Home Government Voters nix Converse annexations; Garden Ridge taps new mayor

Voters nix Converse annexations; Garden Ridge taps new mayor

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Garden Ridge Mayor Larry Thompson (foreground) and City Council hopeful Dave Wright (left, background) visit during a candidate meet-and-greet April 18 at Paul Davis Park. Both were unsuccessful in their May 1 races. Photo courtesy/Larry Thompson

Voters casting ballots in the May 1 elections rejected Converse’s proposed annexation of two neighborhoods and approved two of three City Charter amendments.

Elsewhere, a former Garden Ridge councilman ousted the incumbent mayor, and a former Judson Independent School District trustee returned to the school board.

CONVERSE

Voters in Dover/Meadowbrook and the Parc at Escondido/Weichold, two unincorporated areas south of Converse, overwhelmingly rejected the city’s annexation efforts.

The city now must wait until 2022 to consider another annexation election for those neighborhoods. A recent state law grants residents in an area to be annexed the right to hold a referendum on the issue.

Mayor Al Suarez said the city respects the residents’ decision.

“As the second-largest populated city in Bexar County, the city of Converse will continue with its planned responsible growth, strategic plan and numerous ongoing projects,” he said.

“Our sincere thanks to the annexation (area) and Converse residents for exercising their right to vote and be heard,” Suarez added.

The electorate approved two charter revisions and shot down a third.

One requires the mayor or a council member to immediately resign upon declaring their candidacy for another public office.

Voters also approved a measure requiring anyone who has been removed from the council to wait at least three years before running again for a spot on the dais.

A third proposal — extending terms in office from two to three years — was defeated by nearly 20 percentage points.

GARDEN RIDGE

Former Councilman Robb Erickson received 85% of the vote to defeat Mayor Larry Thompson, who sought a third term.

“I am extremely grateful to all of the citizens of Garden Ridge who came out to vote during the election. My family and I are humbled by the results,” Erickson said. “We look forward to continuing the great work by Mayor Larry Thompson, the City Council, staff and employees in making Garden Ridge such a wonderful place to live.”

Place 2 Alderwoman Lisa Swint won a second term, tallying 55% versus Dave Wright.

“We can’t thank you enough for the trust, support and encouragement,” Swint said.

Jesus “Jesse” Valdez, a business consultant and most recently a Planning and Zoning commissioner, ran unopposed for Place 3. Councilman Bryan Lantzy declined a reelection bid.

JISD

Converse resident Jose Macias Jr. collected 58% en route to winning the District 4 school board seat, topping Evette Livingston.

Macias previously spent nine years representing District 4 before his appointment to the Alamo Colleges District board.

Macias said he looks forward to providing years of institutional knowledge of JISD’s organizational strategies and processes.

“That is part of what I bring to the table. The ultimate winners are our children,” he added.

Converse resident Rafael Diaz Martinez Jr., an educational-software executive, collected 63% and won a full four-year term, beating tech-product manager Emilio Silvas.

“A very strong early vote and Election Day ensure our continued service and confirm that our communities agree with and approve of my vision, work product and ability to be a servant-leader,” Diaz said.

LIVE OAK

With 60% of the votes, nurse practitioner Erin Perez claimed the Place 3 City Council position against Anthony “Tony” Ruffin.

“Thank you to all the Live Oak community and the Erin Perez campaign team for winning the Live Oak people’s vote for Place 3,” she said.

SAN ANTONIO

Unlike the 2019 race where he was forced into a hotly contested runoff with former District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse, Mayor Ron Nirenberg this time easily won re-election with nearly 62%.

Second-time challenger Brockhouse secured 31%, followed by Denise Gutierrez-Homer and Gary Allen out of a 14-candidate field.

For this third term, Nirenberg has made pandemic recovery, workforce training, and infrastructure investment among his top priorities for his next two years in public office.

“Thank you San Antonio, we did it together,” Nirenberg said in a brief video statement.

District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry won reelection with 54%, beating four challengers.

Perry told supporters his reelection is a reaffirmation of his leadership and “for what I have done for this district.”

The electorate also passed a City Charter amendment that enables San Antonio to issue bonds for permanent public improvements, such as building affordable housing, or others not prohibited by the Texas Constitution.

A more controversial initiative that proposed repealing police officers’ collective bargaining rights was narrowly rejected by 51% of voters. The San Antonio Police Officers Association used its Facebook page to thank Proposition B opponents.

“You voted overwhelmingly to support your San Antonio police and ensured that we can continue to keep our neighborhoods safe,” the group posted.

Police reformers such as Fix SAPD argued SAPOA misled voters into thinking a vote for Proposition B would instantly cut police funding.

Fix SAPD pledged to keep backing greater accountability for police, especially officers accused of misconduct.

eortiz@localcommunitynews.com

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