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Wharton
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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2020 City of El Campo Election, meet your candidate

The County Gin reached out to each candidate that filed for a position on the City of El Campo Council – At Large, requesting a short bio and photograph.

City of El Campo Councilmember At Large. Voters will choose NONE, ONE, TWO or THREE.

Ralph Novosad, At Large

Ralph Novosad, At Large.

I have lived in El Campo for the past 30 years and am married to my wife, Carol. We have one daughter and are members of St. Philip Catholic Church. My interest for running for city council in El Campo is to strive to reduce the tax burden of both homeowners and businesses. I would conservatively work to represent and meet the needs of the people of El Campo. I have been the manager of Hlavinka Equipment in El Campo for the past 15 years. I am currently the president of Northside Education Center. I served on the Board of Trustees for El Campo ISO from 2007-2019. Prior to that I was on the advisory board at St. Philip School for 9 years.

Mindi Snyder, At Large

Mindi Snyder, At Large.

As a resident of El Campo for the majority of my life, I decided to run for City Council to continue to see the community that I love grow and prosper. After 24 years as an employee of three different cities, I have gained valuable insight into the endless needs such as addressing aging infrastructure and process improvements from training to technology upgrades to how operations are handled. Limited resources make prioritizing a necessity. Building on what we have and preparing for the future are of the utmost importance.Creating an environment that allows economic development to flourish will generate new revenue and allow for more opportunities to expand the housing stock and upgrade what is currently available. Continuing to look for direction from the Comprehensive Plan is critical as many citizens provided vital input and finally I feel that leadership in the area of  uniting our community is imperative.

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Philip Miller, At Large (Incumbent)

Philip Miller, At Large (Incumbent).

I am a life long resident of El Campo, a graduate of El Campo High School and attended Texas A&M University with a major in Business. Married to the former Sheila House with two sons, Troy and Brad. Over the years I have had the opportunity to serve the citizens of El Campo as a City Council Member from 1979 to 1988 and as Mayor from 1988 to 1989. Also, I was elected as Wharton County Commissioner Pct3 for 4 terms from 1997 to 2012. I am a member of the West Wharton County Hospital District Board for 4 years from 2015 to 2018. Currently serving as El Campo City Council Member and Mayor Pro-Tem. I am seeking a second term to help El Campo move forward while trying to bring good businesses to town to increase our tax base so the tax rate can be lowered.

Chris Barbee, At Large (Incumbent)

Chris Barbee, At Large (Incumbent).

 I am asking El Campo voters to allow me to serve them for a second term as an at-large member of El Campo City Council. When I first ran in 2018 I promised three things: 1) To bring fiscal responsibility and accountability to city council by asking, “Is it a need, or just a want?” 2) Improving the city’s aging infrastructure, including giving priority to repairing or replacing failing streets, water and sewer lines and outdated equipment; and 3) supporting our Police, EMS and Fire departments. This is still my pledge. A major reason why I ran for city council in 2018 was to give the citizens a voice. As long as I’m on city council my fellow citizens will always be allowed to be heard. I have lived in El Campo since 1968, and with my family published the Leader-News until 2011. My wife Carol and I have two children, Jonathan and Julie Ann.

Eugene Bustamante, At Large

Eugene Bustamante, At Large.

My name is Eugene Bustamante. I was born in El Campo, Texas on April 18, 1968. I am a lifelong resident of the town that I call home — El Campo, Texas. I have been involved and have volunteered in many community events and fundraisers here in the City of El Campo for a number of years. I have also been involved in many organizations such as: the El Campo Volunteer Fire Department, 16 years; member of Elk’s B.P.O.E. # 1749, 18 years; Board of Directors for Houston Hospice of El Campo, 3 years; Board of Directors 100 Club of Wharton County, 8 years; and Board of Directors for Coastal Bend Oilman’s Fishing Tournament, 16 years. I am running for City Council at Large to be a voice for the people and to try to help make El Campo a better place for “ALL OUR CITIZENS”. My lovely wife Dee of 34 years, two wonderful daughters, two beautiful granddaughters, one son-in-law and a future son-in-law, including my mother, brothers and sisters who are also proud to call El Campo Home. Thank You for Your Support.

