Garland voters submit petition to recall councilwoman over armory vote

Garland citizens hoping to recall a city councilwoman submitted hundreds of signatures in a petition to city hall on Tuesday.

They're angry about a decision to put a skate park and dog park in the city's central park where an armory stood that has since been demolished.

Darryl Quigley, Sandra Lewis and other Garland residents spent weeks going door to door to collect at least 800 signatures required for an election to recall their councilwoman Anita Goebel.

"Of the 1,025 probably 970 have been certified as good,” Quigley said.

The decision to tear down the 36,000 square foot National Guard armory fired up residents, with some claiming other organizations were interested in renovating and using the building.

"There is an underestimation by council of the anger that a lot of people have over the fact this armory is gone,” Lewis said.

Many nearby home owners feel the council made the decision without consulting them first.

"People want their elected officials to listen to them,” Quigley said.

Councilwoman Anita Goebel did not return messages for comment.

City councilman Rich Aubin, who voted in favor of the skate and dog park, said it's the best location and most cost effective.

"Did the city council rush this process? I don't think so. Issue about dog and skate park has been ongoing for 14 years. I don't feel that's been rushed, we've now taken quite a bit of citizen input,” Aubin said.

The mayor of Garland announced his resignation after the vote to demolish the armory, saying he did not feel the council was working in the public's best interest.

Aubin believes it's all a distraction from what the city should be focused on, like streets and infrastructure.

But if the recall petition is any indication, there won't be finality on the park debate anytime soon.

“I'm satisfied the citizens have spoken, I hope the council listens from now on,” Quigley said.

Ironically, the recall could be somewhat of a moot point. If Goebel does not resign, the city secretary says the recall election would not be until may -- the same time that Goebel will be term limited.

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