Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Coppell officials take time to remember tragedy
It was a year ago that Mayor Jayne Peters killed her daughter and herself.
During this time last year, the city of Coppell was grieving and in shock over the tragic news surrounding the deaths of Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters and her daughter Corinne.
One year later, through professionalism and integrity, the city has been able to move past the incident as it looks toward the future.
Last July, during a regularly scheduled city council meeting, council members became concerned after Peters did not attend. Shortly thereafter, police investigated her home to find the bodies of Peters and her daughter; it was later determined by police that Peters had shot her daughter and then turned the gun on herself.
Coppell Mayor Doug Stover described the event as the greatest tragedy the city had ever experienced.
"No one will forget that day," Stover said. "I am proud of how our community responded. Our council, our staff, our citizens and our faith community all grieved over the loss, but everyone pulled together to support one another and move forward."
Since the deaths, the city of Coppell has come together and grown. During the mayor's "State of the City Address" held earlier this year, Stover raved how the city was continuing to move forward and grow even with the recent state of the economy.
Still, the council remembers the challenges they faced following the incident and take pride in how they dealt with the situation.
"The Coppell City Council persevered and was outstanding during this crisis. They lost their mayor, but like our staff they never skipped a beat in serving our citizens," Stover said. "Then Mayor Pro Tem Bob Mahalik did a splendid job stepping up to the plate and serving as mayor for four months. I was proud too that they did not judge or criticize or try to cast themselves as victims or feed the very sensationalized coverage by some media outlets. Today we are a strong and vibrant council with unwavering dedication to the community."
Coppell City Manager Clay Phillips agrees. Phillips said he feels that the council has grown stronger and closer since the deaths of the two women and have always done what is best for the community.
"As I have told others, your mettle is tested during tough times," Phillips said. "We were able to pull together both as an organization and a community. I believe we are an even closer community today."
While the deaths of Peters and her daughter will never be forgotten, the city continues to move forward and hopes to continue projects and city improvements to make Coppell a safe, attractive city that people want to live in.
"Compassion was and is abundant in our city and it reinforced for all of us the importance of not just reaching out to offer help, but to also reach out to ask for help," Stover said. "I am very proud of this community."
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