Garland Group Has 1,000+ Signatures to Force Council Recall

Petition targets Garland Council member Anital Goebel over her handling of contentious Armory vote

A group of concerned citizens in Garland will present a petition on Tuesday they hope will result in a recall election of Council member Anita Goebel.

The concern centers on last month's vote to tear down a former Texas Air National Guard Armory to make way for an expansion of Central Park. The Armory land would be turned into a dog park as well as a skate park.

"To see this happen it's like a slap in the face," said Nolan C. Blount, a Garland resident who was involved in the petition drive. According to Blount, his group needed to collect 800 signatures on its petition to trigger a recall vote. The group collected 1,025.

Under the City Charter, if the signatures are ruled as valid by the City Secretary, Council member Goebel will be asked to resign from her position.

 If Goebel does not resign, the City Secretary will be forced to set a recall election date. Whoever would be chosen to replace Goebel in that election would fill the seat for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Blount told NBC DFW he and others are frustrated that council member Goebel has been particularly unreceptive and uncaring about their concern - that the removal of the Armory is a mistake.

Council members approved the decision at a contentious meeting in October, despite several citizens raising their voices in opposition at the meeting.

Garland Mayor Douglas Athas, who wanted to save the Armory, was so frustrated with the result of the vote that he announced his resignation that night.

"Personal agendas have bloomed on the council to the point that the citizens and staff suffer from poor governance and I can't morally be a part of it," Mayor Athas' post to Facebook stated, in part.

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