Sherman’s two newest City Council members took their seats for the first time Monday.
Following a canvassing of the city’s recent regular and special municipal elections to make the results official, City Clerk Linda Ashby administered the oath of office to new council members Josh Stevenson and Daron Holland, as well as returning council member Willie Steele.
Stevenson received 2,391 votes to win the District 2 seat over Commie O. Linson, who received 1,239 votes, earlier this month. Stevenson takes the place of Terrence Steele, who chose not to seek re-election this year.
“I want to make sure we continue to invest in the future, and continue to pave the way for the growth we know is coming our way,” Stevenson said near the end of the meeting. “Sherman is a great town with great people. They’ve all been very supportive of me. I appreciate that support, and I’m going to strive every day to earn it and continue earning it.”
Running unopposed for the District 4 council seat, Holland received 2,975 votes and takes the seat being left by Charles H. Brown Sr., who also opted not to run for re-election.
“I love the direction that the city is headed,” Holland said during the council comments section of the agenda. “One thing that really captured me the most is how the city is working along with the school district. Being able to pull people together and meet with those guys, I’ll be glad to be part of that.”
Willie Steele got 2,365 votes to defeat Ronald Rose, who received 1,120 votes, in the special municipal election for the at-large, Place 1 seat. Willie Steele was appointed to the position in September after former council member Kevin Couch resigned to run for state representative for District 62. Willie Steele previously served as a council member from 2007 to 2011.
“I am excited to be back on the council,” Willie Steele said. “I appreciate everyone’s support through this election. I said that when I was appointed that it was very humbling to be reappointed to serve in this spot and with that comes a lot of responsibility.”
Sherman voters also approved six amendments to the city charter as part of the municipal election. Those cover items related to city finances, taxes, the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council, hiring practices and street improvements.
Before the new members were sworn in, Brown and Terrence Steele were recognized for their service to the city by Sherman Mayor David Plyler and presented with plaques and crystal awards as thanks for their time on the council.
Plyler said he enjoyed serving with Brown and getting to know him over the last year. Brown was elected last year in a special election to fill the unexpired term left when Plyler vacated the seat following his election as mayor.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the council for this one year,” Brown said. “Several things I did not do purposely — I wasn’t on TV every time you turn on your TV and I wasn’t in the newspaper every time you bought a newspaper. I was somewhere working to make Sherman a better place to live.”
Plyler then thanked Terrence Steele for his service, leadership and friendship during his tenures on the council. Terrence Steele was elected to the council in November 2014 for the term he just completed and previously served from 2002 to 2008.
“I want to thank the city council for the work we did together,” Terrence Steele said. “I think we have helped Sherman to move forward in a positive way.”
The council members and those attending the meeting gave Brown and Terrence Steele standing ovations following each of their comments about their service. After the new members were seated, the council elected Pam Howeth the city’s new deputy mayor and made appointments to various city boards and commissions.
Holland was appointed to the Council Audit Committee and Tax Increment Financing Board No. 2. Willie Steele was appointed to the Tax Reinvestment Committee along with Stevenson, who was also appointed to the TIF Board No. 6. Howeth was also appointed to the TIF Board No. 2 and Jason Sofey was appointed to the TIF Board No. 3.