Visitors Concerned with Poorly Maintained Mission Cemetery

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MISSION – Families said they struggle every year to clean their loved ones' resting places at a Historic Mission cemetery. They heard from the city about their concerns.

The Solis family is taking on the tall grass, vines and mosquitoes around their family members’ graves.

"Why is one side not kept up with and the other side is?” said Sylvia Solis.

Solis comes to the San Jose Cemetery every year along with her family from Missouri and California.

Her mother remembers the two sons she lost during the 1950's. They set flowers on a clean grave on the south side of the cemetery.

They have to walk through the weeds and broken headstones to get to the north side. That's where her other son's grave is located.

"I miss him a lot. He was just a tiny little sweet baby,” said Solis.

The tall grass and weeds hide other graves in the cemetery.

"But respect should go to everybody, not just one side of the cemetery,” said Solis.

Solis wanted an answer from the city of Mission.

"My concern is why the unfairness exists year after year, after year. Why hasn't anything been done? Why one side and not the other side, when people have to pay for the plots,” said Solis.

The city of Mission Parks and Recreation Director Brad Bentsen disagreed.

"But no, we are not being partial to one side or the other.  And of course, the south side is a little bit more active there are burials going on out there all the time whereas the north side the one you're referring to there's really not much activity going on over there. We are not being partial to one side or the other because of an event coming up we'll pull from that side,” explained Bentsen.

Bentsen said the city crews are working on many projects and unexpected rain made it difficult for workers to keep up.

"It kind of hurts us. It put us behind. We had ideal moisture, we had ideal temperatures but some of our facilities, are high-end facilities we're even mowing them weekly trying to stay current,” said Solis.

Bentsen said city crews maintain the burial sites on a weekly basis.  He explained crews started already.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS checked back on the cemetery and saw crews cleaning up.

"They may be dead and gone but they are still inside our hearts,” said Solis.

Solis said she'll wait to see if it stays maintained.

Bentsen said the city just got funds to start a herbicide program and will focus on overgrown parts of the city including the historic San Jose Cemetery.


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