Today, Mayor Brian Johnson sent a letter to the Interim City Manager resigning his position, as Mayor of Kennedale. In the letter, the mayor refers to the new council and the direction they want to take the city, stating: “I cannot in good conscience travel down the path the council wishes to go.” In the recent election, the Kennedale Unite PAC took 3 seats on the council. The new council’s first order of business was to fire the City Manager, George Cambell a 50 veteran to city management. Mr. Cambell had 10 months left in his contract before his planned retirement. The City will have to negotiate or settle on his contract, in which an early termination clause was signed. The cost is roughly $300k.
Council has yet to elaborate why because of closed-door proceedings that prevent such discussion. In an emergency meeting last week, the council convened without Mayor Johnson present, voting for the removal of the City Manager with only Mayor Pro-tem Linda Rhodes descending. No explanation was given to the reason but is expected during July’s City Council Meeting.
The Fall Out
City Managers and workers have been either retiring or moving on to other cities. It started with the retirement of Chief Williams and recently, Larry Hoover the Director of Operations/Water has excepted a similar position for White Settlement. Melissa Dailey, the planning and zoning director, has also tenured her resignation following the firing of George Cambell. As of today, the Council moved to make City Secretary the Temporary Interim City Manager.
Who is Mayor?
The resignation of Mayor Brian Johnson is of no surprise and in his place, Mayor Pro-te, Linda Rhodes will now become the New Mayor of Kennedale. Her spot is expected to be filled by the council.
Mayor Brian Johnson has served Kennedale for over 24 years from Boards and Committees, City Council, and recently the Mayor. Mayor Johnson leaves the legacy of helping remove the Sexual Orientation Bars that used to be at the entrance to the city. He has encouraged citizens to volunteer on boards and committees. He has been a great ambassador to neighboring cities and to Tarrant County Governance. During his time as Mayor, he has made a mark on North Texas Governance through his leadership on the Tarrant County Transportation Boards and the North Texas City of Governance. He has been known as the most experienced Mayor, in current power, in North Texas. In his final letter below, he spent the time thanking local leaders who have done great things in Kennedale.
July 2, 2021
Interim Interim City Manager
City of Kennedale
Dear Ms. Galloway,
I have had the extreme honor of serving the citizens of Kennedale for almost twenty-four years, the last seven as Mayor. The last election cycle saw the election of three new city council members which significantly altered the composition of the council. It has become clear to me that we have fundamental differences over the direction of the city, sound fiscal policy, the need for critical infrastructure and the basic concept of good governance. I cannot in good conscience travel down the path the council wishes to go. The council as elected by the people deserve the chance to follow their desired policies unencumbered by my philosophies. I am therefore stepping down as mayor effective immediately. I wish the council the best of luck in the coming years.
I want to take a moment and thank our city staff. They are some of the finest people I have met. Their dedication to making the city a better place to live is truly remarkable. I have learned so much from each and everyone of them. I will miss you all.
I would also to thank the many council members I have worked with over the years. Among those John Clark, Chris Pugh, Mike Walker, Kelly Turner, Ronnie Nowell and David Green taught me so much about how city government works and treating people with respect.
There are too many citizens for me to thank here. Phil Wallace, Joe Taylor, Linda Grady, Danny Greenfield, Laurie Sanders, Sharon Hamrick, Pat and Wilda Turner, the Chandlers and Robert Mundy just to name a few. You have all meant the world to me and although I will no longer be active in politics, I hope to see you around town.
Lastly, I must thank our former city manager Mr. George Campbell. Between George and I we had a combined 75 years of experience working in local government. George was the most decent, truthful, and honorable man I have worked with during my service to the city. He always gave me the best information available plus different policy options in solving problems. He is the most competent city manager I have worked with. I will miss our long talks on economic development strategies, infrastructure improvements and policy governance.
Best wishes all,