A new mayor has been appointed for Mansfield.

The Mansfield City Council appointed retired Mansfield resident Mike Gipson, 63, as mayor to finish the term of former Mayor Larry Austin during its meeting Thursday. Austin resigned as mayor effective April 5, and his term will end Dec. 31. His last work day was March 9. The appointment of mayor was tabled until Thursday's meeting during the Mansfield City Council meeting April 12.

At Thursday's meeting, Mansfield Recorder/Treasurer Becky Walker said she asked if there was anybody present interested in being appointed mayor other than those who had already shown their interest. Gipson said he came by Mansfield City Hall and gave his name to Walker on April 13.

"Mike came forward and gave his spiel, and (Mansfield resident) Ali Bryant came forward, and Dave Johnson, one of the City Council members," Walker said.

The City Council voted to go into executive session to discuss its options, Walker said. Afterward, one of the aldermen made a motion to appoint Johnson, but it died for lack of a second. Another council member made a motion to appoint Gipson, and that was approved 5-1.

A resident of Mansfield for more than 50 years, Gipson said he volunteered to be appointed mayor of Mansfield because he wanted to help the city.

"This community has been so good to me, this town, the schools, I'm on the school board," Gipson said. "I mean, I can't repay these people. There's people from knee-high to a duck that's taken care of me. You know, my mom was a single mom, and my goodness, this town and the community took just unbelievable care."

As mayor, Gipson said he would like to implement more recycling into the city. He would also like to continue implementing improvements into the Mansfield wastewater treatment plant, which he described as ongoing. 

However, Walker said there is now a vacancy on the Mansfield City Council. After Thursday's meeting, Buddy Black resigned from his position as Ward 2, Position 1 alderman due to health reasons.

"And if anyone is interested, you know, that is in that ward, please send in a letter," Walker said.

Walker said the Mansfield City Council also voted Thursday to approve an ordinance to change regular city council meetings from weekly to monthly. The council unanimously approved an ordinance to increase its regular meetings from monthly to weekly during a special meeting Dec. 28, although Austin vetoed the measure. The council voted to override Austin’s veto during its meeting Jan. 18.

The next City Council meeting will take place May 17.