ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As election day is approaching and Mayor Anthony Williams is not in the running, mayors of neighboring communities are paying attention, waiting to see who the new Abilene mayor will be. They say it could affect their communities, as well.
One example of this was given to KTAB/KRBC by Clyde’s City Administrator Chirs McGuire regarding Lake Fort Phantom water rights.
Several miles north of Abilene, Lake Fort Phantom is owned by the city of Abilene, but what many do not know is that Clyde owns some water rights to this lake and have since 2013. The city of Clyde obtained water rights that would allow for 2,500 acre feet of this water, but have not been able to take even a drop of this water since then.
“It was just a very acrimonious relationship, and it wounded up in a number of years of litigation,” said McGuire.
He explained that because of this tension and the lawsuits, Clyde could not receive funding to get a pipeline built until it was resolved. That finally happened in 2021 with Mayor Anthony Williams and Mayor Rodger Brown.
“That’s allowed us to move forward on the engineering to build the pipeline,” McGuire shared.
Mayor Brown said he values his relationship with Williams.
“Clyde and Abilene are neighbors, and yeah, we’re way smaller than Abilene, but we have the same goals – taking care of our citizens – taking care of our people,” Brown explained. “Well how best to do that? If we have neighbors, we ought to work with our neighbors. Neighbors take care of each other.”
Williams agreed with the city administrator of Clyde and said Abilene benefits from having good relationships with neighboring mayors as well.
“It creates the ability for Abilene to be all that Abilene ought to be. We are a team,” said Williams. “If Clyde is doing well, we believe we are doing well.”
He mentioned that Dyess Air Force Base being selected to house the B-21 Bomber as an example. Williams said he has developed a good relationship with the mayor of Tye, but if there was contention, “that could have affected the B-21 to have a mission place on Dyess Air Force Base.”
Williams shared that he made having a good relationship with other city officials in neighboring communities a priority during his time in office.
“Relationships with other communities were not always like they are now,” explained Williams. “I made it a priority to make sure Abilene was being a good neighbor and really being very intentional in reaching out, and when we had an opportunity to support our neighbors, we wanted to do so, because again, we see benefit and value to prosperity in those communities.”
Now that Anthony Williams will no longer be mayor of Abilene, mayors of other cities, such as Clyde and Hawley, are hopeful they can build a good relationship with the new mayor, so there can be growth in multiple Big Country communities.
“Not to say that the next mayor that comes in won’t be the same, but it does affect the cities,” said Mayor Billy Richardson of Hawley.
To see who is in the running for Abilene’s next mayor, take a look at the articles below: