Both White Settlement Elections going to runoff


by A.C. Hall

Current Mayor Jerry Burns and Council Place 1 candidate Paul Moore both won the popular vote in their respective races, but neither was able to get over the required fifty percent mark to win re-election.  This means that neither of the White Settlement races were settled in this election, and both will be going to a December runoff election.

Incumbent Jerry Burns opened up a 107 vote lead over his challenger Ronald A. White in early voting with George Klecan in a distant third.  Burns continued to lead on election day, pulling in 331 votes compared to the 245 of White.  That put the totals at 864 for Burns, 671 for White, and 278 for Klecan.

Despite the lead of 193 votes, Burns narrowly missed the needed percentage, ending up with 48 percent of the votes.  This means that he and White will face off one more time as they meet in a runoff election in December.

In the race for Council Place 1, three men looked to take the spot of outgoing council member Gene Hatcher.  Candidate Paul Moore enjoyed a 76 vote lead in early voting with candidates Johnny Powell and Gunnar Rasmussen separated by just 22 votes behind him.  Moore would add 246 votes on election day, while Powell added 212.  The final totals for the race were Moore 668, Powell 558, and Rasmussen 518.

Moore’s lead of 110 represented 38 percent of the votes, placing him into a December runoff election against Powell.

Early voting turnout for the local election was nearly triple that of last year.  Around 1,100 early and absentee ballots were cast in this year’s election.  In 2013 that number was 433.  Overall there were 1,813 ballots cast in the local election, which is over double the amount cast last year.

Texas voters also elected Republican Greg Abbott as governor by a margin of 50 percent to Wendy Davis’ 40 percent.

When it came to propositions on the ballot, a large majority of voters agreed that roads in Texas are a priority as statewide proposition 1 was passed by a wide margin.  This will allow the State of Texas to move 37.5 percent of annual oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund.  Estimates released show that around $1.7 billion would be moved from the oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund in the first year alone.  This money was previously being added to the State’s rainy day fund.

Supporters of this proposition state that Texas has $5 billion per year in unmet transportation needs, and  there will be another 18 million vehicles on Texas roads by the year 2040.

Fort Worth voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of three propositions that will bring a new multipurpose arena in Fort Worth near the Will Rogers Memorial Center.  The arena will seat 14,000 and is expected to cost around $450 million.  Half that amount is supposed to be raised by a non-profit group, but the other half of the funding will come in part from money raised via the three ballot propositions.

Those three propositions will raise money to pay for the new arena by allowing for adding a ten percent tax onto tickets sold at the new arena, a livestock facility use tax not to exceed $20 on any pen or stall at the venue that is used during events, and a $5 parking tax on any vehicle that parks at the venue or at a parking structure that services the venue.