Monthly Archives: May 2018

New Mayor and New Council Take Helm

On Tuesday morning, May 15, the new members took their oaths of office, and Kerrville officially has a new mayor and two new councilpersons.

Mayor Bill Blackburn and Place 4 Delayne Sigerman took their oaths today, while Place 3 Judy Eychner will be sworn in this Friday (she was out of town during the official ceremony). Council members in Place 1 and 2, Vincent Voelkel and George Baroody, were present at the meeting, but outgoing Mayor Bonnie White was absent.

The YouTube video of today’s meeting is available below. Be sure to watch the outgoing statements from Place 3 Mary Ellen Summerlin and Place 4 Warren Ferguson. We thank them for their service!

Congrats to the new members, and now it’s time to get to work!


The May 5 election results have been tallied, and the winners were Bill Blackburn (Mayor), Judy Eychner (Place 3), and Delayne Sigerman (Place 4, unopposed). Following the election, tradition calls for the defeated candidate to phone the winning candidate to offer congratulations, and to concede the election. Although the phone call really has no legal basis nor is it required, calling one’s opponent is considered customary and traditional, and serves to help unify the voters that were divided during the election. An exception to the concession call is typically made when the vote is too close to call, or there are any other abnormalities that call the election into question.

In this case, the winning candidates each garnered about 1,000 votes more than their opponents, so there really was no question about the margins. But the overwhelming victories weren’t enough to prompt either losing candidate to make that traditional phone call after this year’s election. Instead, the candidates have offered several quotes to two different newspapers so far. Here are their quotes:

  • White: “I’ve done what the people asked me to do.”
  • White: “I wish the campaign would have been based more on the issues… And, I was disappointed about the false narratives leveled against me.”
  • Cooper: “The contentious nature of this election, to where people relied on half-truths and incited other people based on those half-truths to come vote. I had no clue a local election would be like that.”
  • Cooper (when asked why he won’t call to concede): “I don’t know what they’re going to do [referring to the Attorney General]. It may be rude, or not protocol [not to concede], but I’ll sleep tonight. I’m proud of my campaign.”
  • White: “There were no issues involved, for the most part, in his campaign. It was all personal attacks and character assassinations against me. For someone who claims to be a uniter, this is a bad first start. These wounds will take a long time to heal, if at all.”
  • White: “I just think there were a lot of new voters who jumped in on the rhetoric, and it was kind of a ‘days of rage mentality’ to go down and join a movement, if you will … I think they were believing these false stories on Facebook.”
  • White: “They had street walkers, and I couldn’t compete with them and those numbers because I was busy doing the job of mayor.”
  • White: “We have traditionally been known as a very conservative stronghold in Kerr County. Maybe we’re not.”
  • Cooper: “They talked about the City Council being divided, but in the next breath they’re saying the city is running the best it has in 30 years. If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.”
  • Cooper: “The personal attacks on the mayor just ramped up and up and up.”
  • Cooper: “Kerrville citizens will be shocked when they come to realize the person who they voted in as mayor is a liberal Democrat who no longer calls himself an evangelical Christian on Facebook.”

Hill Country Community Journal, May 9, 2018:

  • Incumbent Mayor Bonnie White first said that she had no comment, then added, “Except I’m said it happened on a false narrative; and disappointed in the community for buying the lies about me. That’s all.”

The newly elected council members and mayor will be sworn in on May 15, meaning White remains Kerrville’s mayor until that date.

A meeting of the Comprehensive Plan committee was scheduled for Monday, May 7. Mayor Bonnie White was not in attendance, nor was Mr. Cooper, but all four councilpersons did attend (Voelkel, Baroody, Summerlin, and Ferguson). Although not at the city’s meeting, White was in attendance at the Kerr County Commissioners Court meeting that morning, even though no city-county business was on the agenda.

Tuesday night was the final City Council meeting on the calendar in which Bonnie White would be the presiding Mayor, since Blackburn doesn’t take the helm until May 15. White did not attend Tuesday night’s meeting. George Baroody, Mayor Pro Tem, presided.

EDIT on May 11: According to reports, Bonnie White did not attend the scheduled Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board meeting on Thursday. The meeting was held without her.

