GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – There was a shocking announcement from the mayor of Garland after a vote over a controversial dog and skate park. At the city council meeting on Tuesday night Douglas Athas said, “I’m announcing that I will be resigning as mayor.”
Athas announced his departure after the Garland City Council voted six to three to move forward with plans to demolish a vacant National Guard Armory building and raze a little league baseball field to build the parks — this despite hearing from a majority of citizens who were against the proposal and receiving an opposing petition signed by 129 residents who live next to the park location.
In a post on Facebook just hours after the meeting, Athas said, “Personal agendas have bloomed on the council to the point that the citizens and staff suffer from poor governance and I can’t morally be a part of it.”
Athas had been vocal on social media about his opposition to the proposed dog and skate park saying that the public had been asked for input on the proposal and there had been little to no research done to ensure the park would be located in an area that was easily accessible to children.
After announcing that he was stepping down Athas went on to explain to those at the meeting how he had come to his decision. “Some of this is for personal reasons, some of it is for professional reasons, some of it’s [sic] just heart-felt sadness for how this process has been handled and not follow the processes that we’ve used for years and decades,” he said.
Athas, who has been mayor since 2013, gave no firm date for his departure but indicated he would not leave office and force a special election. The scheduled election for mayor in the city of Garland is in May 2018.