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City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition A

Amend this Section of the City Charter to comply with changes in State Law which govern the authority and procedure for a city to annex property, so that such section would read as follows:

§ 1.03 Extension of Boundaries The boundaries of the City of El Campo may be enlarged and extended by the annexation of additional territory, in conformity with the procedure set forth in applicable State Law as presently enacted or hereafter amended. Upon the City council finding completion of and approval of the applicable State Law annexation procedures for territory to be annexed,suchterritoryshallbecomeapartofthecity and said land and its residents and future residents shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of other citizens of the city and shall be bound by acts, ordinances, resolutions and regulations of the city. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition B

Amend this Section of the City Charter to clarify that the authority of the City Council to appoint a councilmember to fill a vacancy is limited to only when state election law deadlines would prohibit calling an election, so that such section would read as follows:

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§ 3.04 Vacancies When a vacancy occurs in the City Council after the filing deadline has expired for the election date for council members in the next May election but prior to February 1st of any year, the remaining members of the City Council must, within twenty (20) days after declaring a vacancy, appoint a person who possesses the qualifications required by this Charter of a council member, to serve as a successor council member for such vacated position until the immediate following May when such position shall be open to election for the then remaining term of such position, if any, or a new term if the regular term for such vacated position has expired. A vote of at least four (4) council members shall be required for the appointment of a qualified person to fill a vacancy. If a vacancy occurs after February 1st of any year but prior to the deadline for filing for election, the vacated position shall remain vacant until a successor council member is elected in the immediate following May election and the City Council shall not have the authority to appoint a successor to such vacated position. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition C

Amend this Section of the City Charter to delete the authority of the City Manager to act as the chief conservator of the peace within the City; provide that the City Manager duties shall require to act in a manner that will preserve and maintain the order and safety of the community and general public and allow the City Manager to be absent from a meeting of the City Council when permitted by the City Council, so that such section reads as follows:

§ 4.01 The City Manager (c) Duties of the City Manager The City Manager shall supervise the administration of the affairs of the city, see that ordinances of the city are enforced, act in such a manner that will preserve and maintain the order and safety of the community and general public, recommend to the City Council concerning the affairs of the city, attend all meetings of the City Council (except when absence is permitted by City Council) with the right to discuss but not to vote, inform the City Council on the city’s finances, prepare the annual budget, and perform such other duties as the City Council may require which are consistent with this charter. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition D

Amend this Section of the City Charter to change the appointment of the clerk of the municipal court from the City Council to the Municipal Court Judge, with the approval of the City Manager and change the duty of oversight of the operations of the municipal court clerk from the director of finance to the City Manager or his or her designee, so that such section shall read as follows:

§ 4.06 Municipal Court (c) The Municipal Judge, with City Manager approval, shall appoint the clerk of the Municipal Court. The City Manager or his or her designee shall oversee the operations of this department. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition E

Amend this Section of the City Charter to clarify the current language of such section authorizing the City of El Campo to expend public funds for developmnet of property as authorized by State Law so that such section shall read as follows:

§ 8.02 Development of Property The City Council shall cooperate in every manner possible with persons interested in the development of property within or beyond the city limits. No expenditure of public funds, however, shall be authorized for the development of private-owned subdivisions situated within or beyond the corporate limits of the city, except for the extension of utilities or services to such areas and over-sizing of any infrastructure deemed necessary for future development and as otherwise authorized or provided for by State Law. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition F

References to Planning Commission in the City Charter
Amend all Sections in the City Charter of the City of El Campo to change all references from the “Planning Commission” to the “Planning and Zoning Commission” to reflect the proper name of such commission. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition G

Amend this Section of the City Charter to comply with State Law and provide that the State Law Nepotism provisions shall apply to any office, position, clerkship or other service to the City of El Campo.

§ 14.04 Nepotism – The State of Texas Nepotism statute as defined in Texas Local Government Code or its applicable successor statute, shall be applicable with regard to an appointment to any office, position or clerkship or other service of the city. It shall be an exception to the above limitation if the relative in the service of the city shall have been continuously employed in a position or duty for a period of one (1) year prior to the election or appointment of the related member or officer. Voters will choose FOR or AGAINST.

City of El Campo Charter Amendment Proposition H

Article 3. The City Council. § 3.01 Number, Selection and Term Amend Section 3.01 (c) of the City Charter so that such section would read as follows: (c) The City Council, at its first meeting after each at-large election and qualification of members, shall install as Mayor the at-large member who received the most votes in said election. At the same meeting the at-large member who received the second most votes shall be installed as Mayor Pro-Tem. Should the member to be installed as Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem choose not to serve in their respective offices, then the at-large member receiving the most votes following the declining member shall be installed in the vacant office and so forth for each vacant office. The Mayor being the at-large member with the most votes that is willing to serve in that office and the Mayor Pro-Tem being the at-large member with the second most votes that is willing to serve in that office. If none of the at-large members wish to serve as Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem, City Council shall elect one of the district members to fill the vacant office(s).

This election is in conjunction with the November 3, 2020 General Election. For polling locations and times for Wharton County, please see below.

Information from the Wharton County Elections office.
Jessica Hartmanhttps://www.thecountygin.com
Jessica Hartman is the publisher of The County Gin and a realistic dreamer with creative expression. She can be reached at jessica@thecountygin.com or (979) 533-0122, but careful — she's a talker.

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