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

June 17th, 2008
Dodd beats Gray in Buda council run-off

STAFF REPORT

BUDA – Only 280 people turned out for a city council run-off election on June 14, and they made an important decision.

The voters elected newcomer Scott Dodd to a new seat on the city council over long-time Buda resident and former Mayor Billy Gray, making his first bid to return to the Buda City Council since dropping out of a brief mayoral re-election bid in 2002.

Dodd scored 195 votes, to 85 for Gray.

The vote counts as an upset, considering that Gray nearly won a majority of the vote in a three-way May 10 election for the seat. Gray took 180 votes on May 10, to 110 for Dodd and 104 for Todd Ruge.

Given a second chance, Dodd came back to nearly double his vote in the run-off, while Gray lost more than half his votes from the May election.

The seat is new to the Buda City Council since the passage of a home rule charter last November, after Buda claimed a population in excess o 5,000 people. The council is increased from six members to seven, including the mayor, who now has a full vote.

The dynamics on Buda’s city council now are up for grabs.

In recent months, as the council operated with five members (one seat empty), Councilmembers Sandra Tenorio and Tom Crouse, along with Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lane, formed a majority on divisive issues.

Lane remains on the council, beating Hutch White in the May mayor’s race, while Crouse and Tenorio weren’t up for re-election. But the council now has three new faces in Dodd, Kelly Allen and Ron Fletcher. Allen ran unopposed for her seat in May, when Fletcher beat Gerry O’Brien. Cathy Chilcote also remains on the council.

Among the major issues facing Buda’s governing body is the selection of a new city manager. The city is bringing in six candidates at the end of June for interviews and brief meetings with the public.

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