Pauls Valley Democrat
The hard to digest developments at Tuesday’s Pauls Valley City Council meeting went beyond the hospital sales tax issue as Mayor Billy Riddle officially resigned his position from the governing body, effective immediately.
Approaching his colleagues to comment afterwards, Riddle noted how he felt he could no longer balance his time effectively between his personal life and his career.
Riddle made it clear he wanted to continue but did not think it was fair to the community.
It was this past April when Riddle stepped into the role of mayor after he served as vice mayor under Tim Gamble.
Upon recent reflection, Riddle said he knew something had to give with the increased load.
“It reached a point with me it’s so time consuming — the stress with my business, my family, my life, my wife,” said Riddle.
“I’ve enjoyed it through thick and thin. You’ve got to figure out when enough is enough and I think that time was quite some time back.
“At times I’ve had the city at the top or number two on my priority list and that’s not where it should be at.”
Riddle was complimentary of his fellow council members, a few of whom he has served several years alongside and seen quite a few trials and successes along the way.
“Everything we have done, we have gotten a lot accomplished in the little over 10 years I’ve been on the council,” said Riddle
“Some don’t know I was on committees and boards seven years prior to the council so I have actually given 17 years of my life to this city.”
The decision became effective as of the end of the council meeting, and according to City Attorney Jay Carlton, Vice Mayor Gary Alfred automatically became the new mayor by default.
It is now up to the council to have the first chance at appointing an individual from the community to the now empty council seat.
Carlton explained further that by law the office, which has about a year and a half left on the term and can include suggestions by any council member, must be filled by the council within 60 days or it then results in an election in the community.
As far as the position of vice mayor, that can be determined at a later date, though it was recommended to be done sooner than later.
No discussion on potential candidates or which of the four remaining council members would be up for vice mayor took place.
“I for one am sorry to see you go,” said Councilman Hal Blevins, who offered his support and thanks before noting how he’d like the community’s input on the empty seat.
“But I admire your decision.”
In the end, Riddle offered his support as a source of information in the future and noted how he would be glad to advise at least on a consultation basis even though he has decided to move on.
“I’m around, I’m not going anywhere,” said Riddle. “I’m not getting out for any one specific reason; it boils down to my personal life, my family life, my business life.”