Plans for a recall election to have Fate Mayor Bill Broderick and Mayor Pro Tem Sheri Garber removed from office have taken a turn.
City officials said Thursday morning that there will be no recall election. Instead, Broderick and Garber’s city government future will be determined by voters in the next general election scheduled for May 10.
City Secretary Jean Dwinnell said municipal recall elections must be held on a “uniform election date.” Those dates, she said, are in November and May. Dwinnell said it’s too late to call a November election and the next available date is May 10, the scheduled municipal election date.
The terms of Broderick and Garber expire next year, so voters will determine their fate during a general election instead of a recall election. Broderick and Garber said they will seek re-election.
Petitioners committee affidavits for an initiative to recall Broderick and Garber were filed Monday night after a city council meeting
The 10 committee members who signed the affidavits would have been responsible for circulating the petition and filing the petition in its proper form as required by law. A petition to call an election would have required signatures by 150 voters.
Dwinnel said Mark Roland, leader of the recall effort, had been informed verbally about the election date situation. A formal, written notification is being prepared, she added.
“The form of power that Bill Broderick and Sheri Garber relish in is called personalized power, and they enjoy it because they are using that power for personal gain and fulfillment,” Roland said in a prepared statement after filing the petitioners committee affidavits,
“They have a disdain for anyone who challenges that power or calls into question their decisions,” he said in a written statement. “For example, a citizen who attended one meeting after volunteering to serve on a board was set to be removed at the request of the mayor because he challenged the mayor about a particular issue. The mayor stated, ‘That guy has to go.’”
Roland himself is the “citizen” that Broderick reportedly said “has to go.”
Roland was appointed recently to serve as a member of the Fate Development Corporation’s Board of Directors. He attended one meeting. An action item on the agenda for the city council’s Monday night meeting called for Roland to be removed from the FDC’s board of directors. Broderick, president of the board, was listed as the contact person for the agenda item.
Roland was allowed to speak before the city council considered his removal from the Fate Development Corporation.
“My intentions were to provide suggestions to the city and staff as an ordinary citizen of Fate,” Roland told the city council. “There is no political gain or monetary gain for me serving on these boards (the FDC and zoning board of adjustments).”
During his first FDC meeting, Roland said, he questioned an anticipated cost of $10,000 to $12,000 for Broderick, his wife and Garber to make an economic development trip to China.
“I simply questioned that on the board,” Roland said. “There was quite a bit of resistance on it and no one could really answer my questions — with the exception that they (city officials) need to learn cultural exchange and had a sister community over there — which doesn’t make sense to me.”
Roland said he also learned there would be other trips paid for by a land developer.
“I asked if that was an ethical practice that was allowed in the city of Fate,” Roland said.
After the meeting, Roland said, he learned there was a comment, “‘That guy needs to go,’ simply by asking a couple of questions.”
At a later meeting, Roland said he wanted to make some closing statements, knowing that his removal was being considered.
“Halfway through my closing statements, the honorable Bill Broderick interrupted me and said, ‘meeting adjourned,’” Roland said. “He wouldn’t even allow me to finish what I needed to say.”
Roland added: “In Fate, we all know the I-30 corridor will be filled in between here and Greenville. It’s coming. We will not stop it. But let’s do it in a pace that’s acceptable to the citizens of Fate and not by some type of direction or dictatorship if one individual feels we need to do it.”
After Roland’s three-minute presentation, City Councilman Lorne Megyesi pointed out that there was no information provided that showed he was not qualified to serve on the board.
Megyesi said he believed removing Roland from the board would be a “huge mistake.”
He then asked that Roland’s removal from the board be tabled, He wanted FDC board members to submit in writing why they believe he is not qualified to serve on the board.
Megyesi then started to say that he “would like to challenge them.” He was not allowed to finish his sentence because the mayor said that it was no a public hearing.
A motion to table action on Roland’s removal from the FDC board until after the next FDC board meeting was approved unanimously.