WILMER - The gavel slammed.
It was Thursday, Sept. 15 and the Wilmer City Council Chamber was filled with tension.
Mayor Jeff Steele called his resignation at 9:25 p.m.
“It’s now 9:25 p.m. and I resign,” said Steele.
Steele had been enduring the wrath of Mayor Pro Tem Hector Pena since the beginning of Pena’s appointment to council in May and finally said enough is enough.
“Stop acting like a king,” said Pena.
“You need to stop delegating like a monarch.”
Steele, citing election code, said the mayor is to act as the chief executive officer of the city.
“According to a good legal mind I know, he uses the dictionary to look up definitions,” said Steele.
A dictionary search for CEO found the following: The person with overall responsibility for ensuring that the daily operations of an organization run efficiently and for carrying out strategic plans. The chief executive of an organization normally sits on the board of directors. In a limited company, he or she is usually known as a managing director.
Once Steele resigned, loud cheers were heard from Pena’s supporters and shouting of “no mayor wait” were overheard from Steele supporters.
“I just want what’s best for the city,” said Steele sitting comfortably in his home during an interview the day after his resignation.
Why did he resign one wonders?
“I became the vocal point of the meetings and I felt nothing was getting done. I feel if I removed myself from council then they[council] could move forward and bring better things to the city of Wilmer,” said Steele.
Pena, who ran against Steele this year for the position of mayor, doesn’t want the mayor’s seat.
“I have a full-time job and will actually admit I don’t know everything it takes to run a city,” said Pena.
“I am honest.”
Pena continued to mention he will only continue to serve as mayor pro tem and a mayor will be appointed by council soon.
“A wonderful mayor.”
Steele said he feels if Pena doesn’t seek the Mayor’s seat, it shows he is “a coward.”
“I just want to say we are moving forward now and you can expect lots of changes, for the better,” said Pena.
An agenda posted for a special meeting on the city of Wilmer’s Web site for Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at 101 Davidson Plaza, lists an appointment for mayor as well as acceptance of a resignation of councilmember.
Steele was appointed to fill the remainder of former Mayor Don Hudson’s term in November 2008 before winning election in May the following year.