State Rep. Terry Wilson (R-Granite Shoals) recently met with local constituents Craig Magerkurth, Wade Whiteside, Frank Reilly, Brandon Ross and Mike Hall over coffee to provide an update on the 85th Texas Legislature. Wilson took office on Jan. 10 and represents District 20, covering Burnet, Milam, and part of Williamson counties. Rep. Wilson discussed his staff hires for his capitol and district offices, noting that he has brought on two seasoned legislative staffers, Jeff Frazier, his chief of staff, and Michele Samuelson, his district director. Wilson also explained the constitutional and Texas House Rules that govern the movement of legislation, adding that because of those rules, the House sees very little floor action in the first 60 days of the session. He has been spending his time learning procedures, studying issues and legislation, and meeting with constituents.
At a meeting held Wednesday by the Complaint Committee established by the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) on November 30, tensions ran high and continued Thursday regarding a complaint filed against board member James Oakley. The executive session that followed PEC member comments was ended when Complaint Committee member and director Kathryn Scanlon left the proceedings. They continued on Thursday.
The Complaint Committee, which included Scanlon, board president Emily Pataki and director Paul Graf, was joined by general council Don Ballard and special council Don Richards. The committee was charged with investigating a complaint filed by PEC board member Cristi Clement against Oakley.
Burnet County Elections Administrator Doug Ferguson has issued a statement dated today, Aug. 31, outlining court ordered changes in voter identification rules for Texas voters in the Nov. 8 election.
“My office is working to make sure all the voters in Burnet County are ready to cast a ballot,” said Ferguson in preface. “These new options for voters who cannot obtain a photo ID are currently in place and will be used in the November Election.”
Texas voter identification law is not a new debate and new changes have had a long road coming.
The law that had taken effect in 2011 was struck down in court and placed on hold in October 2014.
Burnet County Commissioners Court officially decreased the ad valorem tax rate for the second fiscal year in a row.
Commissioners Court met on Tuesday, Aug. 23 and approved an effective tax rate for the 2017 fiscal year that is a 1.4 percent reduction compared to last year's rate.
Burnet County Judge James Oakley said the new rate, which is .3969 per $100 valuation, will amount to a $369.90 tax per year for a property valued at $100,000. For those residents whose property values didn't rise this year, the new tax will represent a 1.4 percent reduction in their county taxes.
The lower effective rate is the “culmination of rising property values in the county,” Oakley said. “It would have been a lot lower this year, but we had a lot more seniors qualify for the tax freeze.”
With three positions up for grabs on Burnet City Council during the May 7 election Joyce Laudenschlager will remain on the council after receiving the most votes during the election.
Danny Lester coming in 202 votes will take his new position on the council and Phillip Thurman will retain his position on City Council after coming in with the third most votes of 189, beating out candidate Paul Shell who received 167 votes.
“I will work to bring the term ‘WE’ back to our city council, all the votes and decisions I make will be for all the citizens of Burnet,” said Lester after the final votes.
“I will be conservative yet I will be very progressive to bring new ideas to the council and businesses to our city,
“Lastly, I would like to thank the voters of Burnet for their confidence in me and I promise I will not let you down,” said Lester.
With election day on May 7, Bertram Mayor Candidates John Mandigo and Cynthia Anderson answer questions from The Burnet Bulletin to help voters decide who they want to be the next Mayor of Bertram.
Dickie Allen, current Bertram City Mayor, will not seek re-election after 3 and a half years in the position.
Early voting starts on April 25 and runs to April 29.
Q: What prompted you to file for the Mayor position?
I am Mayor pro-tem at this time and when I asked the Mayor if he was going to run again he indicated he was not, so that is when I turned in my application. I want to see this community continue to succeed and I think I am the person that can get the job done.
Q: What is the next step Burnet needs to continue to properly manage growth and development of businesses within city limits?
To start reducing debt, lowering utilities rates and lower taxes. If you have less debt you have more funds for growth and developing businesses. Lower utility rates will bring in businesses, that is major question asked by any new potential business looking to locate in our city. Lower taxes on homes and businesses will bring growth. With these steps new residents will come and along with them more businesses.
Q: With the continued success of the MyTown Housing program, what is the next step the city needs to take to encourage medium-income residential development within city limits?