Races for Place 1 and 2 shape up as deadline passes

Friday was the deadline to apply for a spot on the 2017 Kerrville City Council election ballot, and the race will not be as competitive as we thought. Despite 11 men submitting applications to fill the vacancy on Place 4 last week, only 2 of those candidates actually filed for the election ballot.

For Place 1, Mr. Vincent Voelkel turned in his application to run against incumbent Stephen Fine. Mr. Fine also turned in his packet last week, so he will appear on the May ballot. These two will be the only candidates on the ballot in this year’s election for Place 1.

For Place 2, only one candidate will appear on the ballot: George Baroody. Incumbent Glenn Andrew did not choose to seek re-election to his seat. So only Mr. Baroody will appear on the ballot, giving him a “free pass” for Seat 2.

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Place 4 Gene Allen Resigns from Council

Mr. Gene Allen

In a surprise move yesterday, former councilperson for Place 4, Mr. Gene Allen, submitted his letter of resignation effective at midnight last night. He cited personal and family matters, as well as the changing political environment in Kerrville as reasons for his departure.

Quotes from Gene Allen’s resignation letter.

Quotes from Gene Allen’s resignation letter.

Mr. Allen has served Kerrville for about seven years as city council person, having been elected in 2010, and subsequently re-elected in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Learn more about the current council and what’s to come in the video below.

 

Bid day for water reuse distribution lines

The City of Kerrville will open bids for the water reuse distribution lines on Tuesday, January 17, at 3 PM. This is part of the Water Reuse Project, and includes construction of approximately 30,000 linear feet of distribution mains for treated effluent water. The estimated cost is $5-6 million.

As of today’s post, at least 76 contractors have downloaded specs and plans. Plans for the project can be viewed and downloaded here: http://kerrvilletx.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=73

The lines are pictured below, and will traverse from the water treatment plant on Loop 534 to Schreiner University, Riverhill Golf Course, Peterson Middle School, and Holdsworth Athletic Complex.

The project was engineered by Freese & Nichols, a firm that has designed water reuse projects all over the state of Texas.

Launching Kerrville United Video Productions!

We’re very pleased to announce a new service that is brought to you by your friends at Kerrville United: video production!

We will begin airing videos on various topics this month, with shows such as “Inside Kerrville Politics” with Russell Nemky and Aaron Yates. Other programs will air as we produce them and will cover topics such as Kerrville City Council, Kerr County Commissioners Court, other local government entities, and local news matters that concern the citizens of our community.

We look forward to your feedback and comments. Also, feel free to suggest topics that we should discuss. And if your business is interested in sponsoring this service, we’d love to hear from you.

Here is the first episode of “Inside Kerrville Politics” with Russell Nemky and Aaron Yates that aired on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

So you wanna be a city councilmember…

Good on you! Way to take the initiative and get involved in your community. The upcoming 2017 election occurs on May 6, and will include City Council Place 1 and Place 2. Current holders of those seats are Stephen Fine and Glenn Andrew, respectively.

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The first thing you’ll need to know is that you must file an application  to get a place on the ballot. The application fee is $100, which is waived if you file a valid petition instead. You must get 100 signatures of qualified and registered voters in the city to waive the filing fee. The important thing to remember is they must be qualified to vote in CITY elections — not county. If they’re not eligible to vote in the city, their signature isn’t counted towards that 100.

Qualifications for Office

To hold a position on city council, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Qualified voter in the State of Texas;
  • At least 18 years old;
  • Resident of the City for 12 consecutive months (or you must have lived in a recently annexed area for at least 12 consecutive months);
  • Cannot hold any other elected office or city employment.

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Applications and petitions can be picked up starting now at City Hall in the City Secretary’s office. Call 258-1117 for more information. Or visit the city’s election page for more info.

You must file your completed application/petition between January 18 and February 17, 2017.

Mary Ellen Summerlin appointed to fill vacant City Council seat

Last night Mary Ellen Summerlin was appointed to fill the vacant City Council Place 3 seat left empty following the death of Gary Stork. The vote was 3-0, with Stephen Fine, Glenn Andrew, and Gene Allen voting in favor, no opposed, and Mayor Bonnie White was absent.

Five other applicants had put their name into the hat, including George Baroody and Vincent Voelkel (both were candidates that ran against Stork in the May 2016 election), former city councilperson and local developer Justin McDonald, Robert Keeble (husband of former councilperson Stacie Keeble), and Reverend Allen Noah (pastor of Barnett Chapel in Kerrville).

Mary Ellen Summerlin is a dedicated community member, having served on numerous boards and commissions in the past, including:

In 2014, Mary Ellen and her husband Tim Summerlin were honored with the Bill Dozier Citizen of the Year Award. Tim is the president of Schreiner University, and is retiring at the end of May 2017.

Tim and Mary Ellen Summerlin receive the Bill Dozier Citizen of the Year Award in 2014.

Tim and Mary Ellen Summerlin receive the Bill Dozier Citizen of the Year Award in 2014.

Mary Ellen has demonstrated great expertise when it comes to water issues and environmental issues, having served on boards that directly affect and support the environment — HGCD and Riverside Nature Center. She explains the water cycle, rivers, and aquifers in this video, produced in cooperation between Riverside Nature Center and Headwaters Groundwater Conservation District.

Mary Ellen is also an active member of the Hill Country League of Women Voters. She has regularly moderated election candidate forums like this one, held in April 2016. This forum was actually for the place on council that Mary Ellen will now fill — Place 3 — and features Gary Stork, George Baroody, and Vincent Voelkel.

We look forward to supporting Mrs. Summerlin in her new role as councilperson!

Additional Readings and Reference:

Q&A on the City’s Water Reuse Project

The city council recently granted the contract for the construction of a 105 million gallon water reuse storage pond near the water treatment plant on Loop 534. This has been a contentious issue that has grown to include concerns about the future of Kerrville’s water supply as well as the future of some of Kerrville’s youth sports leagues — namely youth soccer.

A computer rendering of the 105 MG reuse pond

A computer rendering of the 105 MG reuse pond

To shed a little more light on the issue, here is a FAQ provided by the City of Kerrville that addresses some of the major concerns. Editor’s Note: This is cut and pasted from a city document found online here: http://kerrvilletx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/26331 Continue reading