Another Granite Shoals councilor resigns

Granite Shoals councilors Steve Hougen and Phil Ort

The Granite Shoals City Council Place 5 seat was vacant during the meeting. Place 5 Councilor Eddie McCoy was not in attendance, having submitted a resignation letter on Nov. 11, which was accepted by the council during the Nov. 16 meeting. Councilors Steve Hougen (left) and Phil Ort sit on either side of the empty chair. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals Place 5 Councilor Eddie McCoy resigned his position, which was formalized at the City Council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 16. 

“I stepped down because of personal reasons,” McCoy told DailyTrib.com in a text after the meeting. “I didn’t feel that I was able to give enough time to the council and citizens.”

The council is also seeking to fill two empty positions on the charter review commission after resignations. The commission was formed in September and tasked with assessing and updating the city charter in time for the coming May 2023 general elections, when proposed changes will be put on the ballot. 

Applications for the council seat are due by noon Nov. 23 before city offices close for the Thanksgiving holidays on Nov. 24-25. The council plans to make an appointment at the Nov. 30 meeting.

Granite Shoals residents are welcome to apply in person at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Hall, or by contacting council members directly. 

For more information on the charter review process, ideas for alterations to the charter, or to apply for the empty positions, email Charter Review Commission Chairwoman Libby Edwards at charterreview@graniteshoals.org.

McCoy’s resignation is the latest in a series of personnel changes that have plagued the city over the past several months. It also maxes out the number of appointed council members allowed by city charter and delays the election by the council of a new mayor pro tem.

Recent changes to the council and city staff include: 

All of these changes have taken place since June.

Despite the recent chaos, Mayor Garcia is optimistic about the work the city is doing and the development of the council.

“(The changes) are certainly challenging,” he told DailyTrib.com. “I hope this isn’t a common occurrence. My main goal here is to do the best I can and to help move this city forward. I’m always an optimistic person. I’m always trying to find the good in things and the good in people. The only agenda I have is to help this city be successful and continue to move forward.”

Appointing a replacement for McCoy will be the last time the council can do so until the 2023 city election. According to city charter Section 3.05.6, no more than two councilors may be appointed on the same council. A special election must be held if another vacancy opens before the next general election. If the vacancy opens within 90 days of a general election, that seat will remain vacant until the election. The next general election is in May 2023.

Section 5.02 of the city charter lays out the requirements for holding a seat on the council, which includes:

  • being a qualified voter at the time of the election;
  • residing in the city limits for at least 12 months;
  • and not being in arrears for payment of taxes or other city liabilities after 30 days’ notice.

McCoy joined the meeting over Zoom to express his thanks to the council following his accepted resignation.

“I just would like to thank everybody. I’ve enjoyed working with you all,” he told the council. “I hope to be coming to some of the council meetings, and if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call.”

Place 1 Councilor Ron Munos then moved to accept McCoy’s resignation.

“Mr. Mayor, I guess I reluctantly make a motion to accept Mr. McCoy’s resignation,” he said. “I think he has been a valuable member of the council and I hate to see him go, and I understand that he has to do what’s best for him.”

The council unanimously accepted McCoy’s resignation and expressed gratitude for his service.

dakota@thepicayune.com

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