The Lake Dallas City Council unanimously appointed longtime resident Cheryl McClain to fill a vacant council seat during a regular meeting Thursday night.
She will replace former Place 3 council member Steve Forgey, who stepped down in June to travel more with his family.
Forgey was elected in 2015 to his seat, which means he had less than 12 months left in his three-year term. The city's charter states that remaining council members can then appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next election.
Council members interviewed four candidates in closed session, a move that drew concern from some residents who were looking for more transparency. The city attorney said the decision to meet in closed session to discuss the appointment was at the discretion of the council members under the Texas Open Meetings Act.
McClain has been a Lake Dallas resident for 28 years. She has served on the city's parks and recreation advisory board since January, but said she's been occupying the "first chair on the fourth row" at council meetings for the past two years to keep up with what's happening in her city.
“I’d like to see about getting a grant to do the sidewalks out on Main Street since the council put Phase II on hold,” McClain said when asked about her goals while on council. “I’d also like to see stricter rules when it comes to renting houses.”
Thursday also marked the first regular meeting for interim City Manager John Cabrales since his hiring a few weeks ago. One resident, however, voiced her frustrations with the council over the handling of former City Manager Matt Shaffstall’s termination in June and even hinted at a recall election.
“It has been bantered about that maybe you [council members] don’t want these jobs,” resident E.J. Rodriguez said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “If you don’t, please resign. If you do, try harder. Make an apology to the city for the mess you put us in.”
CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.