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Ponder resigns in Galena Park

Barry Ponder

City government in Galena Park finds itself in a state of change once again, as a leading City Commissioner has resigned from the board, with no reason given.

Barry Ponder, a leader of a group known as “Citizens for A Better Galena Park” and a Commissioner since elected in 2017, sent a letter to the city secretary with his resignation. Although missing from all commission meetings since the date of his letter, August 22, the commission has made no public announcement of this resignation or acknowledged his absence. City Attorney Robert Collins told the North Channel Star that the city has up to 120 days, by state law, to appoint a replacement. This replacement would be voted on by the Commission. After 120 days, if no action is taken, the city must hold a special election to replace Ponder.

COMMISSIONER RODNEY CHERSKY

A number of citizens have questioned whether another Commissioner, Rodney Chersky, is qualified to hold his seat on the board because he no longer resides in the city.

Although the city charter says that you must be a resident if you run for office, Collins explained to the Star that even though Chersky announced that he had moved into Houston in July, the charter says he can hold the seat until June 1st of the next year, or until a general election is held. However, Collins said this is his interpretation, and will ask for a ruling from the Texas Attorney General.

Attorney Collins addressed this situation publicly at the last Commission meeting on October 2nd. He also noted that Chersky plans to move back into Galena Park, which may make this problem moot.

INVESTIGATION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL

The North Channel Star has learned that a number of citizens of Galena Park have been interviewed recently by a representative of the Texas Attorney General, Sergeant Mark Richardson. Their office has not released any official information on this probe, but it is thought to be about voter fraud in the last municipal election. The investigation was prompted by complaints from several citizens who observed irregularities during voting.