CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the name of the Place 4 council candidate. His name is Lee Thomas, and it has been corrected below.
The May 6 city and school elections this year include items that could be critical to the community’s organizational and operational growth. Van Alstyne Independent School District is calling a bond election with the bulk of the majority of the requested funds going to make room for the expected influx of elementary-age students. The city is also asking voters to make a major change in the Economic Development Corporation’s structure, which would allow the sales tax dollars designated for them to stretch farther outward, beyond the city limits.
Monday was the deadline for those interested in running for public office to have their required paperwork filed. Tuesday was the deadline to file as a write-in candidate.
Van Alstyne City Council
City Council terms run two years. Councilmen Brad Clough and Robert Jaska, Places 1 and 3, are in the middle of their two-year-term, and not having to seek re-election in 2017. There are three seats coming available on the Van Alstyne City Council.
The first, Place 2, is an unfinished one-year term, with the person elected filling out the unexpired two-year term vacated two months ago by Councilwoman Timmerle Kelly. Kelly asked to step away from the Council table because her business was becoming more and more demanding, Mayor Larry Cooper said at a previous council meeting.
Running for the Place 2 seat are Teddie Ann Salmon and Jan Walker.
Councilman Russell Moore, Place 4, did not file to retain his seat. Lee Thomas is the lone contender, although Tiffany Clum has registered as a write-in candidate for that council seat.
Place 5 has incumbent Councilor Billy Plake seeking re-election with Suzon Crowell running against him.
Incumbent Mayor Larry Cooper is opposed in his bid for re-election by write-in candidate Kyrie Nobles.
Cooper explained to the crowd at Monday night’s State of the Community forum that there are three propositions on the upcoming ballot. The first two are connected to one another and ask the voters to, basically, dissolve the Economic Development Corporation and to reinstate it as a Municipal Development District. This would allow the board to begin developing the area outside the city limits known as the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction area. The third proposition is more of a housekeeping issue in which the voters are being asked to renew the sales tax money designated for street work. This routine renewal is a state requirement, Cooper said.
Van Alstyne ISD board of trustees
There were only two seats coming open on the Van Alstyne ISD board of trustees, those held by the current president Randall Morgan and secretary Debbie Nance. Neither drew an opponent, and so those two will automatically be reseated to continue their service.
There will soon be information on the Van Alstyne school district’s website, VanAlstyneISD.org, regarding the upcoming bond election. The school board has been studying and planning for this request of the voters for some time now, in hopes that they can build a second elementary school.
David Brown, assistant superintendent, said that the voters will be asked to approve a $24 million bond for a new elementary school and other necessities. He presented those in attendance at the State of the Community event with numerous statistics, about both financial and student population growth. More will be offered and discussed between now and election day, with some of that discussion being at a future Meet The Candidates forum, to be coordinated by the Van Alstyne Area Chamber of Commerce.