Breaking Ground

Isla Blanca groundbreaking marred by heckler

Special to the PRESS

What was supposed to be a celebratory occasion was momentarily interrupted by an inebriated, angry Winter Texan, as politicians, officials and Isla Blanca Park visitors gathered for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new amphitheater being built in the park.

After opening remarks by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr., and a welcome by County Commissioner Precinct 1 Sofia Benavides, South Padre Island Mayor Dennis Stahl took the podium. He had barely begun his speech when an elderly Winter Texan park resident, identified only as Monique from Austin, shouted out from the audience, “What about the Winter Texans?”

Stahl addressed the woman politely, telling her she was being disrespectful. She interrupted again, cursing and muttering belligerently, and was eventually escorted away by police. Stahl went on with his remarks, and the ceremony continued, but the disruption cast a pall over what was supposed to be a proud moment for those gathered.

At issue is the ongoing dispute regarding changes to the park’s reservation policy. Previously, repeat visitors were able to reserve the same RV space for the next year by making a deposit, but changes to the reservation system will no longer allow that to happen.

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