Big Spring Mayor Faces Recall Petition
BIG SPRING, TX — A Big Spring resident has filed a petition calling for Mayor Shannon Thomason to be removed from the office.
According to CBS7, Linda Burchett submitted the paperwork on Wednesday. In her complaint Burchett alleges Thomason should be recalled for a variety of reasons including dereliction of duty, threatening city employees, and cussing at city employees.
According to Big Spring Councilwoman Camilla Strande, Thomason “abuses staff at city staff meetings.”
“[Thomason] yells at them, berates them, for long periods of time,” said Strande. “At one meeting it was like an hour and a half where he yelled at one staff member.”
Thomason did not respond to requests for comment from local media but did publish an open letter on Facebook. In the letter, the mayor categorically denied the accusations.
The letter reads in part:
“I ran for this office to represent all of the citizens of Big Spring to the best of my ability. I view the recall process as being similar to an employee review process and I don’t take it personally. If the citizens want me out, they’ll vote me out and I am absolutely fine with that. If they want me to continue the job I’ve started, I will happily do so for as long as they want me to or until the Charter requires me to step down. Until the citizens make their decision, I will uphold my oath and continue to do the job that you elected me to do. Ultimately, I serve at your pleasure.”
“With regards to the allegations made in the two affidavits and the letter filed with the City Secretary: These are serious accusations and I categorically, vehemently, and unabashedly deny them! I demand PROOF from the affiant for each accusation she has made, as should the citizens. As for me, I will absolutely address each and every one of those fully just as soon as I have had an opportunity to confer with legal counsel. I will state that, to my knowledge, none of the crimes that I am accused of committing in the documents have been officially reported to law enforcement. Luckily, in this country, everyone is considered innocent until they have been charged, tried, and convicted by a jury of their peers and a person can’t be convicted on flimsy accusations or hearsay.”
Before the letter, Thomason published a Facebook post that stated the following. “LMAO...this is going to get hilarious!”
Thomason’s post obtained 155 reactions and over 200 comments. Even though his post did not specify what he was referring to, the commenters seemed to understand his reference. The vast majority of the comments supported the mayor.
Randy Smith commented: “Sorry brother” to which Thomason replied: “I appreciate that Randy! But don’t be, because THE GLOVES ARE OFF! (Make popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show!)”
“Its mass hysteria syndrome. I support our Mayor. Just ride it out and once over then clean house,” commented Sandy Thomas.
“From what I see Mayor your accomplishing the platform you ran on, why I voted for you...keep up the good work, let's get the city in good shape,” stated Serve Barker.
“I'm standing with the mayor the woman that is causing a of this is a thief and feeds off of drama and her lies I want to see the proof that everything she is claiming I bet she don't have any proof I'm not signing a thing,” said Jean Permenter Noggler.
“Mr. Mayor, While I disagree with you from time to time. I believe this is all so ridiculous. We have elections for a reason,” commented Terrell Fryar. “You have my total support to stay in office for the remainder of the term you were elected to serve. Take care.”
One commenter seemed to support the petition that called for the recall of the current mayor.
“Basically, you are being unprofessional. As a manager in a private business, I would never get away with treating employees the way you do. You do not yell at them, call them names or threaten them,” said Donna Michelle Wilson-Salazar. “While I believe in standing up for the people of Big Spring, you have to have a certain amount of professional decorum. Guarantee if my boss acted like you do, I would complain to someone up the chain, and if it did not get appropriately handled then I would stand up for myself and give you back exactly what you gave me! It’s not about Political Correctness it’s about professional behavior!”
This is not the first time the mayor and city council member Jim DePauw have faced calls for recall.
“They have turned in enough signatures for Mr. DePauw to be recalled,” said Strande. “His dereliction is that he walked out of the meeting. They have turned in an affidavit for me as well. However, they have not yet collected enough signatures, but they have time still so that could happen. We might all be on the ballot in November based on what’s happening right now.”
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