By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
Two Killeen City Council candidates are all but official as two districts will not have an election May 12.
The council, at Tuesday's meeting, approved 5-2 an ordinance to cancel the city council election in Districts 2 and 4 because the candidate in each district is running unopposed and nobody declared a write-in campaign.
Texas Election Code, chapter two, section 2.051 (b) provides that an election in a single-member district may be canceled if the candidate is unopposed and no proposition is to appear on the ballot.
Juan Rivera, 56, a business owner, filed for the City Council in District 2. Claudia L. Brown, 66, a retired principal, filed for City Council in District 4. Rico Corporal, 33, an employee of Communities in Schools, filed to run for District 4, but is not qualified because he has lived in the district only four months. State law requires a candidate to live in the represented district at least six months.
The deadline to file for City Council elections was March 12. The deadline to declare a write-in campaign was March 19.
In Texas, a write-in vote is counted only if a candidate declared by the deadline to be considered.
Paula Miller, city secretary, said since the Killeen Independent School District Board of Education candidate ballots are printed on separate paper, the city could save up to $3,000 on ballots.
City Council members Bob Hausmann and Dick Young were the two opposing votes.
"I think people should have the right – whether there is opposition or not – should have the right to cast their vote," Young said.
He also said the candidates should have the right to see how much support they receive.
Councilman Fred Latham, who voted in favor of canceling the election, said it will save taxpayers money.
"Regardless of what we do, these people will assume the office," Latham said.
Canceling the election makes Rivera and Brown the winners for Districts 2 and 4, respectively. They will not be sworn in, however, until after the May 12 election and the votes are canvassed by the City Council.
In other business:
The City Council heard an update about the 125th Anniversary Celebration. During the update, members of the celebration committee unveiled a saddle that features the city of Killeen, 125th Anniversary of Killeen and 60th Anniversary of the rodeo logos. The saddle with the three logos will be raffled as a fundraiser for the celebration activities. Tickets are $5 each.
Three new Youth Advisory Commission members were sworn in.
The City Council approved an ordinance to spend $35,000 on an automated filing system for municipal court. The equipment would provide a centralized, automated filing system for more than 20,000 active paper records.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7550