By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
NOLANVILLE – The two City Council members who have not turned in letters of resignation spoke out about their fellow council members' resignation threats on Monday while others sought legal counsel.
On Friday, three of the five Nolanville City Council members submitted letters of resignation: Stan Williamson, Mayor Pro Tem Emma McCullough and Albert Simmons.
"I can no longer work with the mayor (Carolyn Sterling), who will not support the council and allow them to perform their elected duties," Simmons stated in his letter of resignation.
Williamson made a similar comment in his letter to the mayor: "I have lost all confidence in working with you as the mayor of Nolanville."
The two remaining council members – Denise Hungerford and Dewayne Hamilton – said they feel that their fellow council members are giving up on Nolanville's residents, they said Monday.
"As far as I am concerned, when they quit, they quit on the people," Hungerford said. "To me, if they don't have confidence in her, that is their issue. They should have been tough enough and adult enough to talk about it."
Neither Hungerford nor Hamilton plan to resign.
"That is not the way to solve the problem," Hamilton said. "To me, that is giving up, and that is quitting, and I am not a quitter."
While Sterling said she did not know why the council members were handing in letters of resignation, a number of council members have raised their problems with city staffing and how Sterling handles it.
In another letter, Simmons said the reason he is resigning is because of how Sterling handled negligence on the part of a city employee, former city secretary Christine Taylor.
"In my opinion, the mayor should have had the former city secretary resign ... for not publishing the proper agenda (concerning the city budget meeting), costing the taxpayers an estimate of $11,000," Simmons said. "Instead, the mayor demoted her to assistant city secretary at the same pay rate. In my opinion, the former city secretary will continue costing the taxpayers of the City of Nolanville more money ..."
The city reviewed Christine Taylor's performance as assistant city secretary on Thursday. No action was taken on the agenda item because she has only served about two weeks in the position.
Sterling handled the situation with Taylor properly, Hamilton said, before referring to the Texas Statutes of Local Government Code 22.042.
"The mayor shall inspect the conduct of each subordinate municipal officer and shall cause any negligence, carelessness, or other violation of duty to be prosecuted and punished," the code states.
Hamilton said because he was not the immediate supervisor of the city secretary, he should not be the one who punishes, nor should Taylor be punished twice.
"What happened was taken care of," Hamilton said.
Sterling and Simmons are both seeking legal counsel over the letters of resignation.
Sterling had a phone interview with the city attorney and sent the lawyer requested information, she said on Monday.
Simmons is not wishing for Sterling's resignation, which some residents have called for.
"I don't want her resignation," Simmons said. "She is helping the city in different ways. We just want to get the problem solved."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554