July 4, 2019 618 PM
MARFA – C3 Presents will hold a second private meeting with county officials in Marfa on Tuesday, July 9 at the Fire Station to discuss public safety concerns. C3 Presents is a festival production company hoping to launch a 6,000-person event on a private ranch north of Marfa sometime in the coming years.
C3 and county officials faced public backlash for their previous private meeting, and citizens have voiced their concerns about safety, sanitation, capacity and more at every county meeting that has addressed C3-related subjects.
The Austin-based event company has requested relevant public safety officials attend next Tuesday. In response, Judge Cinderella Guevara has invited Sheriff Danny Dominguez, County Health Authority JP Schwartz, County Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) Gary Mitchke, the Texas Department of Emergency Management and Burt Lagarde of Marfa EMS. She’s also reached out to Jeff Davis Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Francell and Jeff Davis County Judge Kerith Sproul who hope to weigh in since the private ranchland is near the Jeff Davis county line. Fires have previously spread between Presidio and Fort Davis so those concerns weigh heavy.
Judge Guevara classified the meeting as “just for the key personnel, working out issues and concerns that we have from a standpoint of emergency management.” Four C3 employees plan to attend including Mike Diienno, the company’s Emergency Services Director. Diienno had been unable to attend the first private meeting––a disappointment highlighted by Mitchke after the protested C3 meeting.
Mitchke supports the second private meeting, but the Presidio County EMC previously stated that he told C3, “You have two things you need to address: you need to address all of our concerns as emergency responders, law enforcement, fire, EMS but once you get past that, you need to convince the public it’s okay.”
C3 has yet to set a meeting for the public. In the meantime, Judge Guevara met with the Citizens Advisory Committee to discuss their ideas for the mass gatherings application. The committee was formed by County Commissioners and is comprised of five Marfa citizens hoping to mitigate risks they see posed by the festival.
The county commissioners will meet this Wednesday, and the agenda will have a discussion item about the mass gatherings application. No action can be taken by commissioners at this meeting, rather, the elected officials will discuss options for the application and hear further public input.
Guevara said of the application, “There will be future meetings where we also just have discussion only. When we all feel like we’ve met every concern, every issue and that the application is fair and reasonable for anyone who wants to have a mass gathering or outdoor festival, then we’ll go ahead and put it on the agenda to actually adopt.”
Disclaimer: Editor-in-Chief Maisie Crow’s brother-in-law is employed by C3 Presents.