As Kyle officials continue to weigh their options on filling a vacancy on the dais, the possibility of calling a special election could be one course of action.
On Feb. 5, Shane Arabie, who had served as the District 3 council member for the past five years, abruptly resigned during the regularly scheduled meeting. Arabie verbally delivered his resignation and left quickly, citing a change in his career and workload. The Hays Free Press has reached out to Arabie for comment, but he has not responded back, as of press time.
Kyle Communication Specialist Kim Hilsenbeck confirmed that Arabie had not yet turned in his official, written letter of resignation.
The Texas Secretary of State’s office confirmed to city officials the resignation is only valid in writing. Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said he anticipates council taking up an item during its Feb. 19 meeting to discuss the issue.
“We’re going to place the item in the agenda as an update on Tuesday for the meeting,” Mitchell said. “There most likely won’t be anything to vote on, but we don’t know what Arabie’s intentions are. We’re still working through our options.”
In the interim, city officials are weighing the possibility of calling a May 4 special election.
Arabie’s seat, an at-large district, allows candidates to reside anywhere in Kyle and they would be voted on by the entire city, rather than within a specific district. The District 3 council seat was scheduled to be up for election this November.
While the state’s deadline to call a May election is Friday, Mitchell said the city could have some leeway due to the unusual circumstance.
If an election is called before March 19, the filing period for candidates could run from the date the election is called for until March 25. Election Day could be May 4. An exact cost to hold a special election is unknown at this time.
“The charter calls for an election within the next 120 days,” Mitchell said. “The most likely scenario is that we will run the election concurrent with the (Hays CISD) school board election in May.”
The Kyle city charter states the city council is responsible for disciplinary actions against councilmembers who have more than three consecutive absences.
However, the city council is not necessarily obligated to deliver such action.