James Stewart recall, Brady, Texas (2010)

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A vote about whether to recall James Stewart from his position as Mayor of Brady, Texas, took place on May 8, 2010.[1] Stewart was recalled by a narrow margin of 12 votes.[2]

  • Votes to recall Stewart: 294 Approveda
  • Votes to keep Stewart: 282

Matthew Brown led the effort to recall the mayor due to allegations that he violated the city’s charter. The violation, according to supporters of the recall, stem from personal issues. Also among the reasons for recall is that the mayor is the editor and publisher of the city newspaper, thus giving him a conflict of interest. Brown is accused of hiring and firing city employees, a job given to the city manager.

Stewart was also been viewed by some as having a short temper with city officials and residents. In an incident involving the Brady High School marching band, Stewart went to take pictures with the band and subsequently lost his temper when he allegedly yelled at the students. According to recall effort organizer Matthew Brown: “He lost his temper and started saying they would not amount to anything. There were several kids who went home in tears. I’ve heard from several of the parents who have signed the petition.”[3]

Public meetings

Residents had a chance to have their voice heard at a public meeting that was held on October 12, 2009. During the meeting, residents stated their reasons for support of the recall, some including an alleged incident where the mayor called the police on an elderly woman who threw away personal items in a city dumpster while leaving a cemetery. About 150 residents attended the meeting, where the mayor was also present and gave his response to the recall effort. Other allegations have surrounded the mayor, including accusations that the mayor is interfering with city personnel, taking over the position of city manager. Stewart responded: “There is not, nor has there ever been, any proof or evidence that I demanded any employee be fired. That evidence does not exist, because it has never happened. I encourage anyone who doubts this statement to ask any of the three city managers with whom I have worked.”

Presbyterian Pastor Brian Wiggins, who is concerned with the supposed short temper that the mayor has, stated he was satisfied with the public hearing: “It was good to hear from both sides last night. Both sides needed to be heard. Now everyone can decide and go to the polls in May to have their final say.”[4]

See also