Council disputes appointment of Chapa to Kyle Ethics Commission

By Megan Wehring

KYLE — Opinions on who should serve on the Kyle Ethics Commission left some city council members conflicted Tuesday night.

Kyle City Council sang the praises of Mike Rubsam with a 7-0 vote yet nominee Rebecca Chapa only managed to swing a 4-3 vote after a heated discussion. Mayor Travis Mitchell, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Koch and council member Ashlee Bradshaw voted against Chapa.

Council member Yvonne Flores-Cale nominated Chapa for the ethics commission, noting her moral standards and situation management.

“Rebecca does an excellent job confronting situations with a cool mind and a soft heart,” Flores-Cale said. “She is the epitome of what an ethical person should look like. In addition to her amazing qualities, Rebecca’s active roles and deep roots in the community are a plus.”

Council member Michael Tobias highlighted Chapa’s involvement in the community.

“She is somebody who is really involved in the community including Hays CISD,” Tobias said. “I have seen her work with a lot of students and I applaud her for all of her hard work when it comes to that.”

Council member Dex Ellison agreed that Chapa has played a vital role in the community but that should not be the sole qualification of interest.

“Rebecca Chapa does display a community-minded citizen that we need regardless if it’s in agreement with my ideals or not,” Ellison said. “We have to think about what the ethics commission is charged with doing. It certainly isn’t about community involvement. It certainly isn’t about planning or parks or anything with the city.”

While some council members were in favor of the appointment, Mitchell said he believes that members on the ethics commission should be apolitical and Chapa is not a good fit.

“She has very much made herself known to the entire council,” Mitchell said. “She has made comments that were derogatory to individual council members and brought staff issues up in the past. I think the ethics committee, in particular, is supposed to be a group of citizens that do not have that reputation and image from this board.”

Bradshaw questioned appointing an individual to the ethics commission who may come across as biased.

“I would like to see somebody with a little less bias and somebody who is able to make an objective conclusion on the situations at hand,” Bradshaw said.

Flores-Cale said that while an individual may have an opposing opinion than city leaders, that doesn’t mean they should not serve on a commission.

“That does not make them unethical,” Flores-Cale said. “It is unethical in my book to sit back, watch injustice be done and say nothing … They have solid hearts and they have good backgrounds. They have never been seen as disloyal or dishonest.”

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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