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

May 10th, 2008
Schools, local councils up for grabs on Election Day

\"The Polling,\" William Hogarth, 1754-55STAFF REPORT

The first challenge to a San Marcos school board incumbent in five years is only one of many interesting local political races to be decided today as voters go to the polls on Election Day.

Among the other matters to be decided today are a three seats on the Buda City Council, one seat on the Kyle City Council and the fate of an $86.7 million school bond in Hays CISD.

Seven-year San Marcos school board veteran Joe Castillo is under challenge for his District 1 seat from David Castillo and Lee “Barry” Davis. Castillo is a Spanish teacher and athletic coach in the Del Valle ISD and Davis is a retired highway department contractor. Castillo is a program analyst at Texas State.

District 2 incumbent Margie Villapando, who has been a trustee for four years, also faces a challenge. The hopeful is Laura Duhon, a lecturer at Texas State.

Jesse Ponce, a carpenter for Hays CISD, is running unopposed for the District 3 seat.

The other local school election of note concerns the Hays CISD, which is asking voters to approve $86.7 million in bonding authority with no anticipated impact on the property tax rate. The school district wants the money to build two elementary schools and a middle school.

Though the district anticipates no tax rate increase, it’s not a cinch. Hays CISD was able to ask voters for a bond without a tax increase for the first time in November 2006, and still only received a 59.27 percent affirmative vote for $46.3 million in bonding authority.

The Buda city election stands to be the most dramatic and momentous. Buda voters will select a new mayor, filling a position that has been vacant since John Trube’s resignation at the end of last July. Furthermore, the voters will fill a new seat on the city council as provided by the new charter.

Two long-time Buda councilembers have vacated their seats to run for mayor. Bobby Lane is the mayor pro tem with eight years on the city council. Hutch White has served on the city council for six years.

The new seat, Place 6, brings back former Buda Mayor Billy Gray, who served for five years on the council until 2002. Also running are two newcomers to Buda politics, Todd Ruge and Scott Dodd.

Two candidates experienced with Buda’s planning and zoning commission are running for Place 1. Gerry O’Brien is on that commission now, and Ron Fletcher formerly served as the commission chair.

Kelly Allen, the chief financial officer at Jardine’s, is running unopposed for Place 2 in Buda.

Kyle was scheduled to put three of its city council seats up for election, but neither Mayor Mike Gonzalez nor southern district Councilmember Becky Selbera drew opponents. However, western district Councilmember Dan Ekakiadis attracted challenges from David Wilson and Eric Franklin.

The polls open today at 7 p.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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