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Granite Shoals has new mayor; council now must fill Place 2 seat

Granite Shoals Mayor Aaron Garcia sworn in Oct. 11, 2022

Aaron Garcia (right) was sworn in as mayor of Granite Shoals by Municipal Court Judge Frank Reilly on Tuesday, Oct. 11, after the City Council accepted the resignation of Mayor Will Skinner. Garcia was mayor pro tem, a position that automatically assumes the role of mayor if vacated. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Aaron Garcia was sworn in as mayor of Granite Shoals after the resignation of Mayor Will Skinner was officially accepted by the City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11. 

As mayor pro tem, Garcia automatically assumed the role of mayor with Skinner’s resignation, according to the city charter. The council now must appoint someone to fill Garcia’s vacant Place 2 seat. It has 30 days to fill it. Both seats will be on the May 2023 general election ballot.

Garcia was sworn in by Granite Shoals Municipal Court Judge Frank Reilly in Council Chambers at the start of the meeting. He was welcomed into his new position with applause and kind words from Councilor Samantha Ortis.

“I am super excited to have Aaron Garcia as our new mayor and excited for what the future holds with him,” she said. “I think that his integrity … is going to be a huge asset to the city.”

Granite Shoals Police Chief John Ortis, Councilor Ortis’ husband, stepped up to the podium and recounted a recent instance in which he and Garcia saved someone’s life while attending a Texas Municipal League convention in San Antonio. The two came across a person experiencing a medical emergency and called 911.

“The gentleman you all have sitting right here in front of you has some serious character behind him,” the chief told those at the meeting. 

Garcia is also a sergeant with the Marble Falls Police Department, where he has served since 2007. 

In his first order of business, the new mayor read a written statement to the council that each of them is expected to dress in business-casual and court-appropriate attire at all future meetings. Several councilors regularly show up in shorts and T-shirts.

“Our positions as city leaders and elected officials are not to be taken lightly,” Garcia said. “It is imperative that we conduct ourselves in a professional manner at all times.”


The Place 2 appointee must be approved by 80 percent of the council, which means five of the six current members would have to vote in their favor, City Attorney Josh Katz said. 

The appointee will serve until the May 2023 election, at which point they can choose to run for the seat.

Councilor Phil Ort suggested two methods the council has used in the past to appoint people. One is to consider those actively running for council; the other is to appeal to the public for applicants.

Councilor Ortis mentioned that applications might have been submitted after Ort resigned from the council and then rescinded his resignation in September.

Interim City Manager Peggy Smith told the council that only two applications had been received, both of which were handed in earlier in the day.

“Can we at least give it until the next council meeting?” Councilor Ron Munos asked. “This is new information. It only just happened 10 minutes ago.”

Councilor Steve Hougen agreed with Munos, saying the general public is not aware of the vacancy and should have a chance to apply.

“The vacancy is, as Mr. Munos said, only three minutes old,” Hougen said. “The public in general is not aware of it except through hearsay.” 

Councilor Ortis replied that those involved in city affairs would already know about the now-open seat.

“I feel like people who are interested will have already been aware, they probably already know, they’re probably already here,” she said. “I see the people who come to our council meetings, who participate on Zoom, who participate in the city and see what we are doing. If we keep moving things and pushing them off, we are going to get further behind.”

Hougen opposed a rushed appointment of someone who had already submitted an application for the position.

“In fairness to the public and to offer transparency, we can’t just run somebody in because they have inside information,” he said. 

While Skinner officially resigned on Thursday, Oct. 6, published news of his impending resignation on Sept. 28

The council voted in favor of postponing an appointment and giving potential applicants until the next meeting of the council, which is Oct. 25. Ortis was the only member of the council to oppose the decision.

Those interested in applying for the seat must be Granite Shoals residents, registered voters, pass a background check, have lived in the city for at least 12 months, and not be delinquent in payments to the city. To apply, email your council representative or call 830-598-2424.