‘MADAM MAYOR’ | Flanagan takes office in leadership milestone for city

“Today marks a historic moment in our town’s story – a moment filled with promise, hope, and the spirit of unity. I stand before you completely humbled and honored to accept the responsibility as the first female mayor of Gladewater.”
Gladewater Mayor Brandy Flanagan began her term May 16 with thanks to her family members, friends, fellow council members, city staffers, local volunteers and her community.
“This journey has not necessarily been about breaking barriers but more about building bridges. It’s about embracing our collective strength, wisdom, and diversity to propel us forward. As I sit here, I am reminded of the countless individuals who paved the way, whose resilience and determination laid the foundation for progress.”
The Gladewater City Council’s monthly meeting began as usual last week, with an opening prayer and the Pledge Allegiance. Granted, it’s not often a council session kicks-off in front of a standing room-only crowd.
“Glad to see a big group here tonight for this historic occasion,” outgoing Mayor Scott Owens told the audience. “It only took a 150 years in Gladewater to elect a woman to the mayor’s post, and I congratulate you on that.”
Owens presented Certificates of Election to Flanagan along with returning Place 2 incumbent Michael Webber and newly-elected Place 3 councilman Stoney Stone then, in turn, received a plaque commemorating his service, presented by interim Gladewater City Manager Charlie Smith.

Interim Gladewater City Manager Charlie Smith (right) presents a plaque to outgoing Mayor Scott Owens May 16, thanking him for his 14 years of service – as council member from May 2005 to May 2015 and November 2020 to May 2022 then as mayor from May 19, 2022 to May 16, 2024.

“I’ve enjoyed working with him,” Smith said, reading: “In honor of our outgoing mayor, this leadership award is presented to Scott E. Owens in grateful appreciation for 14 years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service.”
It’s bittersweet to leave the post, Owens said.
“But it’s also, ‘Phew!’ Someone else can do this now,” he quipped. “I am going to be moving on to a new post for a short time with the city here as interim EDC director ‘til they find somebody new. I’m excited about doing that.
“Thank you.”
Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt administered the Oath of Office first to Flanagan, right hand raised and surrounded by her loved ones in front of the council dais, followed by Webber and Stone.
“Today is about looking back with gratitude while looking forward with unwavering optimism,” Flanagan told the packed house. “Together, we embark on a journey of growth and inclusivity. Our mission is clear to move forward, we must do it together.
“Gladewater is more than just a place on the map; it’s a beautiful tapestry of generational stories, awe-inspiring aspirations and hard work woven together by the hands of its people. Each one of you plays a vital role in shaping our future, and I am committed to ensuring every respectful voice is heard, every solution-oriented idea is valued and every team-minded individual is empowered.”
Flanagan called on the community to stand together in the times ahead.
“There’s no challenge too great and no goal too lofty as we tackle pressing issues facing our town as a whole – from infrastructure to economic revitalization – creating a brighter future for generations to come,” she said. “Thank you, Gladewater, for this incredible honor. I am filled with gratitude for the trust you have placed in me, and I promise to serve with integrity, compassion, wisdom, and an unwavering commitment to the greater good of our city.
“God Bless Gladewater!”

– By James Draper

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