Bill Houston, who has served as the mayor of Midlothian for seven years since he was first elected in February 2012, informed members of the city council and staff Tuesday that he intends to resign Friday.
Houston is mid-way through his third term after being re-elected in 2017. A special meeting agenda for noon Friday was posted Tuesday afternoon, noting Houston will formally submit his resignation to the city council at that time.
He intends to continue in his role until the next mayor is elected in May.
“It’s kind of a surprise,” Place 4 council member Joe Frizzell said. “There hasn’t been a lot of conversation about it.”
Houston previously served on the Midlothian City Council under its Place 2 seat for four years before he was elected mayor in 2012. Besides serving on the Midlothian City Council, Houston is also a licensed real estate agent and former president of the Ellis-Hill Association of Realtors, according to his bio page on the city website.
Houston has also served on the Midlothian Community Development Corporation Board, delivered meals under the Meals on Wheels program and facilitated a DivorceCare program with his wife Debbie out of the First Baptist Church in Midlothian.
Houston explained that he wasn’t planning to seek re-election when his term was up in 2020. Houston stated that his wife recently retired herself earlier this month, and he wanted to resign so he could spend more time with her and the rest of his family.
“I’ve been with her a lot longer,” Houston chuckled. “She looked up at me with her pretty blue eyes, and she told me ‘You spend all these hours and all this time away from us and miss birthday parties. I’d like you to spend more time with me and the grandkids.’”
Houston stated that he thought it best to submit his resignation now so that the city could avoid running a special election at an inconvenient time.
While the resolution calls for a special election regardless, Houston stated that it will be at the same time as the general election on May 4 and won’t inconvenience residents.
Frizzell stated that he's appreciated the time spent serving under Houston, and he wishes him well after his time is up as mayor.
“I appreciate his efforts and his dedication to the city,” Frizzell expressed. “Bill has done an outstanding job as mayor.”
Houston said that although he is resigning as mayor, he will be involved at some capacity with the city and will contribute in whatever small areas he can.
Houston expressed that while he hates to leave, he believes he's run the course that was laid out for him and its time to move into the next chapter in his life.
“It’s a great city,” Houston said. “I love what we’re doing, and we’ve got so much stuff that is coming. It’s worked really good before I was here – it’ll work really well after I’ve gone.”
Upon acceptance of Houston’s resignation, the council will act upon a resolution to call a special election to be held for Houston’s replacement.
City secretary Tammy Varner explained that applicants interested in running for mayor would be able to file starting 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 at city hall, located at 104 West Avenue East. The deadline to file will be 5 p.m. Monday, Mar. 4.