The Salado Board of Aldermen’s unanimous decision to not fill the Alderman position recently vacated by Fred Brown was most disheartening.
A seat on the Board of Alderman is an important and critical part of our Village. That seat represents a portion if not all of Salado Citizens. That seat is granted authority and responsibility to vote on matters that directly and indirectly effect the day to day functions and future of our Village. That seat will vote on finances, contracts, procurement, ordinances, resolutions, and multiple other matters of the Village. That seat is granted the privilege to voice their ideas, beliefs, opinions, expertise during Board deliberations. 50% of the BOA regular meetings for this year are still to be held (24 meetings per year and 13 of those meetings are still to come). In addition, the seat is a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustments to vote on important waivers to zoning ordinances. The seat will participate in special meetings and Executive Session meetings. The seat also has the potential to be a Chairman or Member of a Municipal Committee. The seat also offers the opportunity for a citizen to represent the BOA in the general public by attending events. The seat on the Board of Alderman is all this, and with one unanimous vote, by those who will personally retain those privileges and opportunities, has taken away those same privileges and opportunities from the citizens of Salado. Alderman McDougal perhaps stated it plainly enough when he indicated that “They” could continue to run the municipality until the next general election without filling the vacancy. It appears to me and perhaps others that their unanimous vote says loud and clear to the citizens of Salado that there is not one citizen worthy enough to fill the vacant Alderman position for even six or five or four months. Not one citizen who deserves the privilege and opportunity, no matter how short or long, to participate and be a voice in our municipal government. It is disappointing to think that this Board of Aldermen think so little of this vacant position that they do not consider it of utmost importance to fill it.
The Board of Alderman have the power to appoint a citizen to the vacancy.
Sec.A22.010. FILLING VACANCY ON GOVERNING BODY OR IN OTHER MUNICIPAL OFFICE.
(a)If for any reason a single vacancy exists on the governing body of the municipality, a majority of the remaining members who are present and voting, excluding the mayor, may fill the vacancy by appointment unless an election to fill the vacancy is required by Section 11, Article XI, Texas Constitution. The mayor may vote on the appointment only if there is a tie.
Why they chose not to support the interests of the citizens of Salado by exercising their State given authority makes me wonder if we have the right people in our elected offices.
David T. Williams
COL USMC (Retired)