Early voting has concluded… Here are the stats

Kerrville set a new record for city council elections this year in early voting. According to City Clerk Brenda Craig, 3.087 ballots were cast in this year’s early voting period. That’s up 16.5% over 2016 totals for early voting.

There were 2,585 ballots cast by personal appearance at the Cailloux Theater, and 502 ballots by mail, for a total of 3,087.

The previous record for a council race was the 2016 election, with 2,650 votes cast early. But this didn’t beat the biggest early voting total of all time, which was set in 2006, which was the “tax freeze” election, with 4,083 ballots cast early.

Here’s how the demographics break down for this year’s early voting totals:

  • 2,585 ballots cast by personal appearance
  • 502 ballots by mail
  • 3,087 total ballots cast so far
  • Average voter age: 66
  • 56% female, 44% male (of those that chose to reveal their gender on voter rolls)
  • Under 50 years of age: 15.7%
  • 50 years of age and over: 84.3%
  • 16.5% increase in early voter turnout since 2016

Mayor White accuses Evans family of lying

NOTE: This story is a follow-up to the posting we made yesterday on this website and on our Facebook page titled, “Report of harassment at voting location.”

In her first ever comment on a Kerrville United page, Mayor Bonnie White lobbed accusations and offered flat denials regarding the “Voter intimidation” story on our Facebook page. (Even though we’ve invited her to comment and appear on the page for nearly two years, this was the first time she ever made an appearance.)

Offering no sympathy and no apology, Mayor White immediately accused someone (?) of libel and slander, but the post was vague and veiled in threatening language. She also asserted that the entire affair is a political tactic. We asked for clarification but received no reply. Bonnie went on to say that Evans “grossly misinterpreted [the incident] to say the least.” But, then she seemed to accuse her running mate Gary Cooper of being involved in a similar situation involving a young voter and her children who voted for Blackburn.

However, Mr. Cooper, pictured (below right) bears little resemblance to the description that Evans offered in her original post: “wearing a cowboy hat, having a scruffy beard…” Yesterday, Mrs. Evans was presented with a photo of Robert White (below left) and she believes White is the person who harassed her.

Robert White, husband of Mayor Bonnie White (left), and Gary Cooper, candidate for City Council Place 3 (right)

Bonnie White stated that this entire matter was a political stunt to try and sway the outcome of the election. Immediately, numerous friends and supporters of Evans came to their defense, stating that Mrs. Evans is an honest and apolitical person who would never invent or embellish a story. Mr. Evans commented elsewhere stating, “We don’t have a side,” when he was accused of using this moment for political points.

See the full exchange below. This screenshot was taken at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, May 2.

Report of harassment at voting location

This morning on Facebook, one voter gave her testimonial about an encounter with a Bonnie White supporter outside of the polling place yesterday afternoon. In the post, Sara Evans, a Kerrville resident, explains that she took her two children with her to the Cailloux Theater, and the three of them went inside to vote. (Children are encouraged to fill out a sample ballot to learn about the democratic process.) Outside, she was approached by a White supporter that made her and her children feel threatened, and caused her children to cry, they were so upset. Read her story here:

Mayor White’s husband, Robert White, is known to sit in the parking lot of the polling place most days. He drives a white pickup truck, wears a hat, and has a salt and pepper beard. Mrs. Evans was shown a picture of Robert White, and she believes this was the person that harassed her.

Robert White, husband of Mayor Bonnie White

This report comes on the heels of another alleged encounter between Robert White and another female voter leaving the polls last week. Courtney Barton had this to say about her experience with Mr. White in the parking lot:

We await comment and/or a statement from the Whites about these reports. We are happy to update this post as we gather new information.

EDITED AT 5:00 PM CDT 05/01/2018:

Approximately one year ago, an article appeared in the Hill Country Community Journal outlining some other instances of troubling behavior on the part of Mr. White. Please see this article for a detailed explanation of other behavior perceived as threatening, intimidating, or bullying.

UPDATE AT 6:45 PM CDT 05/01/2018:

Mayor Bonnie White posted a comment on the Kerrville United Facebook page’s post about this incident. We await clarification on this accusation.