Two days to go and the tension across America is high. Who will emerge victorious at the end of Tuesday’s Election Day? Will we even know before going to bed that night?
While the eyes of the nation — and, indeed, the world — are on the race for president, there are many important races further down the ballot here in Brazos County. In addition to races for city councils, school boards and numerous county offices, we have a critical Bryan school bond election and a number of proposed changes to Bryan’s city charter.
The Eagle’s Editorial Board interviewed the candidates in contested Brazos County races via Zoom and talked to Bryan school and city officials. Today, we recap our recommendations, in ballot order:
Texas House of Representatives, District 14, state Rep. John Raney, Republican vs. Janet Dudding, Democrat — The Eagle recommends a vote for state Rep. John Raney for reelection to the Texas House of Representatives from District 14.
Brazos County attorney, Earl Gray, Republican vs. Freddie Medina, Democrat — The Eagle recommends a vote for Earl Gray for Brazos County attorney.
Brazos County sheriff, Wayne Dicky, Republican vs. Patrick Logan, Democrat — The Eagle recommends a vote for Wayne Dicky for Brazos County sheriff.
Brazos County commissioner, Precinct 2 — Russ Ford, Republican vs. Jane Sherman, Democrat — The Eagle recommends a vote for Russ Ford for Precinct 2 Brazos County Commissioner.
Councilmember, Single Member District 3, Bobby Gutierrez vs. Jonna Schreiber — The Eagle recommends a vote for Bobby Gutierrez for Single Member District 3 on the Bryan City Council.
Councilmember, Single Member District 4, Flynn Adcock vs. Doris Machinski — The Eagle recommends a vote for Flynn Adcock for Single Member District 4 on the Bryan City Council.
Bryan school board, Single Member District 2, Trustee Julie Harlin vs. Ebony Peterson — The Eagle recommends a vote for Julie Harlin for Single Member District 2 on the Bryan school board.
Bryan school board, at-large Place 6, Deidra Davis vs. Trustee David Stasny — The Eagle recommends a vote for either candidate.
Councilmember, Place 4 unexpired term, Elizabeth Cunha vs. Joe Guerra Jr. — The Eagle recommends a vote for Elizabeth Cunha to fill out the term for Place 4 on the College Station City Council.
Councilmember, Place 1, Councilman Bob Brick vs. Jason Cornelius — The Eagle recommends a vote for either candidate.
Councilmember, Place 3, Dell Seiter vs. Councilwoman Linda Harvell — The Eagle recommends a vote for Linda Harvell for Place 3 on the College Station City Council.
Councilmember, Place 5, Craig Regan vs. Brian Alg vs. Councilman John Nichols -- The Eagle recommends a vote for John Nichols for Place 5 on the College Station City Council.
College Station school board, Place 6, Thomas Hall vs. Tammie Preston-Phillips — The Eagle recommends a vote for Thomas Hall for College Station school board, Place 6.
Bryan school bond
$175 million bond for a new intermediate school and transportation facility and repairs and additions at every Bryan district campus, with no increase in the school property tax rate — The Eagle recommends a vote of yes on the $175 million school bond package.
Bryan Charter amendments
The Editorial Board recommends voting yes on each of the seven proposed Charter changes.
The language on the ballot is included in italicized print, followed by a brief explanation of each one:
Proposition 1 — Shall Section 6 of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Contracts and Purchases” be amended to allow the City Council to set the amount below which the City Manager may reject bids without first having to appear before the City Council of the City of Bryan?
The charter allows the city manager to accept bids to provide services or physical items to the city of $100,000 or less without approval of the council.
This amendment would allow him to reject bids of the same amount.
Proposition 2 — Shall Section 5(d) and Section 7(g) of the Bryan City Charter entitled, respectively, “City Council: Terms; Limitation on Consecutive Terms” and “Elections: Staggered Three-Year Terms” be amended so that members of the Bryan City Council have terms of four years, to match terms of Brazos County and College Station officials, and to provide that once two full terms have been served, a Council member must lay out two years unless running for Mayor?
Council members now serve a maximum of two three-year terms. This proposition would change terms to four years. This amendment would eliminate city elections in off years, saving taxpayers about $50,000 per election.
Five council members would continue to be elected by single member districts, with the mayor and a sixth council member elected at-large by all the voters of the city.
Proposition 3 — Shall Section 3 of the Bryan City Charter entitled, “Annexation of Territory” be amended to reflect State legislation enacted in 2019 that severely curtails annexation authority, particularly without the consent of the property owner.
This amendment brings the city charter into compliance with state law, which was changed in 2019.
Proposition 4 — Shall Section 16(a) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Utilities: Streets, Avenues, Alleys and Highways; Public Works. (a) Power to Own” be amended to allow, but not require, the City to own and operate fiber broadband internet?
This proposition would allow the city of Bryan to offer broadband internet services, but the city is not required to do so. It is estimated that it would cost the city $125 million to build the required network, which is anticipated to generate $21 million annually in gross revenues to the city after 10 years.
Proposition 5 — Shall Section 5(c)(1) and Section 7(f) of the Bryan City Charter entitled, respectively, “City Council: (c) Qualifications” and “Elections: (f) Residency Requirements” be amended to require that a person be a resident of the City of Bryan city limits and their single member district for one year to be eligible to run for office?
This amendment would require candidates for single member council seats to have lived in that district for a minimum of one year. Candidates for at-large positions would be required to live in the city limits for a minimum of one year.
Current requirements are six-months residence prior to the last day to file for office.
Proposition 6 — Shall Section 9(d) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Ordinances. (d) Effective Date” be amended to correct a non-substantive lettering typographical error that cites the incorrect provision pertaining to when city ordinances go into effect?
This is a housekeeping amendment to correct an incorrect section number in the ordinance setting the effective date ordinances take effect.
Proposition 7 — Shall Section 16(n) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Utilities; Streets, Avenues, Alleys and Highways; Public Works. Power to Grant Franchises” be amended to include the authority of the City to enter into contracts regarding solid waste?
The city now can enter into contracts with private waste haulers to service areas of the city not served by city waste collection.
This amendment would allow the city to negotiate terms of an agreement with private waste haulers, which could bring in an estimated $70,000 per year.
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