The Hewitt City Council accepted the resignation of fellow council member Matthew Mevis on Monday, a day after he tried to rescind his resignation.
Mevis, a newcomer elected in May, emailed council members and city staff Sunday evening, saying he would like to withdrawal his resignation letter he submitted to the city Sept. 6. The email states he would like to stay with the council, reversing his earlier declaration that he would leave because of alleged harassment by a former councilman.
“In light of the large volume of communication from residents intent on getting us whole and moving forward and after discussion with my wife, I have decided to withdraw my resignation,” he said in the email Sunday. “I shouldn’t have tendered it just to silence a vocal minority who seem intent on destroying the harmony of our council — even if it is a vicious kind of harmony some days,” the email states.
Council members were slated to accept Mevis’ resignation Monday during the regular city council meeting. But after announcing his reversal, Mevis learned he was a day late: Texas election code allots only eight days to rescind a resignation, and nine had passed.
“I’ve heard from person after person from every corner here that I should withdraw my resignation, get back in there and get back in the fight,” Mevis said. “After speaking with my wife, I decided to rescind my resignation, but technically it looks like I was a day late.”
Mevis said he decided to resign because former city council member Kurt Krakowian was harassing and threatening him and his wife on social media. Krakowian has said he was merely posting public records involving the couple.
According to Texas election code, an officer or an elected official can submit a resignation, whether to be effective immediately or at a future date, and the resignation will be accepted on the eighth day. Mevis’ letter stated that he wished to resign immediately, prompting city staff to place discussion of replacing Mevis on Monday’s city council agenda.
Mevis attended the workshop, but did not sit with council members during the workshop or the council meeting.
City Manager Bo Thomas said he and City Attorney Mike Dixon contacted city and state officials Monday to inquire whether the resignation was valid following the eight-day period.
“There is really nothing to do by accepting or rejecting the resignation,” Dixon said. “It, by law, has already been accepted by the vacancy.”
Dixon said it was not immediately clear whether Mevis could be reappointed to the council seat, if council members chose to do so. Dixon said he would research that question, but the council was not posted to make such an appointment Monday night.
During public comments, members of the public spoke for and against reappointing Mevis, if the council chose to reappoint a person to the council. Mevis also spoke during public comments, saying he apologized for the unclear direction he placed on the city.
“My two regrets are that hatred and bitterness were allowed to target myself and my family and that I could not still be up there serving this great city due to the menace that stalks us all,” he said.
Council members agreed to allow Dixon to research the next step for the city in regards to state law and city charter.