VAN ALSTYNE — After a two-hour executive session, the Van Alstyne City Council voted to accept the resignation of City Manager Frank Baker on Sunday


The Van Alstyne City Council met in a special called meeting, with all Council members and Mayor Larry Cooper in attendance, to talk about the future of Baker with the city. They did that in executive session, which included input from City Attorney Julie Fort.


At the end of the meeting, the Council voted to accept Baker’s resignation, effective immediately.


Baker was not present at the meeting, nor was his usual custom nameplate in front of his usual seat.


It was a short open meeting that opened with a prayer in which Mayor Larry Cooper asked God to help everyone put aside their bitterness and get on with the business of the day, and with the pledges of allegiance to the American and Texas flags.


It took only minutes for Cooper to read the required agenda items for the executive session. What he read stated the meeting would be in accordance with Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code/Open Meetings Law. The items listed were, condensed here for brevity sake, to discuss employment, resignation or dismissal of the city manager; and to allow the city attorney to participate in the executive session.


Once the Council returned to open meeting, Council Member Teddie Ann Salmon made the motion to “accept Frank Baker’s resignation, approve the resignation agreement, and authorize the removal of his signature authority (on city) documents.” Suzon Crowell seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.


Baker had served not only as city manager but also as volunteer fire chief, leaving both positions open.


Members of the council designated councilor Brad Clough as their spokesman, and his statement after the meeting was only that they would begin looking at replacements at the Oct. 10 regular City Council meeting. Until then, he said, any questions or concerns that involved city involvement or consent should be directed to City Clerk Jennifer Gould or to Cooper.


Cooper said, after the meeting, “All of us on the council have absolute confidence in all our department heads and the entire staff that they will carry on with their duties, to keep things going successfully.”


The meeting was held on Sunday because, after Baker actually gave his resignation on Thursday, it was the first day they could legally meet in a special called meeting. Sunday was also the first day of the city’s fiscal year, but Cooper said that was mere coincidence and not a factor. “It was just the first time we could all get together on this matter,” Cooper said.


The Council had numerous local residents in its audience. When they saw all council members’ hands go up in agreement with the motion, the sound of hands clapping filled the Community Center.


“We appreciate Mr. Baker and wish him the best in the future,” Clough said.