Newcomer Richard “Dick” Young and one incumbent, Allen Cloud, were elected in the area water district’s first contested election in 24 years.
Young, a former Killeen City Council representative, received the most votes, with a final, unofficial total of 429. Cloud came in second with 392 votes. Incumbent Mike Miller had 359 votes.
“I’m thrilled for the citizens, not for me,” Young said from his car, en route from Houston to Killeen Saturday night. “I think the voters have spoken that transparency is an issue they feel strongly about.”
Cloud issued his statement after the votes became final. “I thank those who voted for me and the support team who worked on my behalf.” He has served on the WCID No. 1 board for 12 years, previously served as Killeen’s mayor and on the City Council and owns Cloud Real Estate. He was the only candidate at the WCID No. 1 office Saturday evening.
Miller, a deacon with Memorial Baptist Church, was visiting with a church member’s family after emergency surgery. He is the owner of Miller & Co. Insurance in Harker Heights, and served the district for six years.
Early voting in the WCID No. 1 election — separate from the Killeen municipal election — totaled 754. On election day, 139 additional voters turned out at the Central Fire Station in Killeen.
The water district is the sole wholesale provider of drinking water to the city of Killeen and other municipalities and also treats wastewater from those customers.
The district must have City Council approval before implementing any plan, according to Mitchell Jacobs, DVM, secretary/treasurer of the WCID No. 1 board, and the official for this election. That includes $50 million for a new water treatment plant in 2013 that is being built on Stillhouse Hollow Lake.
“We don’t do anything without the approval of City Council,” Jacobs said, “We’re a wholesaler. We deliver clean, pure water to a take point, and the cities deliver it from there to the residents.”
WCID No. 1 board president John Blankenship added more detail to Jacobs’ description.
“Since 1952, five volunteers have served on this board with no pay, no travel, no compensation of any kind.” All previous WCID No. 1 board members have passed away, he said. “Why didn’t people run in previous years? I don’t know.”
Blankenship did acknowledge that WCID No. 1 elections are not publicized the same way municipal elections are posted. The WCID No. 1 primarily posts its upcoming elections on the front door of their office building. The building is behind a gate.
The board members are focused on continuing a legacy of providing fresh drinking water to the communities, and making sure people can flush their toilets, Blankenship said. “It’s all we do.”
Although the district also provides water to the cities of Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Nolanville and Belton, only voters who live within a small portion of Killeen, within boundaries set in 1984, were eligible to vote in the election.
For a map of the district’s boundaries, visit www.wcid1.org/districtboundary.html.
The district has not held a contested election in 24 years, but all five sitting board members have served on the board less than that duration. Jacobs has filed for re-election to his seat four times over the years, he said, but without anyone filing to challenge him, or others facing re-election, the election was not necessary and did not take place, similar to other uncontested races.
In addition to Jacobs and Blankenship, Don Farek also serves on the WCID No. 1 board. Their terms expire in 2020.
Editor's Note: A candidate's name was changed to its correct spelling.