By Brittany Anderson
Kyle City Council has a new mayor pro tem following the 2021 runoff election that resulted in the spot becoming vacant.
During the regular meeting on Jan. 4, council members voted 6-1 to select council member Robert Rizo as mayor pro tem.
Council member Daniela Parsley, who was sworn in on Dec. 16, replaced former council member Rick Koch, who was elected in November 2018 and had served as mayor pro tem since December 2019.
Rizo has been on the council since 2019.
Mayor Travis Mitchell reiterated that the mayor pro tem’s duties as prescribed in the charter are to fill in for the mayor in their customary duties, including presiding over meetings in the absence of the mayor and attending functions where the mayor is requested but is unable to attend.
Council members Yvonne Flores-Cale and Michael Tobias both recommended Rizo for the spot. Tobias said that Rizo is someone who has given a lot of himself to both the dais and the city.
“[Rizo] is someone I’ve seen demonstrate a lot of time in the community and given a lot of time, energy and expertise in what he does,” Tobias said. “He’s very knowledgeable with the dais and with what’s on the agendas. I think he would do a good job in the event that Mayor Mitchell is unable to fulfill a duty here on the dais – professionally, efficiently and fair.”
Council member Dex Ellison was the only dissenting vote, but voiced his appreciation for Rizo’s work and to the council for the selection process at hand.
“I felt you should have been our mayor pro tem last year,” Ellison said. “I know why that didn’t happen. I’m not a fan of that. It’s great that this body has taken this decision so strongly. It seemed to be a very passive decision last year. So I do appreciate the council doing that.”
Rizo said that in taking on the role, ‘servant leadership’ is important to him.
“I’m not looking at it as a title,” Rizo said. “This is just another job. That’s how I look at things when I take on duties. I look at it as leadership: to inspire, life up and encourage. And, to also uplift the board that you serve.”
Rizo also said that “remembering to be humble” is crucial for leadership roles like this.
“It’s not a title that you’re taking on; it’s a responsibility. It’s a job,” Rizo said. “I think the job is clear. It’s to move this council forward and to work with everyone on this dais to bring the city forward in the capacity that these citizens expect.”