Randy Hartless is Parker’s new Mayor after a vote at Tuesday night’s council meeting, the first of the year. David Lucas was voted Vice Mayor. The change represents a new season at Town Hall.
After the invocation and pledge of allegiance, the new council took the oath of office and were seated. Marion Shontz began by nominating Jerry Hooper for Mayor. Hooper and Shontz were joined by Rey DeLeon in voting Yes, while the rest of the council voted No. Then, Erica Daniels nominated Hartless, and was joined by Hartless, David Lucas, Dusty Woodell and Shontz in voting Yes, a majority of the council.
Shontz nominated Hooper for Vice Mayor, with the same split, before Hartless nominated Lucas, receiving the votes of the majority.
After moving to the Mayor’s chair, Hartless said, “I appreciate the opportunity and I want to see us moving in the right direction. I think we’ve been moving in the right direction since October 2021.”
That was the month Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer was placed on administrative leave after much controversy, with Hartless her most vocal critic. Hartless then thanked outgoing Mayor Karen Bonds and Town Clerk Amy Putnam for their service to the Town, for which Bonds was earlier presented a plaque.
“This has been a hard time for the Town,” he added.
Hartless was elected to council in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. He leads the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment (PAACE), a Parker nonprofit which runs programs for Parker youth, and is President of the Parker School Board.
In recent years, he has made news for his opposition to Wedemeyer’s actions as Town Manager, with allegations of wrongdoing leading to her ouster in 2021 and a subsequent lawsuit naming Hartless, in which Wedemeyer claims she has had her reputation unfairly ruined.
The decisions made at Tuesday night’s meeting will be seen as a pivotal turning point in the power held at Town Hall. Two distinct ‘camps’ emerged during the past several years, one which included Wedemeyer and one which was critical of her. With the turning over of the council, and the Mayor and Vice Mayor positions, Wedemeyer’s remaining supporters on the council are now distinctly in the minority. This includes check signing authority, which is now vested in the new Mayor and Vice Mayor, and in councilwoman Daniels.
Daniels occupies a seat formerly held by Frank Savino, who resigned last year. Woodell is taking office this month for the first time.
Hartless told Parker Live he wants to see a proficient Town Manager step in.
“My goal is to hire a qualified Town Manager,” he said, “and to see the proper Town Manager / Town Council relationship restored to the way it’s supposed to be, with everyone having a voice in the town government instead of the Town Manager allowing a few select council members to make the decisions. A Town Manager should never be allowed to manipulate council members, community members, finances, local media, and even elections in an effort to retain their position. It’s just wrong.”
Awesome! Congratulations Randy!
And a BIG congratulations
Congratulations Randy! Me and my mom are at home rejoicing and Congratulating you!!! ❤
Kubacki obtains a raise in pay which is a soil stain on the common good.
Laura Gonzalez Hey lady- long time no see! Hope all is well!
Randy J Hartless yes, all good in the hood! The town of parker is lucky to have you as the mayor. 😊
Real story the weighty decision made by the town to give the judicial officer Kubacki a fat raise quite an enormous amount of money but will provide a ton of rulings for the heavy caseloads.
Congratulations, Mr. Hartless
Congratulations, the Town is now in good hands.
congrats mr mayor hartless!!!
Sorry folks- technically it is a conflict of interest for Mr. Hartless to vote for himself- just saying.
Lee- Even if you were right, the other nominees voted for themselves too, and Hartless didn’t need his own vote to win.
Sorry Mr. “Klemner” but according to Robert’s Rules of Order for Dummies”
“The rule that you should abstain from voting on matters of direct personal interest to you doesn’t apply if you’re nominated for office. If your status as a member makes you eligible for the office, you’re entitled to benefit from a vote as any other member would. So go ahead and vote for yourself, if you want to.”
Congrats to Both. The New Mayor and Vice Mayor.
Thank you Karen, for your Service. Jerry No comment…..!!!!!
I used to think the world of Mr. Hartless until he attacked Lori Wedemeyer. That whole situation could have been handled better. I hope the power doesn’t go to his head.
After reading your comment, I shook my head and the power fell out. SMH.