Tensions run high as PEC investigates merit of complaint filed against Oakley

By Frank Shubert

Bulletin Publisher

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.


Court-ordered voter options announced

Court-ordered voter options announced

By Glynis Crawford Smith

Highland Lakes Newspapers



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.


County lowers 2017 tax rate by 1.4 percent



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.”


Election Day is Tomorrow

Texas and Highland Lakes voters have their last chance to vote for the Democratic and Republican nominations during the election on May 24.

The election will finalize the nominations for the Nov. 8 general election.

The only Burnet County Democratic runoff is for the Texas Railroad Commissioner between Grady Yarbrough and Cody Garret.

While Republicans have various local and state races which they are able to cast their ballots for.

GOP side, the runoff races are:

• Railroad commissioner — Gary Gates and Wayne Christian

• Place 2 Court of Criminal Appeals judge — Ray Wheless and Mary Lou Keel

• Place 5 Court of Criminal Appeals judge — Scott Walker and Brent Webster

• District 24 state senator — Dawn Buckingham and Susan King

• Burnet County Precinct 1 commissioner — Sam Cox and Jim Luther Jr.

• Burnet County Precinct 1 justice of the peace — Michael Horton and Roxanne Nelson


Laudenschlager, Lester, Thurman elected in Burnet


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.


Bertram Council Candidates

Kim Klose

Kim Klose declined the opportunity to answer the Burnet Bulletin Q&A


Adam Warden

Q: What is the next step Bertram needs to continue to properly manage growth and development within city limits?

A: I believe we need to take a more in depth look at our zoning practices to insure Bertram remains presentable to road and train traffic.

Q: Do you think the city is doing a good job walking the line between accountability to neighbors and individual rights?

A: Bertram has done a good job walking that line, I believe it could be polished and shined but overall a good job.

Q:  What, if any, programs or facilities would you like to see the city implement in the next five years?


Get to know your Bertram Mayor candidates



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.


Cynthia Anderson

  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.



Get to know your Burnet City Council candidates




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?


City approves upgraded egress routes in case of Delaware Springs flooding



Completion of a drainage study in Delaware Springs led city staff to recommend bolstering two ingress and egress paths in the community for flood safety.

In mid-November, council authorized a design engineer to complete a drainage study for the community. Burnet City Manager David Vaughn said a city engineer did a similar study for comparison.

“Both engineers were very close. The city engineer was within one or two inches different than the (contracted) design engineer,” he said.

Vaughn said while the study was designed within the 25-year flood plan, he would prefer to be prepared for more severe flood conditions.

“We would like to see a road for egress to a 100-year flood plan,” he said, adding that city staff recommended council approve $55,000 to upgrade two egress roadways.


Facebook hoax nets arrest in Granite Shoals


A Granite Shoals woman was arrested March 24, for drug possession.

If a defense can be made, it would be that she was a victim of social media and her plight launched her into national notice.

The Granite Shoals Police Department (GSPD) crafted a bogus “Breaking News” alert it had enjoyed on other law enforcement websites for its own Facebook page:

“Meth and Heroin recently brought in to Central Texas as well as the ingredients used to make it could be contaminated with the life threatening disease Ebola,” it read. “If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination!”


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