Less than seven months after being sworn in, Mayor Christina Gourley has turned in her resignation, effective immediately, to the Blanco City Council.
Citing medical issues stemming from a facial injury she received while loading cattle in July, and a difference in goals between her and members of the council, Gourley states that she is unable to accomplish what she set out to do.
The resignation of Gourley creates a second vacancy on the council; the first having been created when Ron Houston, council member and Mayor Pro Tem, passed away on October 7.
Typically, when there is one vacancy on a council for a Type A (General Law) town, the Council is allowed to appoint someone from the general public to serve the remainder of the term. However, when two spots are vacant, a general election is to be held to fill the two vacancies, unless a special meeting is called to fill the primary vacancy before the resignation of the mayor expires.
According to Bennett Sandlin of the Texas Municipal League, a mayor’s resignation does not expire until one of two things happens: 1.) Eight days pass from the date of submission. 2.) The Council meets and accepts the resignation.
According to Sandlin, the TML recommends that towns like Blanco do the former because of the added expense and hassle of holding a special election.
According to City Secretary Bobbie Mowery, the Blanco City Council canceled their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 10 and will meet instead on Thursday, November 12 at 6:00pm.
The Council will appoint a new member from a pool of applications already on file of qualified candidates and any that are submitted before 5:00pm on Thursday. Residents wishing to be included as a candidate can go by Blanco City Hall to pick up an application on Thursday. City Hall will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.
In response to the resignation of the mayor, council member Danny Ray said that “I’m sorry that she dropped out; I understand about the health issues she is going through.”
Council member Rebecca Howerton stated, “[I] really hate to see her go, but realize she needs time to heal and that her health is of greater importance than the council. She had a lot of great plans for the city.” As for the election, Howerton said, “I will just wait and see [who will be appointed].”
The other council members could not be reached for comment.
Open letter from the Mayor to the Council and citizens of Blanco can be read here: http://www.blancocountynews.com/news/article/22957