“The people are getting fed up and they were getting fed up with the city. It just got really hot,” said S.E. “Sam” Grider, Resigned from Howardwick City Council.
Accusations of theft, God being taken out of the picture, and broken promises by the city.
These were just some of the remarks a former Howardwick City Councilman said he heard from the community, causing him to resign last Friday along with another city employee, but he was not alone.
After four years in his position, Howardwick’s mayor also called it quits last week.
In a span of four days, three Howardwick city officials walked away from their positions.
“It just breaks my heart that the city can fall apart like this,” Grider said.
Howardwick is just a small Panhandle town of fewer than 500 people, and it only took close to two dozen people to change the face of leadership at city hall.
“It had got heated,” said Tammy Jordan, the Howardwick City Secretary. “We had a group of like 20 people there. Just arguing, heated and I guess he just had enough. He just got up and he resigned.”
Jordan told us last Tuesday, Mayor Mike Rowland simply said “I quit” and walked away during their monthly city council meeting.
During a special meeting to discuss their options and confirm Rowland’s resignation, Jordan tells us the arguments and personal attacks ensued again by the same group of people.
“When the people of the community turn against the city council and therefore accuse them of stealing and all, and that’s the least thing in my mind, is to ever go against this city,” added Grider.
The war of words didn’t end there.
“I also heard that God is out of the picture, the devil’s taken over, and boy that just upset me,” said Grider. “I’m a very religious person.”
Grider says he could not cope with the troubles the community put on their shoulders and called it quits.
He told us a maintenance worker also resigned the same day.
Grider said the city had promised some things that they didn’t deliver on, like fixing potholes and repairing streets that are difficult to drive on, and he said he thinks that was the main thing that shook up the individuals.
Jordan also said to her knowledge a city shake up like this has never happened before in the history of the city.
She said a special election will be held in November to fill the mayor and council member positions.