DESOTO – Applications to fill the unexpired term for DeSoto’s Place 2 seat are due by this Friday and all residents in Place 2 are eligible.
After a special council meeting and executive session last week to make an appointment to the seat, the majority of the council said no to DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor and Mayor Pro Tem Andre Byrd’s nomination of former city councilmember Patricia Ledbetter.
Discussion lasted for roughly 30 minutes in open session considering the appointment/nomination of the person to fill the Place 2 seat. The opening is due to the resignation of Kay Brown-Patrick, she has served since 2018. Her term was set to expire in May.
After the Ledbetter nomination, Brown-Patrick suggested Ledbetter was not the best choice since she had lost the last election for the same seat.
Place 5 Dinah Marks said she wanted to go on record to say she is not in favor of appointments and never has been. She was in favor of leaving the seat vacant since a councilmember will be elected to that seat in May.
She added, “We cannot right now try to start a process.”
Marks also said she did not see a need to have someone in that seat just to have a person in that seat.
Byrd said he felt it was necessary to fill the seat due to the possible need for a super majority vote, which would be a problem if the Place 2 seat was vacant. He also mentioned they wanted to find a person to appoint who had been on the city council and who did not want to run in the election in May.
Later, Place 3 Nicole Raphiel said the city attorney would have to let council know if they can even ask someone who is appointed not to run for the seat to fill Place 2 in the May election.
To the point of Byrd’s supermajority comment he had said this could put the business community at jeopardy.
Brown-Patrick asked Byrd to clarify what he meant by “putting the business community at jeopardy without a super majority.”
He said, “just the delay and zoning – we have seen that before.”
Brown-Patrick said, “We may have had three super majority votes come to council in a year, we have moved it before and the chance of it coming before May is slim. My preference is that this appointment take place after the filing deadline, February 17th, to make sure we aren’t unfairly positioning someone who wants the seat permanently. ”
Councilmember Place 7 Letitia Hughes queried could the super majority issue be held until after May if necessary.
Raphiel said, “This is our opportunity to establish better processes.”
She said the council needs “a transparent process in place. Our custom is to allow people to vote for those boards and commissions. As a council for those very important ones, we interview that person, particularly for the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation. The collective has not had the opportunity to interview the candidate who is being proposed tonight.”
After the motion for the appointment of Ledbetter for Place 2 failed, discussion was had regarding the process to fill the unexpired term.
Councilmember Winter Retreat Sets Appointment Process
At the councilmember retreat this past weekend a process was determined, which resulted in the quick turnaround of applications being submitted by Friday.
During the Winter Retreat, the City Council appointment process was established for the selection of a person to fill the vacancy in Place 2.
Place 2 residents are asked to submit an application, which they can immediately obtain from the City Secretary at Athomas@desototexas.org, or by calling (972) 230-9664.
Any person who is interested and completes the application, should then contact one of the DeSoto City Council members to submit their name for the nomination process. The mayor and council members are all invited to submit nominations to fill the vacancy in Place 2.
The residency requirements, including the requirement to have lived in Place 2 for one year, are in place and in order for the council member to submit a nomination for any person interested. The person must complete the application, have it notarized, and submit it to the City Secretary along with a resume.
Nominations are due no later than 5 p.m. Friday, February 3.
From there a Special City Council Meeting is set for Monday, February 6 at 6 p.m. In Executive Session, interviews will be conducted of all nominated individuals.
Following the interviews, the City Council will score each nominee and discuss the results. Based on City Council discussions, the City Council will convene into Open Session with the intent of calling for nominations. The City Council will vote on nominations until a nominee receives the required number of votes.
If you are not sure if you live in Place 2 go to: https://cityofdesoto.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=c28562ae62a4494e8017039a13aea5a4