Some Alamo Caretakers Want Out

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Frank Heinz

    Some within a prominent women's legacy group that has cared for the Alamo for more than a century now want to turn the responsibility over to the state.

    Some within the Daughters of the Republic of Texas want the group to walk away from the San Antonio shrine to Texas independence, the San Antonio Express-News reported. That faction wants the group to turn its focus on its dream of a new headquarters-museum complex in Austin.

    "Some members are tired of operating the Alamo entirely (and) want to give it up and concentrate on DRT" and the museum project, the group's president general, Karen Thompson, wrote in an email to its 26-member board.

    The email went out just after the Legislature approved a bill that would put the Alamo under state control and have the group's Alamo activities subject to the supervision of the General Land Office. The bill awaits Gov. Rick Perry's action.

    Under the law, the state would take over the Alamo if it cannot agree to a new arrangement with the 7,000-member legacy group by Jan. 1 for the Alamo's management.

    Kathleen Carter of San Antonio, one of the Daughters, told the Express-News that she's "dumbfounded" that a faction of 20 to 30 members from cities outside San Antonio was seriously proposing walking away from the Alamo.

    "I'm appalled at the email. Certainly if the DRT feels that way, we can't function as (Alamo) custodians. To give up the Alamo is to give up everything we've worked for," she said.

    Meanwhile, Alamo staff are excited about the "level of professionalism that will come" with state management and the DRT remaining as caretakers, said state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who pushed for the bill's passage.

    In her email, Thompson said the group could urge Perry to veto the bill. Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said only that Perry "will thoughtfully review this bill in its final form and make a decision."

    The Texas attorney general's office has performed a yearlong investigation of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. In a statement to a state Senate committee April 12, the office reported such concerns as the group's slow response to an engineer's report on the Alamo's leaky roof, a "serious lack of transparency" in responding to questions about financial dealings, and possible misappropriation of state money.