Sherman led by rare female mayor/deputy mayor duo

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- For a year now, two women have led the city of Sherman. We spoke with outgoing Deputy Mayor Pam Howeth and Mayor Cary Wacker about their unique roles as female leaders for the city of Sherman.

"Come on in and then be seated at be quiet please," Howeth said.

Howeth has devoted her life's work to government -- both teaching it at Sherman High School, and participating in it, on the Sherman city council.

A former student encouraged her to run.

"And I said, 'Well who's going to run?' and he says, 'I think it's time you did. When are you going to stop telling us to do it and actually do it yourself?'" Howeth said.

That push propelled Howeth into her five years on council, most recently as Deputy Mayor, serving alongside Mayor Cary Wacker, as the second such duo in city history.

"Young people today still think about men only in politics. The leadership right now in Congress tend to be men. The leadership at the state legislature, for a long time in Sherman, we've had a domination by men," Howeth said.

Howeth has done what many women hope to do: balance a career, family and be of value to her community; a balancing act that was evident in the middle of this interview, when she had to switch hats from Deputy Mayor to educator.

"I am not only your high school teacher, but I'm also the Deputy Mayor of Sherman," Howeth told her class.

Mayor Cary Wacker admits that she too had to evaluate how to balance career with family.

"I think for any woman who is trying to juggle multiple roles, it's a challenge," Wacker said.

Both hope more women are inspired by their service.

"I would love to see more women coming forward because I think they bring unique skills and a very collaborative style that is helpful when you're trying to build consensus," Wacker said.

The city had the most women on council back in 1992, when there were three females on council.


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