Newark mayor resigns; No timetable set for replacement

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, June 23, 2018
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The Newark City Council accepted Mayor Gary Van Wagner’s resignation Thursday night after spending nearly half an hour in closed session.

Council members went behind closed doors at 7:54 p.m. and emerged at 8:22. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Wondolowski told citizens the council had opted not to fill the vacant mayor position and no changes would be made to the city council.

Wondolowski said as Mayor Pro Tem, he would continue to preside over the council.

“For an unspecified time, the mayor position will remain open,” Wondolowski told the public.

Wondolowski told the Messenger after the meeting the council was not in a position to assign a mayor.

Wondolowski said the council does not have a timetable of when Van Wagner’s replacement will be named.

Van Wagner said in his resignation letter, which was obtained through an open records request, “I stepped into this position at the distinct calling of the Lord, and His calling is leading me out at this time.”

When asked after the meeting why Van Wagner resigned, Wondolowski deferred comment and said to ask Van Wagner himself.

“The timing of this is not suspect at all, because you see what Newark, Texas needed when I came aboard was exactly what I had to offer,” Van Wagner said in the letter. “Now the people and systems are strategically in place to include the people we need on council to take this city to its next level.”

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