By Mason W. Canales
Harker Heights Herald
The election season for Harker Heights and Nolanville will officially start on Monday, the first day future candidates can file to run for council seats.
In Harker Heights two seats are up for election, Mayor Ed Mullen's seat and Rob Robinson's Place 4 seat.
Mullen, who has served six years as mayor, is term-limited and will not be allowed to run again.
"This has been an interesting and useful six years for both the city and me," Mullen said.
His second term has been the most productive, he said, because many projects started to come fruition.
"It is an interesting office," Mullen said about the mayor position. "It has no power or authority to speak of, but yet … the way people think of it allows you to accomplish lots. While there is no power, it also has few limits."
Mullen's term limit will allow new ideas to come into the office, he said. "It is just good to have new ideas come from other people, otherwise you can start to think your ideas are the only ideas, and that is not correct."
For the mayor position, Mullen suggested that it is vital the candidates understand the roles of the individual council members for governing and work to preserve a lasting relationship the community's biggest economic engine, Fort Hood.
Robinson, who has served one full term and a single year of an unexpired term for Pette Lessig starting in 2007, can run again.
"I plan to file and I plan on standing on my record," Robinson said mentioning he already has the paperwork to do so. "I would run the same type of campaign I ran before, but now I have four years of council service to fall back on. … I think we have been good stewards of the citizens' money, and I think we have done a lot of good projects for the city, and we have a wonderful city staff, and I am very encouraged for our city's future."
Robinson is a retired Army major who has lived more than 24 years in Harker Heights. He served on the Planning and Zoning Commission on and off for about 14 years. After retiring he farmed and then spent 18 years as a government contractor teaching soldiers.
In Nolanville, Councilman Albert Simmons' seat is up for election. He is the longest-serving council member and is term-limited, according to the new city charter. Each council member can serve only two two-year terms. His seat has yet to be numbered.
People who run for the City Council should have the best interest of the city and its residents in mind, Simmons said.
"The most important thing is to be committed to the city and the citizens," he said.
Councilwoman Christina Rosenthal also is up for election. Rosenthal is not term-limited, but she has yet to decide whether she will run again.
Rosenthal is a retired disabled veteran who has 18½ years of service and is medically retired from the Army. She has lived in Nolanville for four years, and her husband is a former police officer for the Nolanville Police Department. She also has served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.
Newly appointed Councilman Miguel A. Aviles' position also will be up for election. Aviles was appointed to his position earlier this month after taking the seat of Ken Miller's, who resigned.
When taking office Aviles declared he would be seeking to hold on to the council seat during the election.
He is a Puerto Rico native who served 23 years in the Army. He retired as a first sergeant in 1985.
How to file
Residents can file for the seats in Harker Heights by picking up a candidate packet in the Administration Office at City Hall, 305 Miller's Crossing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays, Assistant City Manager Patty Brunson said. The packets will have all the information a resident needs to run a campaign.
In order to file, the residents must select the place they are seeking, have their voter registration number and date of birth, and know their length of continuous residence in the state and the city, Brunson said.
In Nolanville, residents interested in seeking public office will be able to pick up a packet at City Hall, 100 N. Main St., said City Clerk Emma McCullough.
Residents interested in running for the Nolanville City Council will have to present a copy of their identification and proof that they live in the city, she said. Candidates must have lived in the city for at least six months to run for public office.
For the first time, Nolanville residents also will also have to select which seats they are going to run for, according to the charter. Each candidate will run against other candidates who select the same seat.
The seats or places had yet to be numbered Wednesday.
The filing period ends at 5 p.m. March 14.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.