Posts tagged “elections

Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 11)

Standing (l-r): John Crompton, Bob Brick, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney. Sitting (l-r): Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Elizabeth Cunha.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 11. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter webinar number 957 6653 1244. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

5:22 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of its executive session.

5:24 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled no items from tonight’s consent agenda for discussion.

6:17 p.m.

Local Election Cycle

After discussing the pros and cons of holding local general elections in November of odd-numbered years, the council voted 4-3 against a motion to bring the item back for future action. Councilmen Crompton, Brick and Maloney voted for the motion.

The city is already transitioning council terms from three years to four years, with elections in November of even-numbered years. Providing for general elections in odd-numbered years would have required a special charter amendment election.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:30 p.m.

Water, Wastewater Service in ETJ

The council discussed an ordinance amendment to establish a wastewater rate surcharge for customers outside the city limits. The item will come back to the council in March.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:35 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

6:50 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:58 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • Judy LeUnes encouraged the city to pass a humane pet store ordinance
  • Fred Dupriest spoke against the validity of the poll regarding the proposed restricted occupancy ordinance.

7:00 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $2.37 million contract with PowerGrid Services for the construction of the Spring Creek Substation Ring Bus Modification. The owner also is furnishing $1.29 million in material for a total bonded project requirement of $3.66 million.
  • A resolution granting consent to Rock Prairie Management District No. 2 for the sale and issuance of unlimited tax road bonds, series 2021, not to exceed $2.5 million.
  • The first renewal of a contract not to exceed $250,000 with D.I.J. Construction for pavement striping and markings services.
  • An inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to establish and support a COVID-19 vaccination HUB and to memorialize the commitment in equally sharing in the cost of supplies for the HUB with a maximum of $100,000.

7:02 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council voted unanimously to extend the mayor’s COVID-19 disaster declaration.

7:11 p.m.

Hike & Bike Trail Parking Lot

The council voted unanimously to approve a $329,000 contract with Aggieland Construction for the Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trailhead and parking lot project. The work also includes an access road to Midtown Drive that will also serve as a driveway for the CSU substation located west of the proposed parking lot.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:37 p.m.

LULAC Oak Hill Rehabilitation

The council voted unanimously to approve a request for support from LULAC Oak Hill Apartments — a 49-unit apartment complex at 1105 Anderson St. — for the complete rehabilitation of the property, proposed costs, and potential funding source. The complex is a supportive housing complex for income-qualified elderly residents.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

9:49 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council’s next workshop and regular meetings are set for Thursday, Feb. 25.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter webinar number 957 6653 1244. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Local Elections: In the workshop, the council will discuss the pros and cons of holding local general elections in November of odd-numbered years. The city is already transitioning council terms from three years to four years, with elections in November of even-numbered years. Providing for general elections in odd-numbered years would require a special charter amendment election.
  2. Rock Prairie Management District Bonds: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider consenting to Rock Prairie Management District No. 2’s sale and issuance of unlimited tax road bonds (series 2021) not to exceed $2.5 million. The bonds’ repayment will be by residents and businesses in the district, which includes about 270 acres on the east side of State Highway 6 between Rock Prairie Road and Fitch Parkway.
  3. Vaccination HUB: Another consent agenda item is an inter-local agreement with Brazos County and the City of Bryan to establish and support a COVID-19 vaccination HUB and sharing the costs. The city’s maximum contribution is $100,000.
  4. Hike & Bike Trail Parking Lot: In the regular meeting, the council will consider a $329,000 contract with Aggieland Construction for the Lick Creek Hike & Bike Trailhead and parking lot project. The work also includes an access road to Midtown Drive that will also serve as a driveway for the CSU substation located west of the proposed parking lot.
  5. LULAC Oak Hill Rehabilitation: The council will consider a request for support from LULAC Oak Hill Apartments — a 49-unit apartment complex at 1105 Anderson St. — for the complete rehabilitation of the property, proposed costs, and potential funding source. The complex is a supportive housing complex for income-qualified elderly residents. 

Related Links:                 

 


About the Blogger Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Ranked voting an unlikely path for College Station

By Mary Ann Powell, Deputy City Attorney

Whatever your political opinions are, we can all agree on one thing — voting is essential.

Various factions push an array of voting reforms to solve whatever problems they perceive in the way we elect our leaders. In parts of the country, a concept called ranked-choice voting has captured the imagination of some as a way to eliminate costly run-off elections.

In College Station, we went a year with a vacant city council seat because the COVID-19 pandemic forced delays in a run-off stemming from the November 2019 election.  

Ranked-choice voting is an election system that would apply when more than two candidates run for a public office. Voters rank their choices in order of preference. Suppose no candidate receives 50% of the votes. In that case, the candidate receiving the least “1” votes is eliminated, the second choice of the eliminated candidate’s voters is distributed among the remaining candidates, and so on.  

The process continues until a candidate receives a majority of the votes and is declared the winner.

Ranked-choice voting would eliminate run-off elections while ensuring the winning candidate reflects the preferences of a majority of voters, reducing the chances of a less-preferred candidate playing the role of a spoiler.

However, some experts say the system’s complexity may also confuse many voters and election administrators. They also argue that ranked-choice voting is manipulative and runs counter to the democratic process when voter confidence in the system is already low, at least in national elections. 

Could ranked-choice voting happen in College Station? It’s unlikely.

As enticing as some may find the concept — it’s been adopted in about 20 U.S. cities — it isn’t allowed under the Texas Constitution. Amending the constitution requires approval by two-thirds of each house of the legislature, then several state statutes would need to be overturned.

Finally, for College Station to adopt ranked-choice voting, residents would have to approve it in a city charter election. 

In other words, it can’t happen any time soon.

