Council seats, bonds on area ballots
Three suburbs are seeking the OK to establish funds to maintain streets
“With the high cost of street maintenance, there is no other way to effectively maintain
the best streets … after investing $10.2 million in the 2015 street improvements
Converse Mayor Al Suarez
Three suburban cities are asking voters to approve establishing funds to maintain and repair city streets in this year’s general election.
Four cities — Cibolo, Converse, Schertz and Windcrest — have contested City Council races on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Early voting began last week and continues until Friday.
In Converse, voters are considering a proposition that halves money intended for its Economic Development Corp. to address street work. And Cibolo residents are deciding whether to reauthorize the use of its sales-and-use tax, to the tune of one-quarter of 1 percent, for street rehab and repair.
Windcrest residents are voting on a $7.4 million bond package to repair seven poor or failing streets, and a $2 million bond package for equipment for its Volunteer Fire Department.
The road improvement package of $7.4 million would address a half-dozen streets, including Eaglecrest, Midcrown and Crestway drives, three of the city’s primary arterial roadways.
A Windcrest street committee met once a week for two months to study street conditions and to rate every one of them as good, poor or failing. Other roads that would receive some mill and overlay work are sections of Balfour Drive, Fenwick Drive, Francis Drake and Windsor Hill.
The Windcrest ballot also includes a host of candidates looking to fill three City Council seats whose current occupants chose not to run for re-election.
Place 1 Councilman Gerd Jacobi, Place 2 Councilman James McFall and Place 3 Councilman — as well as Mayor Pro Tem Jim Shelton — chose not to defend their seats in the Nov. 6 election.
The three council members were the subjects of a failed recall attempt in January and February, when recall organizers ran out of time to get recalls on the May ballot.
The Place 1 position drew four candidates: George Alva, Sherillyn Flick, Wes Manning and Bill Zulaica. Three candidates are seeking the Place 2 seat: Lou Miller, Rhonda Rowland and Cindy Strzelecki. The Place 3 position has two hopefuls, Greg Turner and write-in candidate Pam Dodson.
In Converse, Proposition A seeks to use half of the existing Economic Development Corp. sales tax, which sits at one-half percent, to create a street maintenance fund of about $600,000.
The move is not a new tax but simply would use one-quarter percent of the sales tax already being collected to maintain recently paved streets and prepare for future improvement as the city expands.
Mayor Al Suarez said splitting the one-half percent sales tax between the EDC and the street maintenance would have little
impact on the economic development agency.
“This will not affect the operation of the EDC, which currently has over $2 million in reserves,” Suarez said.
He pointed out that Cibolo, Windcrest, Kirby and Selma already have similarly funded street maintenance programs in place.
“With the high cost of street maintenance, there is no other way to effectively maintain the best streets … after investing $10.2 million in the 2015 street improvements bond,” he said.
Converse likewise has a crowded City Council ballot.
Current Place 4 City Councilwoman Nancy Droneburg is running for Place 2 to oppose hopeful Deborah James, a former City Council member herself.
Running for Droneburg’s Place 4 seat are former Councilwoman Joan Lindgren and Kate Silva, a former Converse EDC executive director.
Place 6 features recent appointee Marc Gilbert, most recently the EDC board president, who is opposed by challenger Billy Ortiz. Councilman Chris Clark, the current Place 2 representative, chose not to run for re-election.
Cibolo voters will decide three bond issues that seek $4.75 million for municipal renovations, public safety communication upgrades and two new parks.
Voters also will be asked to reauthorize the city’s onequarter percent sales and use it for continued street maintenance and repair funding.
Proposition 1 includes $1.8 million for renovation of a former school building, given to the city by the SchertzCibolo-Universal City Independent School District, for a City Hall annex.
An estimated $650,000 would go toward the city’s public works building, and $450,000 would address radio equipment for improved police and fire communications.
Proposition 2 targets the reconstruction of Tolle Road, which is nearly impassable after heavy rains. The $2.9 million project has been part of the city’s capital improvement plan for several years.
Proposition 3 addresses two quality of life issues. If approved, a park would be created on 57 acres of land donated to the city by the Tolle family. The bond measure would set aside $250,000 for Phase I of the Tolle Regional Community Park.
Additionally, Proposition 3 would help construct a ball field for physically and developmentally challenged individuals. It would set aside $500,000 for the field, with an additional $250,000 coming from the Cibolo YMCA, which also would manage the field for the city.
The city has four City Council seats on the ballot: District 1, incumbent Jennifer Schultes faces Ben Davila Jr.; District 4, incumbent Ted Gibbs is challenged by Chad James and Chris Schlein; District 5, incumbent Jim Russell faces Mark Allen; and District 6, candidates Dick Hetzel and Tim Woliver are vying for the seat of District 6 Councilman Jay Hogue, who is moving from the district and will step down after the election.
The city of Schertz has two candidates vying for each of two council seats. Place 6 candidates are Allison Heyward and Chelsea Skrobarcek; and Place 7 features incumbent Bert Crawford and challenger Tim Brown. Current Place 6 Councilwoman Angelina Kiser did not file for re-election.
To find early voting locations and/or precinct voting locations for Election Day, Converse, Schertz and Windcrest voters can go to bexar.org and click on the Elections logo on the home page. There are more than 40 early voting locations across Bexar County for these voters.
Cibolo voters should go to cibolotx.gov and click on Election Information to find out about their early voting locations and more.