An emotional speech was given by Mineral Wells councilwoman and former interim Mayor Tammy Underwood as she parted from her council position after 10 years Tuesday night.
“I want to say thank you to the citizens of Ward 2 who voted time and again to allow me to serve our community,” Underwood said. “Ten years have passed so quickly and I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to serve and devote my heart to the future of our community.
“Not all decisions are easy ones, but I knew going in I would never make everyone happy. I did, however, remain true to myself and I always voted by heart and for what I believed was the best for our community then, and for our future.”
Underwood filed as a write-in candidate for the May 14, 2011 election after no one had filed for the Ward 2 position. Underwood said over the last 10 years she’s seen many changes.
“I’ve watched folks come and go on this council, said goodbye to key management and watched our fire department grieve over the loss of their chief, Robin Allen,” she said. “I also watched as God has placed new management into place just at the right time to make sure we never miss a step.”
She added that City Secretary Peggy Clifton, City Manager Randy Criswell, Police Chief Dean Sullivan and now-retired Fire Chief Mike Pool are all part of that blessing.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you all. I appreciate the can-do attitudes and your work ethics — you’re stellar.”
Underwood became the interim mayor for Mineral Wells in February of 2020 after former mayor Chris Perricone became ineligible to serve any longer when he failed to file property taxes. Regan Johnson was officially elected to the mayoral seat in the Nov. 3, 2020 election and Underwood assumed her Ward 2 position until announcing she would not file for reelection in the May 1 election.
“While I did not get elected as mayor as I wanted, the Ward did bless me to serve as your mayor, if even for a short time,” Underwood said. “That distinction is very dear to me and I cherish the time spent in that capacity.”
Underwood thanked her family for their support during her time on council.
“You listened to me when I needed to purge. You prayed for me when I had no words and you kept your composure and remained silent when it was against the fiber of your being not to defend my honor,” she said. “Your restraint speaks volumes of our family and of your respect for me. I love you all. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made over the years in order to let me do me.”
Underwood is the director of customer support for Genesys Aerosystems in Mineral Wells and has been with the company since 2000. She thanked her company for encouraging her to serve and supporting her along the way.
Filling Underwood’s shoes is Carlos Maldonado, who was sworn at Tuesday’s meeting in along with new At Large Place 2 councilman Glenn Mitchell and reelected councilmen Brian Shoemaker, At Large Place 1, and Doyle Light, Ward 4. Light was also appointed to serve as mayor pro-tem.
Citing Romans 13:1, Underwood left current and newly elected officials with some words of wisdom.
“When the criticism comes and the harsh and untruthful rumors begin to fill your head with doubt about why you’re serving in your council or mayor position, remember this: Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God,'” she said. “Yes council, you have been appointed by God. We can’t see the big picture but you are here in this moment and time because God wants you here. That is a huge responsibility.”