Trump Train Takes on New Braunfels City Council over Appointment of Colette Nies to Housing Authority
Members of the New Braunfels Trump Train warned New Braunfels City Council members last week they plan to pack the council’s Feb. 22 meeting to protest the mayoral appointment of Colette Nies, a former candidate for Comal County Pct. 3 commissioner, to the New Braunfels Housing Authority board of commissioners.
Nies is in her fourth year of a Doctorate of Ministry program in Land, Food and Faith Formation. She earned a master’s of science degree in Social Work in Community Leadership from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, developed a graduate portfolio of Nonprofit Management from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT, earned a Master’s of Divinity degree in Ecological Theology and Care of the Dying from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and conducts policy analysis of systemic causes of poverty and food insecurity.
She said affordable housing was part of her platform during her 2020 race against incumbent County Commissioner Kevin Webb, who was reelected in November. Nies also has worked in government relations in the Texas house and senate on housing issues.
“I would be a good fit,” she said.
But the Trump Train and its supporters aren’t concerned about Nies’ credentials.
Those protesting her appointment to the housing authority at the Jan. 25 city council meeting questioned her character despite admonitions from City Attorney Valeria Acevedo that Robert’s Rules of Order, a parliamentary manual used to run all public meetings, restricted them to comments about the actual motion before the council, which was to delay Nies’ appointment until the board’s Feb. 22 meeting.
Her appointment was removed from the Consent Agenda after it was challenged by members of the Trump Train.
Nineteen years ago Nies was arrested for possession of a marijuana joint, a misdemeanor, and served a year’s probation. The Trump Train also objected to one of her messages on a social media post, which Nies said was taken out of context and used to barrage her campaign online last October, which was cyber-bullying month.
The attacks on her character started in June, Nies said.
Living Blue in Comal County
The Trump Train also believes Nies is an administrator on the liberal Living Blue in Comal County Facebook page (LBICC), which publicly challenges and question its activities, which include trying to run the ‘Biden Bus,’ which they believed was carrying Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris, off I-35 between San Antonio and San Marcos last October.
LBICC also posts maps and times of various Trump Train caravans through New Braunfels, relying on “moles” in the Trump Train as well as the group’s former Facebook page, Youtube channel and Parler account.
Nies vehemently denies she is responsible for the feud between LBICC and Trump Train founder Steve Ceh’s followers and has never been an administrator for the page, which shut down in January. LBICC now uses Twitter and Instagram exclusively to communicate with followers.
In an email to MyCanyonLake.com on Sunday, LBICC also rejected claims Nies is an administrator for any of its social media channels. Administrators also submitted a statement to this effect to the city council.
Ceh sees things differently.
“If it gets to this point, though, mayor, man, I strongly urge you to do your job and you have to vet these people that come in here because this is kind of funny how it’s Stalker Awareness Month when this girl is part of a group called Living Blue in Comal County who are a terrorist organization,” he said during public comments on the consent agenda.
Ceh asked the council members if they wanted him to “start with her criminal record or her Facebook posts.”
However, Nies already passed an extensive background check included in a Texas Department of Public Safety Report that was required to obtain her foster’s license through the State of Texas.
Over the last two years she has fostered her seven-week-old great-niece, who is now a toddler, Nies submitted to extensive background checks required to obtain a foster’s license through the state include providing three years of tax returns; FBI fingerprints and background checks; proof of life, home, health and car insurance; home studies; health inspections; disaster plans and more.
“It’s way more difficult than running for office or going to a board,” Nies said in an interview following the council’s Jan. 25 meeting. “The reality that I could get my foster license and yet continue to endure their accusations of being a criminal or a terrorist is absurd. City boards are a place where citizens can use their areas of interest and expertise for the betterment of our community. They are nonpartisan positions where leaders work together regardless of political or religious affiliation.”
We’ll Be Back
As the discussion about Nies’ appointment wound down, New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman asked Ceh to leave with the city council any background information about Nies that he considers relevant.
(City of New Braunfels did not respond to MyCanyonLake.com’s request to see materials submitted by Ceh for the council’s review.)
After it became clear the city council would not listen to further arguments, Ceh told Brockman the Trump Train plans to “replace” city council members it disagrees with.
Ceh supporter Shana Evans said it was unfair for the city council to delay comments on Nies despite continued reminders from Acevedo that their comments were out of line.
“You’re kind of sort of telling us, for lack of a better word, that we have to wait, and to me, that does not seem fair,” she said, “Nor does that seem appropriate or professional. In my opinion, we have people here that would like to discuss this issue that we’re here for this specific reason. And you’re basically saying that you don’t care, and to me, that’s not appropriate. We’re concerned citizens, too. And that’s why we’re here. So to brush us off is not right.”
Brockman denied the council was treating Trump Train supporters unfairly.
“I don’t think we’re trying to brush you off,” he said. “We’re trying to give the proper amount of time to be able to address the people’s concerns.”
“Then why not start with the people that are here?” Evans asked.
District 2 Council Member Justin Meadows said he appreciated her thoughts.
“We just got this today, and at this point, since the motion has been made, unless the motion is withdrawn, we cannot have that conversation under the law,” he said.
Another opponent to Nies’ appointment picked up where Evans left off.
A man whose first name was inaudible but last name is Davis said Ceh’s supporters are hard workers who don’t understand civics but are tired of “shady, behind-the-door stuff” that goes on at New Braunfels City Hall.
“You won’t let us speak about it, you don’t want to give us a chance to speak at all because we’re going to drag someone through the mud…that y’all should have done your due diligence and checked her background better,” he said.
“…I think it’s an outrage,” Davis said. “Y’all knew that we were coming here. Y’all knew we were going to make a fuss. We’re just going to come back and do it again. You’ve energized us even more to come back with a louder voice, with more people, you’re not going to have enough seats.”
Unconfirmed reports that Ceh is planning to run for New Braunfels mayor surfaced late last year after images of t-shirts emblazoned “Steve Ceh for Mayor”/”Ceh what?” appeared on social media.
Ceh and wife Randi Ceh also attracted attention on social media and on websites like Reddit earlier this month after they were photographed at former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 “Save “America Rally” at the Ellipse, a federally owned patch of land near the White House.
Although there is no proof they were part of the insurrectionist mob that overran the U.S. Capitol in the aftermath of the rally, Ceh and wife Randi posted a YouTube video that shows them standing on the building’s terrace. Jason Frank, co-founder of the New Braunfels Trump Train, also posted on Facebook a video of himself and several others holding up American flags stolen from the building.
The Brandt Companies, which employed Ceh as a boiler-mechanic field supervisor, confirmed to MyCanyonLake.com that he no longer works for the company.
A recent GoFundMe account intended to raise funds for the Ceh family was taken down and moved to a Christian fundraiser site called GiveSendGo.
At least several members of the Trump Train are active in the QAnon movement, which believes the federal government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals operating a child sex-trafficking ring.
MyCanyonLake.com reached out to Steve Ceh via text on a phone number used in the past to communicate with the family but was told he has not used that phone number in over six years.
Davis said the Trump Train is tired of being dragged through the mud.
“Everyone wants to make a bad picture about us and say we’re something we’re not,” he said. “Everyone knows 72-percent of Comal County knows who we are. We’re good people. And we want to be heard. And we want good people running our city but we need to make sure all of y’all are.
“…We will be here next time with a bigger voice.”