Wilmer council member resigns
By 06/26/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WILMER - Mayor Linda Root's support on the city council took another blow, as Councilman Henry Martinez resigned from his seat, effective July 1.
Citing family issues and increasing demands on his job, Martinez, one of two council members of the Root-supporting 'Team Wilmer' ticket, thanked residents and wished the city well.
'This decision was reached after careful deliberation and prayer, with my family. It was my full intention to serve out my term. I can truly say there were rewarding times during my tenure. Your votes meant a lot to me, but your kindness and friendship mean more,' stated Martinez, who read from a prepared statement at the June 19 council meeting.
Wins by Martinez and freshman council member Marlena Hagen cut Root's opposition on the city council by two - there would have been a majority if Team Wilmer's third candidate, Steve Magyar, won.
Magyar lost by only five votes in the May 3 race to incumbent Don Hudson. Magyar has since filed a protest of the election, claiming several illegal voting irregularities.
Martinez, who recently became father to a baby boy, also cautioned the ongoing turmoil in the city before audience applause.
'You're good people, and you deserve someone who will fight for your interests,' Martinez said.
'The city of Wilmer has a bright future, but only if the city can get past the vindictiveness, the fights and the petty politics. I'm not the first to say it, and I won't be the last…when everything's a battle, the war never ends.
'When does it stop?'
During the course of Martinez' speech, Root interrupted the meeting to ask former mayor and opponent Eugene Lowe to come sit in the audience.
Lowe, who ran against Root and lost to her last year, sits with Wilmer police officers at the rear of the community center, where council meetings are regularly held.
Root was even to the point of threatening the removal of Lowe if he did not comply.
'I only want the officers back there, thank you,' Root said. 'Do you want to force this issue?'
Councilman Billy Wickliffe then told Root she was the one forcing the issue.
'He's sat at the back ever since he got out [of office],' he said.
After several minutes of Root's lobbying, Lowe finally came to sit with the other audience members, often repeating the phrase, 'you're in violation, you're in violation.'