Midlothian’s New Mayor, Justin Coffman, Sworn In & Mayor Pro Tem Named

Justin Coffman with family takes oath
Justin Coffman sworn in as Midlothian Mayor Photo credit City of Midlothian/Laurie Lundberg

Mayor Reno Passes The Gavel To Justin Coffman

Tuesday night, former Mayor Pro-Tem Justin Coffman officially took his seat as mayor of the city.

Now former mayor Richard Reno said a few words before stepping down from his seat and expressing his thoughts about serving for the past four years.

“The mayor of Midlothian has been one of the greatest honors and privileges I’ve done in my life,” Reno said.

Reno thanked the “excellent staff,” adding, “We have done well. The situation was passed on to us, and we picked up where the last council moved off, and we will pass the ball to the new council.”

Reno said he encouraged the new council to be unified in a vision for what is good for the city. “The diversity of our council is amazing,” he said.

He also talked about how the council under his mayoral leadership did well to look into the future. “We are a special place, and we are a special place for all the people that have moved here,” Reno concluded.

Oaths of office were administered to Coffman, who had family in attendance from around the state; Mike Rodgers, who took Place 2 Walter Darrach’s seats and Ed Gardner, who was elected in Place 6, the seat vacated by Coffman. Place 1 is headed to a runoff with early voting beginning on Tuesday, incumbent Wayne Sibley faces challenger Allen Moorman.


Mike Rodgers takes oath of office
Mike Rodgers with family takes the oath Photo credit City of Midlothian/Laurie Lundberg
Ed Gardner takes oath
Ed Gardner takes oath at 5/23 meeting Photo credit City of Midlothian/Laurie Lundberg

Mayor Coffman Speaks About His Vision For The City

As the new mayor Coffman also acknowledged, “It is not every day you become mayor of your hometown, so bear with me.”

Mayor Coffman’s statement: To the citizens of Midlothian:” It’s a new season of leadership for our city. I am glad that the citizens of Midlothian have assembled this team. I have a high expectation for this council as a whole and I believe that each and everyone of these folks will represent you well. The faith and trust that you have placed in each of us is not taken lightly…..and we will not let you down.

To my colleagues on the council and every board and commission volunteer in our city: We launch into this season with a strong foundation built on the backs of those who have served before us…..we must carry on the legacy of high quality service as we push forward with this mantle of leadership. We certainly have some challenges ahead, but I am confident that this leadership team, (council, board members and staff), will rise to the occasion as a cohesive group in representing the community to the city government and also, the direction of the city back to the community.

Again, I have a high level of expectation for us as Midlothian’s leadership team. I know that we will be a team that represents our citizens with class and is supportive of our city’s staff.

We will uphold the highest standard of character, transparency and integrity. We will sharpen each other in times of disagreement with honor and with grace. We will remain teachable, seek understanding from different viewpoints and we will lead by serving our neighbors with a confident humility….seeking to earn the trust of the community for this council, our boards and staff in every single conversation, every single social media interaction and every single vote we take as we lead this city as a group. We are a group of 7 individuals with one single voice. I challenge us all to allow that one collective voice to be louder than our own opinions.

Finally, it is said that good leaders unite communities around a common good. We will be good leaders, we will lead this city well.

I hope you are all as excited to work with me in this new role as I am to work with you. I ask for your patience, understanding and benefit of the doubt as I dive into this new role.
Throughout my lifetime in Midlothian, our taglines have been: “the cement capital of Texas”, “DFW’s southern star” and our newest one…the one that carries us forward and is a fitting tribute for today, “Strong Foundations, Bright futures”.

Midlothian is a city with a strong foundation and with God’s help and continued blessing, we will all have a very bright future.”

Wickliffe Appointed Mayor Pro Tem

He spoke of Darrach’s work in his seat while on the city council and allowed council members to acknowledge Darrach, who spoke briefly.

“This has been an honor of my life, and I will cherish it forever,” Darrach said.

He issued a proclamation to Reno as his first act as Mayor, recognizing his four years of public service serving the city from June 2019 to May 2023.

Clark Wickliffe, Councilmember Place 4, was unanimously named Mayor Pro-Tem.

Midlothian city council selfie
Midlothian City Council members Anna Hammonds, Ed Gardner, Mike Rodgers, Mayor Justin Coffman, Mayor Pro Tem Clark Wickliffe, Wayne Sibley and City Manager Chris Dick Photo by Anna Hammonds

Consent Agenda & Recap

In city business, all consent agenda items passed 6 – 0. Place 6 city councilmember Hud Hartson was absent.

Consent agenda items that passed included minutes from the May 9 and 16 city council meetings, a request to expend $9,000 to the Midlothian Downtown Business Association from Municipal Hotel/Motel Tax monies for advertisement and production expenditures for the 2023 Midlothian Heritage Day Festival; the purchase of 16 bullet resistant shields from M-Pak Incorporated for no more than $85,902.08 for purchases; a resolution adopting the 2023 City of Midlothian Disaster Debris Management Plan; the expending of $116,912.56 for the System Upgrade Agreement for one additional year for all Radio Sites and Dispatch Centers to the City of Fort Worth; a resolution authorizing the Mayor’s Back to School Bash hosted by Manna House, Midlothian Community Development Corporation, United Way of West Ellis County, City of Midlothian and Midlothian Independent School District; a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute documents related to the Office of the Governor grant application to assist in the employment of a full-time sworn peace officer for the Crisis Intervention Unit Program, and the purchase of 27 handheld and vehicle-mounted radios and other equipment from Motorola Solutions, Inc. for $101,527.73.

On the regular agenda, the council unanimously authorized the City Manager to execute a First Amendment to an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Fort Worth for Participation in the Environmental Collection Center Household Hazardous Waste Program. This will increase the per-household voucher fee from $50 to $95, with the city taking the additional costs versus the residents.

Council also approved an agreement with Alpha Testing for roughly $69,290 for design review, inspection, and testing of the building envelope, waterproofing, structure, and enclosure of the city hall and library building.