DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — An online petition has been circulating hoping to change the name of the City of Dripping Springs to Pound Town, after one of the city’s founding families. However city officials say state law will not allow it.
- Online petition makes the rounds
- State law prohibits name change
- Comes from one of the city’s founding families
“By now, you’ve heard about the Pound Town initiative,” Mayor Todd Purcell said in a blog post. “What you may not have heard, is whether someone can actually get this on the ballot by submitting a petition to the city. The answer is no.”
Dripping Springs officials said the city is a general law city, not a home rule city. General law cities cannot hold elections based on citizen request.
“We received an inquiry about how to get an initiative on the ballot,” City Administrator Michelle Fischer said. “We have to follow the state statutes, which tell us what the city can and cannot do. It’s very different from a Home Rule City, that would have it’s own charter. Those types of cities are ones where generally a charter would allow citizens to have a petition on the ballot.”
Thirty-one-year-olds Daniel McCarthy and Micah Archer said they started thinking about the name change because the Founders Day Festival is coming up. The annual event celebrates the three founding families, which include Dr. Joseph and Sarah Pound.
“We’re having fun, and at the same time bringing awareness to the town’s history,” Archer said.
“Dripping Springs has had a major influx of people since we graduated high school 15 years ago,” McCarthy said. “It’s grown so much, it’s pretty unrecognizable to us. We hope that people really understand, that is it’s own town and it’s not just a bedroom community for Austin. It actually has all of its own history,”
The City of Dripping Springs and the Dr. Joseph Pound Historical Farmstead are not associated with the initiative.
“It’s not something that we would ever consider, changing the name of Dripping Springs,” Flescher said. “We were incorporated in 1981 and the city’s had that name since 1853.”
A post on the Dr. Joseph Pound Historical Farmstead Facebook page says,“Please understand that while we do not wish to appear humorless or unappreciative, this initiative was started without our knowledge or consent and creates some challenges for us.
McCarthy said there are innocuous ways to use the phrase and said they are not trying to be crude.
“If it spurs interest because of whatever meaning people want to put behind it, which it certainly has, that’s just all the more interest that we can get for some good causes,” he said.
Both McCarthy and Archer said they plan on reaching out to state legislators.