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Ballots set for November election

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Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:00 pm

One incumbent, Bandera city councilman chose not to seek reelection, a Bandera Independent School District trustee will face one challenger in his bid for election and voters in the Medina Independent School District will decide the fate of a $5.95 million bond package in elections scheduled for Nov. 7.

Those were among the highlights of the filing season for the Nov. 7 election, which officially ended on Monday, Aug. 21.

The filings also showed that four Bandera residents are challenging two, incumbent Bandera councilwomen for three positions that will be filled on Bandera’s council in November and that BISD’s board president, Laura Neff, did not draw a challenger in her reelection bid.

No trustees are up for election in the Medina school district this year, but voters there will still have a chance to express their opinions about the direction of the district when they consider the bond package, which focuses on the district’s facility needs.

MISD Superintendent Kevin W. Newsom said the district has a lot of facility issues that need to be addressed for the long-term stability of the district.

“We’re taking care of and upgrading the school we have, not building a new school,” said Newsom.

He said the school board also chose to include growth and safety issues in the package of improvements that would be funded by the proposed bond issue.

The Medina board chose to schedule the bond issue for this year at its Aug. 14 meeting, Newsom said.

“Everything is focused on the kids,” he said.

Details about the plant and facility improvements will be divulged in the coming weeks as officials complete their assessment of the competing projects, but the superintendent said the proposal, if approved, would not require a property tax hike this year.

Whether it would require a tax increase in later years was not clear.  Newsom said he did not believe the package of improvements would have a large impact on taxpayers.

He also said the district would work hard to make sure the public is well informed about what the bond package would do and how much it would cost.

Bandera could experience a hectic electoral season since six people filed for the three council seats that are available.

That list includes Mayor Pro Tem Rebeca Gibson, who is seeking her second term in office, and Lynn Palmer, a former councilwoman who was appointed to council on June 19 to temporarily fill the seat of former Councilwoman Sheila Pumphrey.

Bandera Councilman Justin Knight, a construction company foreman who defeated former Councilman Jim Hannah in a runoff last December for an unexpired council post, did not file for re-election.

However, Cindy Coffey, a business consultant and former councilwoman who gave up her council seat last year to run unsuccessfully for mayor, did file for election to council as did Alan Calaway, Gregory Gibson and Christine Morse.

The top, three vote getters in that race will win election.

In the BISD race, Neff did not draw any opposition, but Trustee Justin “Rhondo” Jauer, who had been appointed by the board in February to fill the post held by Trustee John Junker before he resigned, drew one opponent, Jeremy Salois, for the Place 1 seat on the board.

The superintendent in the Utopia Independent School District said it had no trustee up for election this year.

Officials said the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election is Oct. 10.  Early voting for the upcoming election will start Oct. 23 and end Nov. 3.

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