WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Three-term outgoing Mayor Stephen Santellana presided over possibly his final City Council meeting on Tuesday morning, November 7, 2023.
Besides his three terms as mayor, Santellana also served one term as District 1 City Councilor and was elected to the council in 2015.
He ran for mayor in 2016, winning the first of his three terms. In his last election in 2020, he defeated two challengers.
After Monday’s short meeting, Santellana said goodbye to city staff and citizens, though if there is a runoff in today’s mayor’s race, he could be back for one last City Council meeting.
Santellana noted the many changes and improvements for residents living in the city limits since his first election.
“When I joined, the lakes were empty, the lakes were full,” Santellana said. “We had the IPR project, we now have a beautiful hotel. Three factories were empty, now we have people in those factories. Your economic development is going good; we put a really good focus on infrastructure, looking for future water. A lot of good things have happened in the last eight years.”
Santellana’s final term as mayor was for three years because a charter amendment changed City Council terms from two to three years.
At the start of his last term, he said the biggest challenge was getting the community through the Covid crisis.