Garland Mayor Follows Through With Resignation, Believes Council Has a Chance to Reset

GARLAND -- Mayor Douglas Athas finally did what he's been promising to do for weeks: he resigned.The feisty mayor officially announced at Tuesday night's council meeting that he will be stepping down in May after a 20-year local political career of taking on others at Garland City Hall."I knew that if I took my personality out of the equation, it would give opportunity for a reset," Athas said Wednesday, noting that council discourse had improved since he announced in October that he planned to leave. "I would almost not need to resign if they were behaving before like they're behaving now."The mayor, who said in his resignation letter that it's time for "new leadership and new ambitions," said he has no specific political or professional plans, but he doesn't plan to leave Garland. Athas, a three-term mayor who was first elected in 2013, will stick around until until he is replaced in May, when Garland plans its city wide charter election and individual council races. He would have otherwise served until May 2019, when term limits would have prevented his seeking reelection.In the spotlightAthas was in the national spotlight in 2015, when he ushered the city of 235,000 through two of its greatest crises, a May terrorist attack at the Curtis Culwell Center and the most powerful and deadly December tornado to ever hit North Texas."It's important to realize how well Garland was prepared and that goes back to the depth of our organization," he said. "It reflects on our size. Big enough to do great things, yet small enough to do it with flexibility."  Continue reading...

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