GARLAND — After several discussions about cutting down the mayoral term to two years, Garland commissioners decided to hold a public hearing before it’s permanent.
During a Tuesday meeting, the commissioners voted 3-2 to pass a resolution of intent to change the mayoral term from four years to two years. After Town Clerk Pamela Cashwell presented the details about the proposed change, Commissioners Carolyn Melvin and Judy Smith voted against the public hearing, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.
Mayor Winifred said the meeting will give the public the opportunity to express their feelings and to give their feelings about the term limit as well. On several occasions, she stressed why she was against the idea because she felt it was not enough time for a leader to make accomplishments for the town.
The matter was brought up during previous meetings. Earlier during the year, Mayor Pro-Tem Haywood Johnson and Commissioner Ralph Smith wanted the tenure changed, just in case residents were dissatisfied with his or her performance. During that time, a motion to hold a public hearing failed because some were concerned if two years would be enough.
After the vote passed, commissioners continued talks about changing the commission term from four years to two years. Judy Smith made a motion to have a resolution of intent to change the commission to do so since a decision was made to cut down mayoral years.
“I didn’t vote for the mayor term to be changed because I think we need four years to make a difference,” Judy Smith said. “I really feel the same way about the commission term. But I believe if we do the mayor, I think the commissioners need to follow suit.”
Her motion died for lack of a second and was not backed by her colleagues on the board. After the silence, Melvin later commented and said she’s not going to vote for one and not the other. Judy said she don’t have a problem with the motion not carrying, but indicated that she wanted some consistency when it came to the commissioners and mayors serving on the board.
As of 2015, Garland’s mayor-council government consists of one mayor and five commissioners. One member serves as mayor pro tem and officials on the council serve four-year terms. While commissioners discussed the matter, Murphy stated that she does not plan to run for another term. She was appointed as mayor in 2012 and was elected in November 2013. Her current term will expire in 2017.
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