The Denison City Council accepted the resignation of council member Kris Spiegel Monday night; Spiegel plans to seek a different seat on the council. This comes just one day before the city is expected to open filing for the general election in May.
“I believe this will be a positive change for me and my ability to represent the community at large,” Spiegel said Saturday.
Spiegel said his decision to resign from his seat comes as he plans to run for the Place 5, an at-large seat that represents the entire city. This seat is currently held by Matt Hanley, who will leave the council at the end of his term in May.
“This is simply a move to accommodate my family’s desire to move anywhere in the city and not be limited to my district,” Spiegel said during Tuesday’s meeting.
Spiegel won his seat on the council in May when he was uncontested in his bid to replace Michael Baecht, who had reached his term limit. Spiegel announced his plans to vacate his Place 4 seat on the Denison City Council over the weekend when it was included as a discussion topic for Monday’s meeting.
Spiegel said the response from the public has been mostly positive. He added that no one has approached him about his seat yet.
City Attorney Julie Fort said Spiegel will be required to remain on the council in his seat until his replacement is determined in May. This is due to a holdover rule under the state constitution, she said. Fort said she was uncertain how this would affect the term limit of two consecutive terms, noting that she would need to interpret the language of the city charter.
Spiegel said that this requirement made it the optimal time for him to make his move and run for the at-large position. Because of this timing, there will be no empty seat on the council that could affect its ability to represent the people, he said.
For his part, Hanley said it is a bittersweet experience as he approaches the end of his term. Through a partial term, an appointed term, and one full term, Hanley has been a part of the council for more than five years, he said.
“We have accomplished so much as a council over these five years,” Hanley said. “We’ve been able to do so much for the citizens.”
Hanley said he would like to take a year off away from the council and a run for Mayor during the next election.
In addition to Hanley, council member Ken Brawley will also reach his term limit in May. He said he plans to continue to be a part of development in the community, especially in downtown.
“If there is anything I can do to be involve with moving forward and kicking back,” he said referencing the city’s slogan, “I’d like to be a part of that.”
When asked what he feels are his greatest accomplishments during his time with the council, Brawley said he is proud of the developments that have taken shape under his tenure. This includes work in Preston Harbour, Gateway Village and Texoma Health Foundation Park.
“I consider it a privilege to be a part of everything that has been going on for the last six years,” he said. “Denison has really been moving forward with little time to kick back.”