The mayor of a Texas town has resigned following a controversial social media post in which he responded to constituents who complained about ongoing energy outages that have kept parts of the state in the dark for nearly a week.
Colorado City Mayor Tim Boyd, who represented the small Mitchell County town of about 4,000 residents, reportedly resigned on Tuesday after he received backlash for a since-deleted Facebook post that spread widely on several social media platforms, KTXS12 reported.
“No one owes you [or] your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice!” the former mayor wrote. “The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!”
“I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout! If you don’t have electricity you step up and come up with a game plan to keep your family warm and safe,” he continued. “If you have no water you deal without and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family.”
“If you were sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your [sic] lazy is [a] direct result of your raising!” Boyd continued in the post. “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish [sic]. Folks, God has given us the tools to support ourselves in times like this. This is sadly a product of a socialist government where they feed people to believe that the few will work and others will become dependent for handouts.”
“Bottom line, quit crying and looking for a handout! Get off your ass and take care of your own family!” the mayor said in the last part of the post.
Nearly 3 million customers in Texas still had no power Wednesday after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge in demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state’s power grid and causing widespread blackouts. A large swath of Texas was under yet another winter storm warning Wednesday.
Boyd followed up on his social media post by saying that he did not intend to “hurt the elderly or anyone that is in true need of help to be left to fend for themselves.”
The former mayor said he made the statement in relation to people who are unwilling, or “too lazy,” to fend for themselves. He apologized to citizens for the harsh words he used.
“Please understand, if I had it to do over again, I would have just kept my words to myself and if I did say them I would have used better wording and been more descriptive,” Boyd said.
Harris County emergency officials reminded people not to operate cars or gasoline-powered generators indoors after “several carbon monoxide deaths” in or around Houston were reported.
Authorities said three young children and their grandmother, who were believed to be trying to keep warm, also died in a suburban Houston house fire early Tuesday. In Galveston, the medical examiner’s office requested a refrigerated truck to expand body storage, although County Judge Mark Henry said he didn’t know how many deaths there had been related to the weather.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation Tuesday of the grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. His indignation struck a much different tone than just a day earlier, when he told Texans that ERCOT was prioritizing residential customers and that power was getting restored to hundreds of thousands of homes.
ERCOT said Wednesday morning that electricity had been restored to 600,000 homes and businesses by Tuesday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.