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Frustration in Marlin after city council meeting is canceled last minute

Protestors and community members gathered in city hall to voice their thoughts, only to learn the council meeting was cancelled due to a lack of councilor attendance
Posted: 10:29 PM, Feb 13, 2024
Updated: 2024-02-13 23:29:33-05

MARLIN, Texas — “So we can not move forward with the meeting…at all,” said Marlin Mayor, Susan Byrd.

“Well played…well played,” said resident, Jeb Fletcher.

People in Marlin are filled with frustration as Mayor Susan Byrd announced the cancellation of a highly-anticipated city council meeting.

Several people told 25 News' Madison Myers they were planning to use this meeting as an opportunity to speak up about the investigation of the Marlin Animal Shelter.

“Frustrated, helpless, angry…these are supposed to be our city leaders and they’re supposed to step up when things are in a tense situation and they just canceled… they just canceled and ran,” said protest organizer, Dorothy Sanders.

It's been more than a month since several dead and neglected dogs were found at the city shelter.

Since then, people from all over Central Texas continue to protest.

Madison Myers walked alongside ralliers during a walk Tuesday afternoon to the council meeting.

"The animal control officer should have been doing her job… which she was not. That resulted in emaciated and unhealthy dogs and also some deaths,” said protester, Valerie Mann.

Mayor Susan Byrd stated that Tuesday's council meeting was canceled due to a lack of council members present.

Byrd said two members were out sick while another was on vacation, leaving the council without a quorum—the legally required number of council members to conduct city business.

“They knew everybody was going to show up for the city council meeting so now they magically do not have a quorum,” said Debra Wells.

“Frustrated but not surprised. The city council is used to running and hiding so not surprised. We’re not going nowhere…it's fine,” Sanders said.

25 News did attempt to speak with Falls County Sheriff Joe Lopez at his office, but we were turned away and told he was not present at the time, and there was no estimate of when he would be back.

“We’re going to reach out to our state representatives and we’re asking them to step in if we can not get the situation or answers that we need from the City of Marlin,” said Dorene Burlew.

City of Marlin — City Council Livestream, February 13th, 2024