Races decided in most towns, but the Bay has two up in the air
by Carla Noah Stutsman
Azle voters have approved the creation of a Municipal Development District in the portion of Azle that lies in Tarrant County.
That’s just part of the news emerging from general elections held in the area Saturday, May 11.
All results are considered unofficial until the various city, school, and other boards meet to canvass and certify the results.
City of Azle
In the only contested city council race – for Place 6 – voters chose R. Lee Barrett with 227 votes over Damon Bethurum with 96 votes.
Mayor Alan Brundrett was unopposed in his bid for reelection and received 339 votes.
Council member, Place 3 and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Jones was also unopposed and received 309 votes.
No one ran against Place 4’s Paul Crabtree; he garnered 320 votes.
Proposition I, the creation of a Municipal Development District or MDD, won voters’ approval by almost two-thirds of the vote, with 268 voting for the measure and 155 against.
The district will eventually collect a half-cent sales and use tax on the Tarrant County side of Azle, with proceeds going toward projects intended to draw and benefit the development of business within the district.
In an email to supporters of the MDD, Nate Simmons, a member of the Azle Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council, had this to say:
“… I know this has been 10 years in the making with the last 12 months dedicated to planning, preparation, and promotion. This was a great team effort and together we have all made a difference here in our town.
“It has been my honor to work with such a great group of leaders in this community. I count this a huge success for the City of Azle and I know we all look forward to what the future holds,” Simmons said.
In the Azle Independent School District election for Board of Trustees, board president Bill Lane, vice president Jeff Edwards, and board member Sam Merck were each unopposed for reelection and will retain their seats.
But in a five-way race, Erik Loeffelholz held onto the Place 1 seat he was appointed to in March, garnering more than 54 percent of the vote. Loeffelholz beat his closest challenger by more than 3.5 to 1.
Challenger Bernadette Roquemore, a long time “lunch lady” for AISD, produced 99 votes; Thomas Kisner received 89 votes; Warren Smith pulled in 74 votes, and Clifton McDonnell got 59 votes in their bids to replace Loeffelholz.
Town of Lakeside
In the town of Lakeside, voters also approved Proposition I. In this case, the proposition was the create a one-cent sales and use tax to reduce the property tax rate; for the benefit of a Texas Development Corporation Act Type B Corporation; and to provide revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets. The proposition carried by a vote of 76 to 47.
In the only contested race in Lakeside, former town administrator and council member William F. “Bill” Mohr triumphed with 52 votes, defeating Charles T. Hamilton with 31 votes and Richard E. Dennis with 40.
Lakeside Mayor Patrick Jacob, unopposed in his bid for reelection, received 91 votes to retain his seat for another term.
Place 4 incumbent Amy Robinson, also unopposed, received 87 votes.
City of Pelican Bay
Of the three races for council seats in the Bay, one ended in a landslide, while two others are too close to call.
Bill Morley will retain his seat in Place 3, receiving 79 votes to challenger Sabra Swaim’s 29 votes.
In Place 4, a remarkable dead heat ensued, with incumbent Glen Oberg and his challenger Tish Allen each receiving 54 votes.
City secretary Teri Anthony was unavailable to answer questions about how the situation would be resolved at press time.
In the race for Place 5, incumbent Robin Finstad held on to her seat by one vote. Finstad received 52 votes, while one challenger, Joe Bologna, received 51 votes. A third candidate, Marshal Daniel, received 5 votes.
City of Reno
Mayor Lynda Stokes and council member in Place 2, David Andrews, each ran unopposed and will retain their seats on the Reno city council.
In the race for Place 4, incumbent Keith “Eric” Hunter prevailed over former council member Carol Houlihan by a vote of 97-20.
Tarrant Regional Water District
In a race that was suspenseful to the end, three at-large seats were up, and the field of candidates was seven deep.
Three newcomers who campaigned together as a group in an effort to unseat the three incumbents were only partially successful.
Mary Kelleher with 8,941 votes, incumbent Jack R. Stevens with 7,884 votes and incumbent Vic Henderson with 7,525 votes won the three available seats.
Hal S. Sparks, III, with 7,432 votes, was the only incumbent unseated. He was bested by just a single vote by John Austin Bassham with 7,433 votes.
For a time on election night, with one precinct left to report, it looked like Bassham would defeat Henderson. But voters in that final precinct pushed Henderson into the winner’s circle.
Dwayne Herring, the seventh candidate, received 2,864 votes in the election.
Parker County Emergency Services District 1
Two things are clear as it pertains to the decisions voters made regarding the annexation of the Aledo and Annetta Volunteer Fire Departments’ areas into Parker County ESD1.
First, a small majority of voting citizens in the Aledo/Annetta area along with a two-thirds majority of voting citizens living within ESD1 are in agreement that the Aledo/Annetta areas should be annexed into ESD1. Those voters passed Proposition 1.
Second, Proposition 2 is a little tricky.
Proposition 2 basically says that new revenue generated in the newly-annexed area can be used to retire ESD1 debt that exists at the time of the election.
Interestingly, voters within the ESD passed Proposition 2 by a vote of 655-407.
But voters in the annexed area defeated the proposition, 625 votes to 585.
An attorney for the ESD has been quoted as saying: “The rejection of Proposition 2 means new revenue generated in the annexed area cannot be used to retire ESD1’s previous debt. It basically means the ESD will have to keep its books differently.”