DALLAS – Longtime Dallas city councilor and former mayor Jim Fairchild has retired from the council.

His resignation is due to illness, City Manager Greg Ellis said. Fairchild was just re-elected to serve another term in November.

“He served for a long, long time here in this room,” said Mayor Brian Dalton. “Everybody wish him well.”

Fairchild was not in attendance at the Dallas City Council meeting Monday night to receive a plaque and letter the council made for him in appreciation for his two decades of service to the city.

He was first elected to council in 1998 and served two years before successfully running for mayor. Fairchild was the city’s mayor for 10 years before he returned to serving on the council in 2011.

Councilor Kelly Gabliks asked if it would be possible to have Fairchild attend a future meeting to give him a chance to receive the letter and plaque in person.

“Given how many years of service he gave to the city, I’d really like it to be where we could present that to him at a council meeting,” Gabliks said. “If he can make one of the meetings, I’d really like to hold off on giving that to him until we can give him that in person and give him a standing ovation.”

Fairchild’s retirement left a vacancy, which the council promptly filled Monday -- as long as the appointee agrees to take the job. The council voted to appoint Larry Briggs, who ran for the council in November and took fifth in the election. Briggs would serve the entire four-year term.

Briggs was not in attendance Monday to accept the appointment, so the council agreed to offer the seat to the person with the next highest vote tally in November’s election if Briggs did not accept.

For more on this story, see the Jan. 9 edition of the I-O.

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