A trail ride dedicated to President Trump and law enforcers narrowly received city council approval Monday to trot through El Campo streets on Patriots Day.
Council directed staff, however, to begin setting up guidelines for everything from security to clean up for whatever organization files the next request. For now, El Campo ordinances reference a parade permit issued by the police department, but no such document actually exists.
Donna Mikeska and Marie Powell brought the request to council.
Planned for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, the group will start on the West Loop in the Showplace 3 parking lot traveling east to the Hwy. 71 (Mechanic Street) intersection before turning south. Traveling down Hwy. 71 to the Monseratte intersection, the group then turns west ending at the Republican Party Headquarters.
The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Mikeska told Council, has held trail rides for the last 69 years.
“I think it’s time we had one in El Campo,” she said.
Organizers have already determined parking area, obtained flaggers and have taken clean up into consideration.
As part of the ride, she said, a set of Trump 2020 saddle bags will be delivered to the GOP headquarters.
“It’s an opportunity for a one of a kind event for El Campo,” Mikeska said, adding the number of riders isn’t clear yet. “We hope for a large crowd.”
Councilwoman Anisa Vasquez said she had concerns. “I do not have an issue with a trail ride. That it’s politically driven, that’s where I have an issue,” she said.
Vaquez suggested staff draft proposed regulations before any events were approved. “I’m more comfortable if we wait.”
The problem with that, Mayor Randy Collins said, is that council would not meet again until Monday, Sept. 14.
Councilwoman Gloria Harris said she had concerns too. “I’m not into a political trail ride. A black trail ride yes, a patriotic one,” she said.
The trail ride was approved 3-2 with Harris and Vasquez against. Mayor Pro Tem Philip Miller and Councilman John Hancock Jr. were absent from the session. A request for a quinceanera trail ride in the city limits came before council in January 2011 and was rejected by council in a 4-3 vote.
That ride hoped to travel from the El Campo Civic Center, 2350 N. Mechanic, to the Knights of Columbus Hall, on Armory Road, via Mechanic Street.
“It puts citizens at risk and trail riders too,” then Councilman Anthony Collins said during the 2011 session.