled city's controversial past.
"All the controversy that they were enthralled in, them being declared unlawful, extending their terms, some indictments came down. All that is not what the City of Socorro needs," she said.
Socorro residents wanted the streets to be named after war veterans from Socorro. Juan Garcia, a 16-year veteran of the U.S. Army and National Guard said he is disappointed that veterans still aren't getting the honor they deserve.
They made a mistake by putting the names from the city council members instead of some veterans because I think the veterans deserve it more," said Garcia.
Socorro Councilman at Large Rene Rodriguez said the city wanted to move forward with the changes as soon as possible, but didn't have time to look at all of the veterans. He said the street names of future subdivisions will be named after veterans.
"I want to tell our veterans that you will have a place of your own. Just give us the opportunity and the time, and we will get it done," said Rodriguez, but added that developers have not approached Socorro leaders about a new development.
Residents who live on the streets that were changed will have to go to the post office to change their address, and will also have to contact all of their creditors to change their billing address.