By Sarah Naron
CROCKETT – The Crockett City Council canceled the election for the City Council Precinct 4 position scheduled for May and accepted the resignation of city council member Rita Rodriguez during a special meeting held Friday, April 6 after two of the three candidates were found not eligible to serve in Precinct 4.
City attorney Bill Pemberton provided a statement to the members of the council regarding the matter.
“Based on information provided by city officials, it’s been determined that two of the three candidates for City Council Precinct 4 – Mrs. (Rita) Rodriguez and Mr. Simon – were registered to vote in Precinct 4, were informed by voting registration personnel that they resided in Council Precinct 4, believed that they resided in Council Precinct 4, but actually reside in Council Precinct 5,” said Pemberton.
As a result, the Office of the Secretary of the State of Texas has found that Rodriguez and Simon, “through no fault of their own” are not eligible to serve in the Precinct 4 position on the Crockett City Council, Permberton explained, adding that both candidates have voluntarily withdrawn from the election.
“I want to emphasize that Mrs. Rodriguez and Mr. Simon are not at fault in any manner in this situation,” Pemberton reiterated.
According to Pemberton, Rodriguez resigned from her position on the council.
“Because she took office in good faith, all votes by Mrs. Rodriguez are valid and will stand.”
Following the statement made by Pemberton, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried by the members of the council to “approve city secretary certification of unopposed candidate in Precinct #4.”
The council also unanimously approved “an ordinance cancelling the election of city council member in Precinct #4 scheduled for May 5, 2018.”
Precinct 4 city council candidate Quita Beasley is now unopposed in the Saturday, May 5 election.
The city council voted to table the issue for a future meeting of whether to appoint someone to the Precinct 4 position immediately or to wait for the election.
Mayor Joni Clonts presented the council members with a letter penned by Rodriguez.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Crockett for the past eight months,” read Clonts. “During my service, I took the issues before city council seriously and prayed before each vote to make the decision that was best for all citizens of our city.”
Rodriguez described the “great honor” she experienced as a result of serving alongside “professional and dedicated people,” expressing gratitude for both her fellow council members and all City of Crockett employees.
Rodriguez further shared her desire “that we can all come together to support their work” and pledged to continue doing her part to improve the city and its economy and schools “in any way possible – no matter what precinct I live in.
“I know together, we can make Crockett the best place in Texas to live and raise our families,” Rodriguez finished in the letter.
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.