The two incumbents for the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 board election May 5 will not be in attendance at a public forum for the race April 19.
District manager Ricky Garrett said incumbents Allen Cloud and Mike Miller had pre-scheduled travel plans and would miss the forum sponsored by the League of United Latin American Citizens Herencia Council #4297.
Garrett said he would also not be on hand April 19 for questions.
“The LULAC forum is for candidates,” he said. “I don’t plan to attend.”
Challenger Richard “Dick” Young, a former Killeen City Councilman, said he will be in attendance.
“I want to make sure the voters have the information necessary to make an informed decision,” Young said. “Twenty eight years is a lot of history. Most people don’t know exactly what the WCID does.”
The LULAC forum will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 19 at the Killeen Community Center. Organizer AnaLuisa Carrillo-Tapia said residents will still have an opportunity to ask questions despite two of three candidates not being on hand.
“It would not be fair for the citizens to not be able to hear whatever candidate is available, and it wouldn’t be fair to that candidate to cancel it,” she said. “I’m still encouraging everyone to attend, and there are still a lot of questions.”
Carrillo-Tapia said representatives of Cloud and Miller would read statements from the candidates at the forum.
The forum is the first of the campaign season for the district, which is holding its first competitive election in 28 years. The district is the wholesale drinking water provider for the city of Killeen and also treats the city’s wastewater.
Cloud, a former mayor of Killeen and owner of Cloud Real Estate, has served the district for 12 years. Miller, a former Harker Heights City Councilman and owner of Miller & Co. Insurance in Heights, has served the district for six years.
According to the district’s website, early voting for the May 5 district election will be held at the Killeen Community Center at 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
Two at-large seats will be chosen from three candidates.
Early voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays between April 23 and May 1.
The city has not proposed a joint election with the district, so eligible voters will likely have to request a separate ballot for the board race.
Election day voting will be held at the Central Fire Station at 201 N. 28th St. Curbside voting will be available for those who cannot leave their vehicle, the district said.
Hours for Election Day will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The district said polling will be overseen by an election judge and a minimum of two voting clerks to meet Texas Election Code standards.