Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes and council members Draco Miller and H.D. Jones took the oaths of office Tuesday to begin new terms, and council members elected Miller to serve as mayor pro tem.
Miller, a 51-year-old business owner, said his goal as a child was to become the first black mayor of Brownwood. Miller said he's learned from Haynes, City Manager Bobby Rountree and Haynes, and he still hopes to be elected mayor.
Miller said he has a vested interest in Brownwood and wants to lead the same way as Haynes and Haynes' predecessor, Bert Massey.
Miller said he doesn't want to run against Haynes, who he described as sharp and passionate about Brownwood, but acknowledged that it could happen.
In other business Tuesday, council members:
• Approved $46,500 for the demolition of 18 blighted structures for the remainder of the fiscal year. The council earlier allocated $62,000 for the demolitions, and 24 structures have been demolished at an average cost of $2,583 each.
The demolition budget has been fully expended, and council members will be asked to approve a budget amendment at the end of the fiscal year to move the $46,500 from reserves.
• Approved the abandonment of two 15-foot-wide utility easements across a 7.5 acre tract of land on Custer Road owned by the Brownwood Industrial Foundation.
Wright Asphalt is buying the land, located at the corner of Custer and Stephen F. Austin, to build an asphalt plant. The project has a total capital investment of $8.75 million. The company would not be able to build the plant without the abandonment of the easements.
• Joined the Atmos Cities Steering Committee in denying Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex Division's request for a $45.7 million rate increase. The committee has recommended a $19 million rate increase.
• Approved an amendment to a tower and building space lease agreement with Dobson cellular at the old Continental Grain property.
• Approved the appointment of John Moody as director of Fleet Services. Moody replaces Bill Thomas, who is retiring.