(May 12, 2012)— Voters went to the polls Saturday throughout Central Texas to decide contested city council and school board races and a handful of proposed bond issues.
Saturday night, Killeen again has a city council, Waco residents have a new mayor, and Belton residents have approved a $60 million school bond issue.
Voting was brisk in Killeen, which has been without a city council since November, when residents voted to recall members Scott Cosper, Larry Cole, Billy Workman, Kenny Wells and Juan Rivera over a $750,000 payout to former City Manager Connie Green.
Their departure left the council without a quorum and unable to conduct business.
Killeen residents elected a mayor and five council members Saturday to put the council back in business.
Dan Corbin, 64, an attorney and former city council member, won the mayor’s race, defeating retired Army veteran and real estate broker Juan Estrada, 84; VA worker, retired soldier and former council member Billy Workman, 56; retired veteran Hal Butchart, 64, and Eric Nellis, 34 who works in sales.
Wayne Gilmore 67, a retiree, won the District 1 council seat, defeating Jason Lawhorn, 32, a stay-at-home father, and Travis Sutterfield, 37, who works in retail sales.
Jose Segarra, 47, a real estate broker, defeated small business owner Frankie L. Williams, 48, to win the District 2 council seat.
At the top of a crowded field of candidates for three at-large seats on the council were retired educator Elizabeth Blackstone, 63, Killeen Power Sports operations manager Jared Foster, 29, and warehouseman Jonathan Okray, 45, who spearheaded the drive last year to recall the council.
In the Killeen ISD, former city council member JoAnn Purser, 50 won the Place 7 seat, defeating retired veteran Brockley Moore, 45; former educator Phuong Lan Carter, 39; newspaper owner Mi-Ok Doranski, 53, and contractor T. J. Carson, 50.
Waco voters decided contested races for mayor, a city council seat and a school board seat.
Council member and longtime Waco businessman Malcolm Duncan, Jr., defeated Antwone “Tony” Taulton, 25, a 2004 A. J. Moore High School graduate who has been taking classes at Baylor’s Truett Seminary, in the race to succeed Jim Bush as mayor.
In District 1, incumbent Councilmember Wilbert Austin, Sr. 70, who’s a minister, fended off challenger Shirley Langston, 61, who established the nonprofit East Waco-based Restoration Haven.
In the race for the at large seat on the Waco School Board, incumbent Pat Atkins, 47, an attorney who’s now the board’s president, defeated challenger Dr. Nika Davis, 42, a pastor, former public schoolteacher and an adjunct professor of history at Tarrant County College.
Belton residents filled two at large seats on the City Council, reelecting incumbents John Agan and Marion Grayson.
Belton ISD voters approved a proposed $60 million bond issue to fund construction of a new elementary school that would open in 2013, a replacement middle school that would open in 2014 as Belton High School expands into the existing middle school, and construction of a second new elementary school that would open in 2014.
The district says the owner of a $100,000 house will pay $117 a year in additional taxes as a result of the bond issue.