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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gipson Warns the Next Mayor Should “Be for the Citizens”


By Tammy Moore Teague
With the looming date of a November election, the Mansfield City Council discussed formally defining the duties for the office of Mayor. Current Mayor, Mike Gipson, will be stepping down and one of the two candidates running for the office will assume those duties on January 1.
Before former Mayor Larry Austin resigned, he had proposed and the council subsequently approved, a manual of duties for that office. Ultimately, those duties were stripped from the mayor and given to City Recorder/Treasurer, Becky Walker. Formally, those duties were never returned to the mayor, however Gipson has been carrying out those duties since filling the office.
Alderman Dave Johnson recommended that the council officially grant those responsibilities back to the mayor, and further define what all the position entails. City Attorney Matt Ketcham suggested a study session to go line-by-line of each of the duties of both offices, Mayor and City Recorder/Treasurer. “It doesn’t have to be all mayor or all recorder/treasurer,” said Ketcham. “I’d like to see a member of the city council go to these interviews so when executive session comes, you can get in your two cents.”
Johnson suggested this happen before election so that the candidate for mayor will “know what he’s getting into.” Gipson responded saying “If the next mayor is that worried about the duties of the office then they don’t need to be here. You have to be here for the citizens.”
Alderman Beverly Lyons reminded the council that although the city is “staying above water,” they will need to plan on what areas of funding will have to take a cut when the new mayor takes office. “We will have a new mayor and have a salary to pay.” Currently Gipson is serving as mayor without taking a salary.
No board action was taken at the meeting, but if action is to be taken before the next election, the board will have to make that decision during the October session.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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