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Mayor Athas announces resignation date 

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Mayor Douglas Athas tendered his resignation at the Tuesday, Jan. 9, Garland City Council meeting. He read his resignation letter which indicated that his term would end after a successor is elected by the citizens in the May election.

 

Athas shared that the confidence that has been placed in him during his 20 years of public service humbles him.

 

“I have worked to prioritize and move our city forward on both a local, state and national level,” he said. “The support the community has given not only me but our city has been unwavering and for that I am forever grateful.”

 

The mayor said that the decision to resign was not due to the October vote to demolish the National Guard Armory buildings at Central Park. However, the initial announcement came at the Oct. 17, 2017, council meeting during which the vote to demolish was taken.

 

Moments after the 6-3 vote to demolish the facility to make way for a skate park and a dog park, Athas announced his intention to resign.

 

“This deeply saddens me,” he said. “I don’t feel like we followed the processes. I’m announcing that I will be resigning as mayor in the very near future. I will give you the effective date in the very near future.”

 

In a Facebook post after the October meeting, Athas wrote, “Personal agendas have bloomed on the council to the point that the citizens and staff suffer from poor governance and I can’t morally be a part of it. I have been very, very proud to serve the citizens and the city of Garland. We have come a long way together, made a lot of progress, and we can always be proud of our city and our history.”

 

Although the timing gave the impression that his resignation was because of the armory demolition vote, Athas said after reading the resignation letter before the Jan. 9 meeting that the decision to resign was made the night before that meeting when council voted to call for a charter review.

 

With charter changes being on the May ballot, Athas hopes that his resignation and the subsequent election of a new mayor, will lead to better voter turnout.