SOCORRO, Texas - Socorro city representatives took to the streets Wednesday and replaced a subdivision's road signs, which once bore the names of ousted City Council members.
The 67-home neighborhood, previously known as Las Margaritas, will now go by Jardin de Flores. Council on Wednesday removed 15 street signs, including those named for Jesus Gandara Jr. and Guillermo Madrid Jr., who were dethroned earlier this year after trying to illegally extend their terms in office.
"You had to have known the previous City Council," said City Rep. Maria Reyes about her predecessors, who named the streets after themselves. "They had a lot of self-serving agendas, and this was one of them."
In an effort to turn over a new leaf, the city named the roads after flowers, like Flor Liatris Drive, Flor Prunus Lane and Flor Azucena Drive.
Prior to donning controversial namesakes, the streets were originally going to be named for servicemen. But for street-sign technician and U.S. Army veteran Johnny Garcia, removing the signs was more ironic than vindicating.
"They tell me to put something up, I put it up," he said.
The residents weren't formally notified of the changes until Wednesday afternoon. Jacqueline Castañeda learned Tati Santiesteban Drive would become Flor Azucena Drive from a neighbor.
"My biggest concern is changing all the utility bills and credit cards," Castañeda said. "With the new address, we don't even know where to start."
The city had to wait to get approval from the county before changing the names or notifying residents, Reyes said. The county approved the plans last week.
"It's a positive change," said City Rep. Rene Rodriguez. "The residents of Socorro should be happy this day. This is one prime example of what we were trying to accomplish when we said we're going to change."