The October 20 resignation of Place 1 Councilman Brian Rountree from the Flower Mound Town Council was officially accepted during Friday night’s special meeting with a 3 to 1 vote; Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Itamar Gelbman voted against acceptance.
The Town Council has 30-days to appoint a new Council Member to Place 1 to fulfill the remainder of a first-year, unexpired term. Council Places 1, 3 and 5 are elected in odd-numbered years.
“We appreciate anyone who is willing to contribute their time and service to the Town of Flower Mound by serving on Town Council,” said Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden. “Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. The interviews for applicants will be televised and begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, and then the council members will deliberate and hope to appoint someone by noon. We’d like to have someone ready to fill that seat at the next council meeting.”
At the time of the special meeting, 14 applications had been submitted.
An investigation by Ross Foster of some council members covers possible violations of Texas Open Meetings laws, Flower Mound’s ethics ordinance, and violations of the Town Charter. Both Hayden and Councilman Bryan Webb have been deposed and given sworn testimony to Foster prior to the Oct. 19 council meeting.
Gelbman was absent from that council meeting, but sent an email outlining his objection to giving testimony without prior knowledge of what questions will be asked of him.
Foster had also sent an email to Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos requesting the council for direction in compelling both Rountree and Gelbman to testify under oath. It was suggested by Foster that issuing subpoenas to testify was within the power of the council, according to the Town Charter.
“Since Mr. Gelbman isn’t here [to agree to testify], I think we’re forced to go ahead to issue the subpoena for him,” said Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dixon.
The motion to wait until the end of Thurs., Oct. 22, before issuing a subpoena for Mr. Gelbman to testify within 10 days, before punitive action will be taken passed 3 to 1; Rountree voted against.
The next day, Rountree resigned his Town Council
In an email to Stathatos, Rountree cited the need to “focus on dealing with my health issues and family concerns” as his reason for resignation.
Gelbman initially moved not to accept Rountree’s resignation, but there was no second.
After a motion by Dixon to accept the resignation and a second by Councilman Kevin Bryant, Gelbman said: “It’s a sad day for democracy when a newly-elected councilman resigns, because of ‘a handful of bullies.’”
According to town sources, Gelbman has agreed to testify under oath with Foster on Wednesday, Nov. 4, so no subpoena is needed.
Anyone who wishes to apply for Place 1 is encouraged to contact the Town Secretary’s office at [email protected] or at 972-874-6070.