Terry Chaput has resigned as an Abilene City Commissioner.

City Manager Austin Gilley announced the resignation at the commission’s study session on Tuesday.

The commission is expected to vote to accept the resignation at the Sept. 24 regular meeting.

Chaput said he and his wife Doris are moving to Oklahoma to be closer to family.

Chaput moved to Abilene in 1986 to be branch manager for Great Plains Federal Credit Union.

He said he will miss the people of Abilene.

“I think it has been excellent,” he said of living in Abilene. “I love the town. We’ve had several homes from one side of town to the other.”

He said he and his wife have 33 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

He said Abilene had a strong economy when he was working for Great Plains.

“It still is today, I think,” he said. “It’s still running pretty good.”

Chaput was also a deacon at the St. Andrew Catholic Church.

City Attorney Aaron Martin said the city commission has 60 days to appoint someone to the commission after the vote is taken to accept the resignation.

“The mayor with the consent of the majority of the remaining city commission” will appoint the commissioner, he said.

He said that state law requires 60 days to fill vacancy.

“If the appointment is not made within that 60-day time frame, the governing body needs to pass a resolution to call for a special election to be held within 45 days,” Martin said.

“I suggest when you have a vacancy that you take applications and go through a hiring process. You guys go through resumes or statements of interest and an interview to find the right fit,” he said. “One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen boards make is that they take the first person that is willing to raise their hand. All of a sudden you are down a path you didn’t intend.”

He said that Chaput was only eight months into a four year term.

“This is a long term appointment that you will make,” he said.

The city will be taking statements of interest after the resignation.

Martin said the main qualification would be that the applicant was eligible to vote in the city of Abilene.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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