Maud, TX. – The small town of Maud is still adjusting to the idea that their mayor, Jessie Hicks, is simply….gone. After months of actions questioned by the citizens of Maud that included the firing of a fire chief, the loss of fire volunteers, and several other controversial issues, Hicks was removed for failing to attend council meetings. Now, Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Clary has had to step up and fill the vacancy left by Hicks.
With the continuing controversy for the small town, at least one citizen has stepped up and offered to finish the former mayor’s term. On September 23, Dawna Montanelli filed a letter with Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy Clary and other council members expressing a desire to finish the term. Should the council decide to fill the vacancy from within the council, the Montanelli has offered to fill the council member’s seat. Montanelli is a professor at Texarkana College and a citizen of the community.
It remains to be seen what will happen in the small town surrounded by so many issues over the past few months, but it is good to know that citizens are still willing to step up and help. Dawna Montanelli’s full letter is below:
23 September 2016
Mayor Pro Tem Jimmy ClaryCouncilmembers: Joan Brown, Debbie Mathis, Robert Wells, and Mickey Williams
City of Maud
P O Box 100
Maud, Texas 75567
RE: Letter of Interest, Mayor Vacancy
Dear Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmembers,
Please consider my interest in filling the current vacancy of Mayor, which I understand is the completion of the term of Jessie Hicks ending in May 2018. As a resident and registered voter of Maud, I am concerned about our future and would like to help guide its progress and potential prosperity. While I have not been a life-long resident of Maud, it is important for the council to know that I chose this city and I believe in it. I live here because I want to, not because my parents lived here and not because I cannot afford to live anywhere else. My residence is three doors down from City Hall and has seen drastic improvement since I moved in. My son and his family have lived here a lot longer than I have and is another reason that I chose this city. My grandchildren attend school here.
Most of you don’t know me personally, so please allow me to tell you a little about myself. I am a Christian; married with three children and five grandchildren; and have been a professor of federal and state government at Texarkana College since 2003. I have a Bachelor’s degree in history and political science and a Master’s degree in three areas of specialization: geography, history, and political science. Prior to becoming a tenured professor at TC, I held the office of Financial Aid Director there for five years. I am very familiar with state and federal grants, which I will seek for the betterment of Maud, if appointed.
I have a genuine desire to participate in making the City of Maud a better community. In order to do this, I feel the following should be among the city’s top priorities:
- reestablishing our citizens’ respect, confidence, and safety
- improving water conditions
- repairing roads and
- avoiding increases in the cost of services
As mayor, I would urge the council to reconsider establishing a web page to keep citizens informed and would be willing to maintain and update that site as necessary. I will make public appearances at local events, school functions, etc. and would encourage other Councilmembers to do the same as a positive way of supporting our citizens. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the Pledge of Allegiances to both the United States and the State of Texas should be conducted at every council meeting. I will be available to councilmembers and citizens through my flexible work schedule and via email.
Should the Mayor’s position be filled within the Council, please consider this letter of interest in filling that Councilmember seat. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing how I can be an asset to the City of Maud.
Dawna J. Montanelli