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Windcrest voters OK charter changes

Garden Ridge, Universal City incumbents win re-election bids

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During May 4 elections, voters in Windcrest approved several city-charter changes, while across the Metrocom seven officeholders including the mayor of Garden Ridge kept their seats.

Windcrest’s electorate overwhelmingly approved 14 amendments to the town’s charter in a special election, cleaning up functions involving city governance.

One proposition removes the mayor as the municipality’s chief operating officer and makes clear City Council is the city manager’s direct boss.

Another revises standards and procedures for recall petitions, referendums and initiatives.

Yet another clarifies ethical standards imposed on elected officials, and changes how the city considers complaints against those leaders, including the potential for removing them from office.

Mayor Dan Reese said some of the alterations were “important to orderly government,” referring to a controversial attempt by a residential group last year that launched a petition to recall him and two other council members.

Reese, the council members and some residents had questioned the validity of the recall effort.

“Proposition B adds clear accountability to the recall-petition process so that we can hold individuals accountable,” he added.

Eleven amendments passed with more than 70 percent voter approval; the other three topped 60 percent.

Some residents, however, felt there was a rush to put charter revisions on the ballot. Reese defended the action.

“We feel this was important to do right away and we used the most cost-effective method to bring it to the citizens, and they came through as they always do,” Reese said of the vote results.

As for elections in other cities, incumbents survived, while two political newcomers won open seats.

Garden Ridge Mayor Larry Thompson got a second term with 65 percent of the vote against David Ringle, an information-technology professional and former planning and zoning commissioner.

Thompson lamented how some residents offered negative comments on social media about certain city activities, policies and even public officeholders.

Place 3 Councilman Bryan Lantzy won a fourth term with 61 percent, foiling challenger Martha Stipp.

Lantzy works with public and private sector biologists on managing ranch wildlife in South Texas and Mexico, plus is involved in the real estate industry.

He campaigned for stringent management of city finances, and for protecting Garden Ridge from what he called outside negative influences.

Lisa Swint, an active local volunteer, won the open Place 2 seat, where Robb Erickson declined a re-election bid. Swint received 68 percent versus Frankie Friend, a businesswoman who has served with corporate and nonprofit boards.

Swint worked on the city’s parks committee, and is a founding board member of the local Friends of the Library. Her campaign stressed community outreach, and more efficient management of wildlife and growth.

In the Judson Independent School District, Renée Paschall won another four-year term to District 6.

A retired JISD educator and former Converse City Council member, Paschall received 55 percent to beat Tom England, himself a former Universal City councilman and JISD educator.

Paschall stumped to keep supporting the superintendent’s goals for early literacy, implementing a full day of prekindergarten classes, which could start in 2019-2020, and tackling JISD financial woes.

“The (district) deficit is the most important issue moving forward. We must create ways to lower it, and those discussions are pending in our scheduled budget sessions,” Paschall added.

She said other objectives include recommending alternative funding sources to supplement and better equip classroom teachers; and having JISD collaborate with area businesses and other public entities to develop a community natatorium.

Lynette Perez won the open District 7 school board seat. The former legal counsel to the Republican Party of Bexar County received 33 percent in a four-candidate field.

District 1 trustee Suzanne Kenoyer, a retired district teacher, drew no opposition.

In Universal City, incumbent councilmen S. Bear Goolsby, Richard “Dick” Neville and William Shelby finished atop an at-large election.

Angel Suarez, business owner and local Republican Party precinct chair, placed last, failing to claim a council seat.

No other area cities had contested races. Selma Councilmen Kevin Hadas, James Parma and Ken Polasek all were re-elected without opposition.

Live Oak Councilmen Mendell Morgan Jr., Anthony Brooks and Aaron Dahl ran unopposed.

In San Antonio, District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry received nearly 64 percent of the vote, besting four competitors.

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