Argyle town manager on leave through election, says she can’t be ‘political punching bag’

·2 min read

The contentious political climate is not letting up in Argyle.

A day after the Town Council approved a no confidence resolution for Mayor Bryan Livingston, town manager Erika McComis announced that she is on leave until May 8, after Saturday’s election.

McComis said she decided to use her vacation time for her leave after she received an email from Livingston “attacking” her regarding negotiations with Oncor over a proposal to build a high-voltage transmission line stretching from near Rhome in Wise County into southern Denton County.

Oncor says the transmission line is needed because of the growth in North Texas.

In her email to the Town Council McComis wrote: “A person can only take so much and I cannot continue to be a political punching bag without starting to punch back. For the most part I truly love my job, my staff, and the council and I do not want to do anything to jeopardize that.”

McComis told the Star-Telegram that she was surprised to get the email from Livingston.

“I know he’s just frustrated with everything going on. As I said before, I’m not going to be the punching bag,” she said.

Livingston said his email to McComis was “businesslike and professional” and that he sent it in response to the council’s April 24 decision to remove him from negotiations with Oncor, shifting those discussions to the council.

Livingston said that McComis is also handling the duties of the town secretary, which includes administering elections.

Livingston added that the state of affairs is rooted in differing points of view on keeping the Denton County town rural versus working with other communities.

“The idea of working with other communities is new to Argyle,” he said. “They want to keep things rural.”

He said he believed that the town has to be a larger part of Denton County and that Argyle needs to look at shifting more of the tax base to commercial development.

“That’s what the election is all about, keeping things frozen and not building the tax base,” he said.

The council approved the no confidence resolution on April 24 by a 4-1 vote with Sherri Myers voted against the motion. The came after Livingston released attorney/client privileged information concerning an investigation into an incident involving the mayor and a former employee.

Livingston is not seeking re-election as mayor, but he is running against one of his political foes, Ronald Schmidt for the town council.