Fewer than 14 percent of registered voters spoke for the rest of Ellis County during the May 4 joint election. That group did manage to put a halt to forced annexation.
A total of 14,164 ballots were cast in the joint election on election day Saturday and during the early voting phase.
Of those ballots cast, 12,056 — or 86.89 percent — voted in favor of the countywide Proposition A. The proposition effectively changes the county’s status from Tier 1 to Tier 2, which would require special elections to be called if cities wanted to annex land properties into their limits.
“For years, I’ve seen cities annex areas and people pay higher taxes and not get the services they should,” Pct. 3 county commissioner Paul Perry stated in a previous Daily Light report. “I think this will encourage the cities that annex to make sure that people have a deal they believe in and so they are able to have the service that would justify paying a higher tax rate.”
The general election also held races for several city and school board positions, as well as a few mayoral races.
WAXAHACHIE ISD SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The candidates for the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees included current president Dusty Autrey and residents Edith Finley, James Villarreal and Debbie Timmermann.
A total of 7,200 ballots were cast in the race, with Autrey winning re-election by the largest margin with 2,354 votes (32.69 percent).
Having already served on the board for three years, Autrey stated he’s grateful for the community’s support and for continuing to put their trust in him.
“It’s been a long, taxing three months running a campaign and trying to hire a superintendent at the same time,” Autrey expressed. “To me, this result shows that the community is happy in the direction that our school district is going. That doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It doesn’t mean we have everything figured out. But I think they’re happy in the direction that we’re going.”
Timmermann won the other trustee position after she received 1,817 votes (25.24 percent) of ballots cast. Timmermann previously worked for the district for 29 years as a teacher and principal prior to her election onto the board.
“I am an educator who has spent more than half my life educating students,” Timmermann remarked. “It is my passion for excellence in education for every student that has driven me to want to serve on the Waxahachie Board of Trustees. I feel very blessed.”
Timmermann will be sworn into the board during their next meeting on Monday, May 13. Autrey stated the trustees will also reorganize the board in the same meeting.
WAXAHACHIE CITY COUNCIL
Running in the Waxahachie City Council race were incumbents Chuck Beatty and Mary Lou Shipley and challengers Amy Hedtke, Brian Bopp and David Cox. Beatty and Shipley both won re-election with over 1,220 votes and 31 percent of the ballots cast.
“I’m very thankful for all the people that helped in this election,” Shipley expressed. “Not just people who voted, but there were people who put signs in their yard. There were people who contributed campaign funds and people who just wrote me notes and said ‘Thank you for running.’ I’m very grateful for that.”
Shipley said she looks forward to attending the next council meeting with Beatty to begin their next term together.
“It’s a wonderful community to live in,” she stated. “I’m happy to be here.”
RED OAK ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Four candidates ran for an unexpired term for Red Oak ISD’s Place 5 trustee position — Penny Story, Sean Kelly, Donny Lutrick and Michelle Porter.
Story won the race with 545 ballots and 35.86 percent of the vote. Lutrick was runner-up with 390 ballots and 25.66 percent of the vote. Kelly and Porter received 330 and 255 ballots respectively, which made up for their 21.71 percent and 16.78 percent of the vote.
Although Story has been involved in other political campaigns in the past, she said this was the first election campaign she ever ran for herself. Story said she felt she won because the message she put out there resonated with voters the most.
And that message, she said, was getting back to the basics – reading, writing, arithmetic and teaching the constitution.
“We’ve got to teach students the true history and beautiful uniqueness of America,” Story remarked. “They must learn how wonderful this country is. It was a timely message, and the public received it well. It was something they wanted to hear.”
Story said she looked forward to being sworn in onto the Red Oak School Board of Trustees during their next meeting on Monday, May 13.