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New Granite Shoals councilor appointed mayor pro tem

Granite Shoals City Council on June 14, 2022

The Granite Shoals City Council chose its newest addition, Councilor Aaron Garcia (second from left), as the new mayor pro tem. At the dias are councilors Ron Munos (left), Garcia, Mayor Will Skinner, and councilors Samantha Ortis, Eddie McCoy, and Phil Ort. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Newly elected Granite Shoals City Councilor Aaron Garcia was appointed mayor pro tem by the City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday, June 14. The decision came after two failed votes to appoint former Mayor Pro Tem Ron Munos and then Councilor Samantha Ortis.

Granite Shoals’ city charter requires that a new mayor pro tem be appointed after an election. The mayor pro tem assumes the responsibilities of mayor in their absence. 

The council was initially divided on who that should be. Councilor Steve Hougen motioned for Munos to maintain his role as mayor pro tem, which Munos seconded. The vote failed with only Hougen, Munos, and Mayor Will Skinner in favor.

A motion to appoint Ortis as the new mayor pro tem was made by Councilor Phil Ort and seconded by Ortis. This vote also failed with only Garcia, Ort, and Ortis in favor.

A third motion was made by Councilor Eddie McCoy to appoint Garcia, which was seconded by Ort. It passed with Ortis, Ort, McCoy, Skinner, and Garcia in favor. Only Munos and Hougen voted nay. 

Garcia was elected to Place 2 on the City Council after defeating opponent Bruce Jones on May 7.

Garcia has worked for the Marble Falls Police Department since 2007 and lived in Granite Shoals since 2008. 

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The council approved spending $10,000 in the airport budget for a pilot’s lounge and restrooms after a presentation from Airport Advisory Committee Chairman Steve Zbranek. The new amenities will make Granite Shoals more attractive to pilots, Zbranek said, which will bring in more revenue for the city. The restrooms will be open to the public. 

About 25 planes land at the Granite Shoals Airpark each month, but Zbranek thinks these numbers will rise with the new amenities.  

The City Council also voted to continue an interlocal agreement with the city of Marble Falls emergency dispatch services. Granite Shoals has been using Marble Falls dispatch services for 10 years. This new agreement will continue into the 2023 fiscal year. 

The agreement is based on the percentage of Granite Shoals incidents handled by Marble Falls dispatch, Granite Shoals Police Chief Gary Boshears explained. The new agreement will cost an estimated $121,276.

The city also approved the sale of certificates of obligation amounting to $1.7 million after a presentation from Dusty Traylor, the managing director of RBC Capital Markets, the city’s financial advisor. Funds will be used to install new water meters across the city. According to Traylor, the city was able to acquire a satisfactory interest rate on the funds of 4.167 percent at a fixed rate. This lower interest rate is due to Granite Shoals receiving a AA- credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. 

dakota@thepicayune.com