by VERONICA GORDON
Buda Mayor Sarah Mangham submitted a letter of resignation to City Manager Kenneth Williams and City Secretary Danny Batts Tuesday afternoon, citing health issues and personal reasons for resigning. Her resignation was effective immediately.
Mangham, who was elected in 2011, had two years remaining on her term. Before becoming mayor, she was the city’s finance director from 2004 to 2009.
Williams said the mayor’s resignation was a surprise to him.
“I wish her well,” Williams said. “I’d like to thank her for her dedication and service to the city of Buda both as an employee and an elected official as mayor. I just wish her the best in the future.”
A special election to replace Mangham will have to be held, Williams said.
“We have to set an election within 120 days, so we can’t do it less than 30 days within the Nov. 6 election, but no longer than 120 days after that election is called,” he said.
Council Member Todd Ruge said he is “strongly considering” taking a shot at running for mayor.
“I have to find out for sure from the city if I would be eligible, but I am very interested,” Ruge said. “It’s unfortunate that she had to resign. She’s done a good job leading the city in her short time and I think she’ll be sorely missed.”
Williams said that any council member interested in running for mayor can do so, but if they have more than one year left on their term, they would have to relinquish their seat on the council in order to run for mayor.
“We anticipate discussing this at the upcoming council meeting,” Williams said. “As we speak, we are still looking at the legal ramifications.”
Council Member Cathy Chilcote said she was saddened but she understands the need for the mayor to leave.
“I’m really darn disappointed, but I don’t hold it against her,” Chilcote said. “I think she’s really sad about having to resign. I know that walking into City Hall to deliver the letter of resignation was the hardest thing for her to do. She is in my prayers and I hope we’ll stay in touch.”
Chilcote added that she will miss the mayor’s personality.
“Buda is in a new era with new businesses coming in and new projects that the mayor was really excited about,” she said. “She really cared about Buda and she was very involved in the projects on the table. We were really revitalized as a city when she became mayor.”
Williams said Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Tenorio will step into the mayor’s position until a new mayor is elected. But Tenorio, who is not seeking re-election, won’t be on the council after the Nov. 6 election.
“The new council members will have to appoint an acting mayor,” Williams explained. “Again, we’re still trying to sort through this, since we just found out at 3 p.m. today. So, tentatively that’s how it’s set up for the council to appoint an acting mayor until a new one is elected on special election.”
Mangham had not returned requests for comment.
VERONICA GORDON reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.