The Bellmead City Council chose District 2 Councilman Travis Gibson on Tuesday as the city’s new mayor.

In a departure from its regular practice, the council discussed its selections for mayor and mayor pro tem in a public meeting. Gibson, who was re-elected May 4 over challenger Ioan Faur, said he made the motion to hold the discussion in open session as part of a focus on transparency.

After each city election, the council typically has met behind closed doors, in “executive session,” to choose a mayor and mayor pro tem from among the council members.

“First off, I’m all about being transparent and I only thought this would be right,” Gibson said. “I was going to refuse to go back into executive session, because the people have the right to hear who should be mayor.”

Gibson said he would have nominated Alfreda Love as mayor since she is the outgoing mayor pro tem. But outgoing Mayor William Ridings made a motion to name Gibson as mayor. Love could continue as mayor pro tem and likely would be named mayor after the next election, Ridings said.

The council voted 4-2 to name Gibson as mayor. Councilmen Gary Moore and Doss Youngblood voted against Gibson.

“I am going to continue to do what I’ve always done: serve the best interest for the citizens of Bellmead and move forward and tap that untapped potential that we have,” Gibson said.

Ridings also nominated Love to serve as mayor pro tem for a second term. Council members voted 5-1 to select Love as mayor pro tem. Youngblood voted against her.

Gibson said Tuesday night was the first time in recent memory the city council had selected a mayor and mayor pro tem in open session. Love said she is encouraged by the change.

“We wanted to make it fair for each person and the public,” Love said. “I think this is moving us in the right direction.”

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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