San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 3rd, 2008
Bill Peterson’s Blog: Buda’s precarious PEC ballots

As if the coming election for Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) directors didn’t already stink of absurdity, a new twist will be revealed at tonight’s Buda City Council meeting.

By virtue of its electrical accounts, the city has three ballots worth 58 votes. It also has a sitting councilmember, Sandra Tenorio, who is a candidate for the District 7 director position.

Considering that Tenorio is the de facto leader of the council majority for the last few months, we shouldn’t be too surprised if she walks out of tonight’s meeting with 58 votes for PEC director, even if she will certainly recuse herself.

The vote will be an interesting test for council rookies Ron Fletcher and Kelly Allen, who will debut in the middle of a faction forming vote about whether to help one of their own win a nominal job worth $40,000 per year.

It’s not strictly illegal for the Buda City Council to vote for one of its own members. The same situation could play out with any organization with numerous electrical meters and an executive running for the PEC board. But is it ethical?

The city staff, led by interim City Manager Sarah Mangham, is recommending that the council “take action” on the ballots. Given the election’s high profile and the personalities involved within the council, a frank discussion could emerge as to whether the appropriate action would be abstention.

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