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Gladewater City Manager Sean Pate has officially accepted the city manager position in Bonham Texas, today. He told the Gladewater Mirror he had notified his staff and the city council of his intention to resign. 
"I hate leaving this wonderful community, but I cannot pass up the opportunity," Pate said, adding his last day will be July 2.
Pate recently was a finalist for the Kilgore City Manager's job. 
He has been with Gladewater for five year.
The city council has scheduled a special session for Monday, June 1, at 6 p.m. to accept Pate's resignation and appoint an interim city manager and discuss the recruitment of Pate's replacement.
City Secretary Melba Haralson served as interim city manager before Pate was hired and after former city manger Jay Stokes left to take the city manager's job in Deer Park, Texas, in April of 2010.


Gladewater City Secretary Melba Haralson was handed another hat to wear Tuesday night, as the City Council handed her the interim city manager’s job.

Haralson will replace city manager Sean Pate who is leaving to become city manager in Bonham. Pate's last day is July 2.
This will be Haralson’s third time to serve as interim city manager and she will be charged with guiding the city through the budget process this summer. It took the city council two hours in executive session to come to a conclusion after not making a decision last week.

Last week several names were pitched for the interim city manager's job, including councilwoman Lana Niemann and former mayor John Paul Tallent, among others. Niemann said she would serve as interim city manager, but did not want the job full-time. 
Haralson was hired by the City of Gladewater in 1994 and appointed City Secretary in 1996. She is a graduate of the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program through the University of North Texas and has over 30 years of financial and accounting background. She is a member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Texas Municipal Human Resource Association, Texas Government Finance Officers Association, Gladewater Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Gladewater Lions Club, and serves on numerous committees and volunteers with various community projects and events.

As city secretary she attends and records proceedings of official meetings of the City and is the manager and custodian of official records. She also has been responsible for conducting city elections, including early voting and is the city treasurer, finance department supervisor, human resources and personnel director. Her duties also include directing all information systems and data processing efforts and provides control and consistency to the procurement of all supplies, material and equipment.

The city council has begun the recruitment process for a fulltime city manager by advertising with the Texas Municipal League.

Former GISD Teacher Charged

According to TV reports, a former Gladewater teacher is under investigation for allegedly causing serious harm to a young student.

The mother of a kindergarten student provided pictures to KETK of her child, who she said suffered second-degree burns. 

The boy's mom, Tiffany Anderson, claims her son had permission to be under the teacher's desk to wind down when he becomes agitated or antsy. During this time the boy grabbed some candy from the teacher's drawer, according to the mother.

The teacher, who has been identified to us as Amanda Hickman, allegedly grabbed the boy by his feet and dragged him out of the classroom.

KETK contacted Gladewater ISD for a statement on the alleged incident.

"There was an incident. The person is no longer with us at this time in this district. It was an isolated incident," Superintendent J.P. Richardson said. "Safety is our number one priority. [The incident] was dealt with swiftly."

Richardson also add no other children were harmed, and charges have been filed against the teacher. The case was immediately turned over to the Gladewater Police Department, stated the superintendent.

The Gladewater police chief was not immediately available for comment.



GILMER--Upshur County Commissioners Court on Friday took no action on a mutual aid agreement proposed by the city of Gladewater after several commissioners said they were happy with their current interlocal agreement with the city.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Frank Berka, whose precinct includes the Upshur County portion of Gladewater, urged the court not act on the proposal from Gladewater City Manager Sean Pate after the three other commissioners expressed satisfaction with the current agreement.

The interlocal pact lets the county and city cooperate on road work and share expenses.

County Judge Dean Fowler opened the discussion by saying the proposal was the same type agreement Gladewater has with Gregg County Commissioners Court. Berka then said "it's just spelled out in legalese stuff" compared to the current agreement.

The commissioner said he had District Attorney Billy Byrd review the proposal and that Byrd said it was okay. Then the other commissioners--Paula Gentry, Don Gross and Mike Spencer--said they were happy with the current agreement before Fowler said "it doesn't matter to me" what the court did.

Berka said the current agreement states that aid is "subject to current funding."

Pate, who did not attend the commissioners' meeting, told this newspaper afterward in a phone interview that he proposed the agreement "to create some consistency" and allow "more flexibility." He said it was "just mimicking" the agreement the city made with Gregg County, which he said has worked well.

The city manager, who said Berka had called him to express his concerns with the proposal, said the city was not demanding a change and that it was a "simple suggestion." Pate said the city is "fine with the existing" interlocal agreement if that is what the court wants.

Berka said after the meeting that the current agreement is a "very simple one page" document with "not a lot of legalese language" and the proposed new one "basically is the same thing we're doing today."

Thus, he said, there was "no sense in making changes if they're not needed."





GILMER--Upshur County Commissioners Court on March 31 approved a contract with Union Grove Water Supply Corporation, allowing the county to be the fiscal agent for a $348,300 state grant for the corporation to replace aged, deteriorating, and undersized water lines.

Under the agreement, volunteers, in conjunction with the corporation, will install about 23,500 linear feet of six-inch and 10-inch water mains, along with "road boring, service reconnections, fuel and all related appurtenances."

In a news release, Amazing Grants, Inc., a Big Sandy consulting firm which helped secure the grant, said the improvements are targeted "in areas that serve predominantly low-to-moderate income residents."  The corporation hopes to begin construction this fall.

The already-approved grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture requires no matching funds from the corporation or county, said Melinda Smith of Amazing Grants. The county applied for and received the Small Towns Environment Program Grant.

Locations for the work include portions of:

--U.S. 271 from Redwood Road to Silk Tree Road.

--Union Grove Road from 271 to Short Oak Road.

--Bob-O-Link Road from FM Road 1844 to Pheasant Road

--Pheasant Road from Bob-O-Link Road to FM Road 726

--FM Road 726 from Pheasant Road to Thrush Road

Upon approval by Union Grove WSC and the county, the county will pay invoices only from grant and/or corporation funds.

The contract also provides that the corporation will "request and receive proposals for grant administration services and engineering services," and that the county will consider entering into a contract with the grant management firm and engineering firm which the corporation recommends.

"Fees will be paid with grant funds," the contract says.

In the news release, Amazing Grants said the grant was awarded "after a lengthy application process, which included a public hearing and community meeting. County Judge Dean Fowler and Precinct 1 Commissioner Paula Gentry attended the community meeting hosted by the water supply in August 2014 and received an overwhelming response in support of the project.  x

"Commissioner Gentry will serve as a 'Sparkplug,'" which is the state agriculture department's "term for a volunteer that has agreed to help organize volunteers and oversee various tasks associated with the project," the news release said.

Anyone interested in volunteering may call Gentry at 903-680-8331 or Union Grove WSC Manager Cathy Harris at 903-845-2834.


Fowler said at the commissioners court's March 31 meeting that the county is "very pleased" it received the grant