Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

News

April 2, 2012

Cities, school districts cancel elections

Corsicana — More than 15 cities in Navarro County were able to cancel their May elections because of lack of competition, saving thousands of dollars this year.

The City of Corsicana saved about $9,000 by canceling the precinct 1 election and declaring Tom Wilson the uncontested winner. Corsicana’s election between incumbent councilwoman Ruby Williams, Ralph Gonzalez and Leon Tates will cost about $6,000, according to Danda Parker, elections administrator. The savings comes from not having so many polling places. Precinct 2 has only three polling places.

The smaller cities that were able to cancel elections will also save thousands, depending on how many polling locations would normally be needed.

“For entities that have one polling location it’s about $1,300, and that’s just my fee, that doesn’t include election judges and things like that. And then they still have early voting, that’s a week and a half, and then election day judges and clerks,” Parker explained.

The City of Blooming Grove canceled its election, saving about $2,000, according to City Secretary Beth Nemeth.

“We’re happy,” she said. “And we have good people who ran again, that’s always a bonus.”

For many of these cities, a thousand dollars is a huge amount of the annual budget.

The City of Richland was able to cancel its election, saving about $2,000, money that can now be put into repairing streets, according to City Secretary Sharon Settlemyer.

“Anytime we don’t have to do (an election) it saves us a lot of money,” she said. “We’ve been working on a lot of streets here that need work desperately. We’ve been putting the oil sand down as we get the tax money, and that portion that was set aside for the election is going into that.”

The city collects about $15,000 in taxes each year, so saving $2,000 by canceling an election makes a huge difference, she pointed out.

The City of Mildred canceled its election after the mayor resigned, and the mayor’s opponent was convinced to withdraw her application.

Mildred Mayor Robert Duane Carpenter resigned his post. Mayor Pro Tem Kyle Carrigan became mayor in his stead, and the challenger Charlcy York was persuaded to pull out of the election. The point wasn’t necessarily to save money, however, according to City Secretary Angela Montfort.

Local elections will take place on May 12. The school districts that will have elections are Blooming Grove, Dawson, Kerens, Mildred and Rice. The cities having elections are Angus, Corsicana, Frost, and Rice.

Rice’s school district and city can save some money by sharing polling places, Parker said.

The local elections are not to be confused with the state and national primary elections, which have been pushed back to May 29.

—————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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