The district that controls water for residents in Killeen and the surrounding area could have a very different board of trustees following the upcoming election — an election that will be only the second election of the board in about 26 years.
The current president of the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District-1 Board, Robert Jacobs will be facing off against challenger Sandra Blankenship for the only contested seat on the board.
Jacobs is a retired veterinarian who has been on the water board for around 18 years.
Blankenship is a Killeen resident who has run for multiple political offices including the Texas legislature.
The precinct that the race is for is K-2, which is one of the three precincts that will represent Killeen.
Only residents within the K-2 precinct can vote in the race. The west boundary is State Highway 195 from Interstate 14 to Chaparral Road; the east boundary is the city limit line between Killeen and Harker Heights; the southern boundary is the southern city limits of Killeen east of State Highway 195 and the northern boundary is generally a few blocks north of I-14 but is entirely south of Veterans Memorial Boulevard, according to Ricky Garrett, the general manager of the water district.
Other precincts to be filled on the board have candidates who are unopposed.
Both K-2 candidates were asked what they would bring to the board if they were elected. Blankenship is hoping for diversity.
“The current WCID-1 Board is a pretty homogeneous looking entity and when I’m elected it will at least have a bit of gender diversity. I am running to make sure Killeen is fairly represented on the WCID No.1 Board and I will fight to update our contract to reflect our current water needs. It’s time for Killeen to look forward with it’s water rights and that’s what I will do for the citizens of Killeen,” Blankenship said.
Jacobs is banking on his experience.
“The thing I feel like I bring to the board is experience and that’s one of the things that prompted me to want to run, because we’re having virtually a 100% turnover with the board. I felt like, in this very important transition period, that having someone there, especially someone who has served as long as I have ... would be just an invaluable asset to have as we move forward with expanding our board membership and bringing on all the new members and ensuring that what we’re doing there as far as the water district is concerned is carried forward,” Jacobs said.