 


Powell

About the Blogger

Mary Ann Powell has been the city’s deputy city attorney since 2015. She has almost three decades of municipal legal experience, previously serving as city attorney in Sugar Land and Missouri City and as assistant city attorney in College Station and Missouri City. An Iowa native, Mary Ann received a bachelor of arts from St. Louis University in 1981 and a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law School in 1986.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Nov. 12)

Standing (L-R): John Crompton, Bob Brick, Dennis Maloney. Sitting (L-R): Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, John Nichols.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 12. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings are streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 972 2077 4495. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

4:00 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

4:07 p.m.

Canvassing Election Returns

The council unanimously accepted the canvassing returns and declared the Nov. 3 general election results for Places 1, 3, and 5 on the city council and the special runoff election for Place 4.

4:12 p.m.

City Council Oaths of Office

Council members Elizabeth Cunha, Linda Harvell and Bob Brick were sworn into office by Municipal Court Presiding Judge Ed Spillane. 

4:13 p.m.

City Council Reception

The workshop was suspended for a reception for the new council members.

6:10 p.m.

The workshop has resumed. No action was taken from executive session.

6:24 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

These items from tonight’s consent agenda were pulled for workshop discussion:

  • Runoff Election: The council will order a runoff election on Dec. 15 between John Nichols and Craig Regan for Place 5 on the city council.

  • Brazos Valley Trash Valet and Recycling: The proposed agreement would allow Brazos Valley Trash Valet and Recycling to collect recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations. The company will be responsible for developing on-site collection of recyclables that won’t interfere with the collection of municipal solid waste.

6:30 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

6:35 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:38 p.m.

BCS Marathon Month

The mayor proclaimed Dec. 13 as BCS Marathon Day.

6:40 p.m.

Hear Visitors

No one spoke during Hear Visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

6:43 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A three-year inter-local agreement for $926,000 with Brazos County and the City of Bryan for College Station and Bryan to provide emergency medical ambulance services to Brazos County.
  • A change order reducing the contract by $95,286.43 for the Graham Road Substation.
  • The renewal of an annual price agreement not to exceed $912,608 with Techline for the purchase of electric distribution poles.
  • An advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the widening of Wellborn Road from Fitch Parkway to Greens Prairie Road. The project isn’t expected to start until at least 2026.
  • A change order deducting $116,980 from the contract with Garney Construction for the Water Well No. 9 project.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Trash Valet and Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.

This item was pulled for a separate vote:

  • The council voted unanimously to ordered a runoff election on Dec. 15 for Place 5 on the city council. The voting centers will be at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility and the Meyer Senior and Community Center. 

6:53 p.m.

Town Lake Drive Property Exchange

The council voted unanimously to approve the exchange of one-acre of city property with one acre belonging to an adjoining property owner along the State Highway 6 northbound frontage road north of Barron Road for the future alignment of Town Lake Drive. A street connection north of the existing city property, aligned with Town Lake (formerly Bird Pond Road), provides the safest and most efficient offset to Barron Road.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

6:58 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council’s next workshop and regular meetings are set for Monday, Nov. 23.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings will be streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888 475 4499 and enter meeting number 972 2077 4495. if the call-in number isn’t working, access will be limited to Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Canvassing Election Returns: The council will canvass returns and declare the Nov. 3 general election results for Places 1, 3, and 5 on the city council and the special runoff election for Place 4. 
  2. Council Oaths of Office, Reception: The newly elected council members will be sworn into office, followed by a short reception.
  3. Runoff Election: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider ordering a runoff election on Dec. 15 between John Nichols and Craig Regan for Place 5 on the city council. 
  4. Wellborn Road Widening: Another consent agenda item is an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for preliminary engineering work for the Fitch Parkway-Wellborn Road Interchange Feasibility Study. The project’s scope includes the city’s preliminary design for the widening of Wellborn Road from Fitch to Greens Prairie Road, which isn’t expected to start until at least 2026.
  5. Town Lake Property Exchange: In the regular meeting, the council will consider exchanging one-acre tracts with an adjoining property owner along the State Highway 6 northbound frontage road north of Barron Road. A street connection north of the existing city property, aligned with Town Lake Drive (formerly Bird Pond Road), provides the safest and most efficient offset to Barron Road.

Related Links:                 

 


About the Blogger Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Live Blog: 2020 City Election

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live election blog from the Brazos Center. The results are also available on the City of College Station’s Twitter and Facebook pages and on Suddenlink Channel 19.

About 59.5 percent (72,357) of registered voters (121,580) in Brazos County voted early or absentee.

9:11 p.m.

Early and absentee votes and all 25 vote centers have been counted. Absentee, military and provisional ballots received on time and determined to be qualified will be counted and added to the early voting and Election Day totals after 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10.

UPDATE (Nov. 4)

At its Nov. 12 regular meeting, the city council will consider calling for a runoff election on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to fill the council’s Place-5 seat. Incumbent Councilman John Nichols and challenger Craig Regan received the highest number of votes cast for the position, but neither received the majority required by law. Canvassing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12. Newly elected council members representing Places 1, 3 and 4 will be sworn-in at that meeting.

Should the council adopt the proposed runoff ordinance, early voting would run from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, excluding weekends.

UPDATE (Nov. 19)

Bob Brick has been re-elected to Place 1 on the College Station City Council after Thursday’s recount was withdrawn. After absentee and mail-in ballots were recounted with no changes to the outcome, Cornelius withdrew. The rest of the Election Day ballots will not be recounted.

UPDATE (Nov. 19)

Here are the final vote totals, including all mail, military and provisional ballots:

Nichols will continue to serve until the winner is determined.

Thanks for following us tonight!

 


About the Blogger Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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