Preservation of the Alamo and the Alamo Complex
After the State of Texas purchased the remaining Alamo mission during the 29th Legislature of the State of Texas, the Governor delivered the custody and care of the now State owned Alamo property to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, DRT, to be maintained without charge to the State. The DRT would maintain or remodel, with approval by the Governor of Texas, provided that no changes or alterations made to the Alamo church, except as are absolutely necessary for its preservation. The Alamo would be kept in good order and repair by the DRT as a “sacred memorial to the heroes who immolated themselves upon that hallowed ground.”
2011 Legislation to Remove Custody to the GLO
The 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas, removed the stewardship of the Alamo to the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office due to the recommendations by the Texas Attorney General’s review of the DRT’s management. The statutes instructed the Commissioner to preserve, maintain, and restore the “Alamo complex and its contents and protection of the historical and architectural integrity of the exterior, interior, and grounds of the Alamo complex.” The DRT was to remain in an advisory role in the 2011 statutes.
2015 Commissioner’s “reimagine” the Alamo Master Plan
Forcing the DRT out of the Alamo completely, the current Commissioner initiated a master plan that would not include their century of stewardship. The plan to “reimagine” the Alamo would completely alter the historical and architectural integrity and would downplay the Battle of 1836. The $450 million dollar plan would continue to be worked out along with creating four non-profit organizations that would be used for planning, construction, maintenance, and every day operations. Only after the plan was approved by the City of San Antonio and additional funds allocated by the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas, that the public started to learn about the plan to alter the Alamo.
However, because of the controversy surrounding the “reimagine” plan, the current Commissioner changed the original plans and historical context to be more in line with making the historical focus on the Battle of 1836. But in a Senate Finance Committee review, the transparency of the four non-profit organizations came to question and the current Commissioner was reluctant to comply with their requests to protect the liability of the board members.
2018 Primary Election for Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
Because of the direction the current Commissioner has taken the Shrine of Texas and the neglect of the other responsibilities of the Texas General Land Office, three candidates have stepped up to run against the incumbent in the 2018 Texas Republican Primaries. All three candidates have a common goal to remove the current commissioner and his plan to “reimagine” the Alamo. But their plans for the future custodianship of the Alamo differ.
The Alamo is a huge responsibility and, albeit very important to Texans, it is only a small percentage of the total stewardships of the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office yet it has consumed the time the Commissioner should be focusing on such as the primary duty to the Permanent School Fund and recovery efforts to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Another issue with the Alamo being under the stewardship of the Commissioner is that it is being politicize which is very disappointing to all Texans, including myself.
Alamo Commission Request by the DRT in 1909
Realizing the magnitude and expense of the custodianship of the Shrine of Liberty back in 1909, the DRT made a resolution to request the 31st Legislature of the State of Texas to remove the DRT “from the custody and care of the entire Alamo property” and create a commission of “not less than five persons, to be… citizens of the State of Texas, appointed by the Governor of the State of Texas.” This was never implemented by Legislation.
Getting back to Preserving and Protecting the Alamo
Unlike my opponents, I am not going to throw a plan that has not been thoroughly reviewed by Texans that will be directly affected with changes to the Alamo and the Alamo Complex, including the Cenotaph. First, and foremost, the plan to “reimagine” the Alamo will be removed from the table. The 2011 statutes to preserve, maintain, and protect the Alamo will be followed. Second, will be to work with the DRT to get them back into their advisory role and bring their artifacts back to the Alamo. I will then work with Legislation to create an advisory board to review any plan to enhance, alter, or change the Alamo and Alamo complex consisting of members from the DRT, Alamo Defenders Descendants (direct lineage), Sons of the Republic of Texas, and a public member at large.
Since the buildings on the west side of the Alamo complex has been purchased by the State of Texas, a “world-class” museum can be built to house the Collin’s Alamo artifacts, as well as, the DRT artifacts and much more! This would be done with the consent of the above advisory board’s approval.
But in keeping with many Texan’s concern with this “reimagine” debacle, the Alamo and Cenotaph will not be altered or changed. “Leave the Alamo alone!”