2 council seats to be filled in November election

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
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GLEN ROSE — The two open seats on the Glen Rose City Council will be filled in a November election.

On Monday, the city council called a special meeting with the agenda items of appointing former councilman Johnny Martin — pending his acceptance — to fill the seat left open by councilwoman Julia Douglas, whose spot came open when she ran unopposed for mayor in the May 1 election; and to accept the resignation of councilman Dennis Moore.

Julia Douglas

Mayor Douglas called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. and took roll and councilpersons Kelly Harris, Dee Conrad and Chip Joslin were present. Moore, who resigned on May 12, was not in attendance, and because he was not at the meeting, the council didn’t meet the requirement for a quorum and could not precede with the agenda items.

Martin was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting.

Moore’s resignation became official Wednesday.

Because no action was taken on the open seat, per state law, a special election for the two open seats will be held in November.

In the meantime, the city can continue to conduct regular business with three council members. However, in any called meeting or any meeting dealing with the imposition of taxes, Moore can participate, if he so chooses, as a holdover officer per the Texas Constitution Article 16, Section 17: “All officers of this State shall continue to perform the duties of their offices until their successors shall be duly qualified.”

Prior to closing the meeting, Douglas read the following statement:

“As those of you who were in attendance at our last meeting know, I spoke in favor of having an election to fill my vacancy. Although the Council decided differently, I continue to wholeheartedly believe that holding an election is the best method to fill a vacancy under most circumstances. This is not most circumstances. Mr. Moore’s resignation will force the City into a precarious situation where we will be unable to conduct necessary business. This puts us at a major disadvantage both with budgeting and with any potential negotiations with the County. This also takes away our ability to react quickly to the urgent needs of our City and citizens and in the event of an emergency.

“Being cognizant of this I was looking for a solution that would address the immediate and urgent needs of our City while still allowing the citizens to have some say in who will be representing them. As Mr. Martin received the third highest vote in our election only two weeks ago, he was the most logical contender for this appointment and the most reasonable compromise for the Council in my opinion. I am saddened by Mr. Martin’s decision to not accept this appointment as I know he would bring years of experience and a wealth of knowledge that we as a Council will now be lacking with the departure of Mr. Moore. However, this is Mr. Martin’s decision to make. I ask that, out of respect for him and his years of service to this community, that you also respect his decision.

“I also ask that you show the same respect to Mr. Moore. Let me make this very clear. I do not agree with Mr. Moore’s decision to resign. I feel that any elected official who chooses to abandon their post is violating the trust of those he or she was elected to represent and I have publicly stated this with every single resignation that I have experienced during my tenure. Mrs. James, Mr. Marquez, Mrs. Oldenburg, Mrs. Hawthorne and now Mr. Moore. I have witnessed an entire council worth of resignations in the last 3 years. And every single one of those decisions was solely his or her decision to make for his or her own reasons.

“The amount of public degradation and mudslinging towards our city staff, towards all of the candidates — including their families — during and after the election, as well as the public attacks on Mr. Moore following the announcement of his resignation is disheartening.

“Sometimes we all need to hit pause, reset and then hit play again. If we think just a little bit before we act or react, if we actually ask questions instead of making assumptions and if we start to listen to each other from a perspective of problem-solving instead of defensiveness, things may have a different outcome.

“I urge you all to not base your opinions solely on the unrealistic personas and biases created by social media where a keyboard is quickly becoming the weapon of choice and many people do not fully consider the weight of their words. We all need to remember that this ugliness is not victimless. These are real people with real families who will forever be affected by not only these terrible words but by the Court of Public Opinion based on these terrible words. Only two weeks ago my daughter was told by one of her friends that he could no longer talk to her because of me. That is a real consequence. And that has to stop now because we are better than this.

“We are at the precipice of a new beginning. But, as with any leadership change, we are also in a period of transition as we all navigate our new roles and responsibilities. Although I am confident we have a council, administration and staff that are ready, willing and able to put in the work for our community, I humbly ask for your patience and grace during this time of transition.

“Now is the time to join together as a community for the greater good, not to fight amongst ourselves. Now is the time to show grace and love and support to our fellow citizens, not berate them because they disagree with our opinions. This is how we heal and grow to create a better future for all of us and this is how we build a successful community. We are neighbors and friends. It’s time to start acting like it.”