On Saturday, May 12, the citizens of Johnson County will be able to directly participate in their government by making their voices heard at the ballot box.

Ballots will include issues from several levels of governance, including state, county, municipal and school districts.

From the county’s Emergency Services District is a proposal to re-admit areas currently without fire or medical emergency protection in the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the city of Burleson into the ESD, an area comprising of approximately 2,000 families.

Also up for voters’ approval is a state constitutional amendment relating to the property tax rate for senior citizens.

In municipal elections, the three candidates for the three available Alvarado City Council seats - incumbents Tom Moore and Joe Sain and newcomer Bruce Clark - have already been declared “elected” by the City Council.

However, the municipal ballot in Alvarado will still be used to decide whether or not to “grant of authority to the city council to temporarily or permanently close any part of a street or alley for the exclusive use by a railroad company or other corporation having the right of eminent domain.”

During an Alvarado City Council meeting in Nov. 2006, the council was informed in executive session that, as a general law city, it lacked the authority to close the crossings on its own, which it would like to do in order to facilitate the economic development of Alvarado.

In the Alvarado ISD school board race, incumbents Kelly Price and Ted Dossey are running unopposed, with the only contested race being that for Place 1, in which David Jusiewicz faces Paula Hardee. The position is being vacated by Jim Bosley, who has decided not to run.

Unlike the other races, Venus’ municipal races are all contested with at least one challenger for each place.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Carolyn Welcher faces challengers Wayne Wadlington and Timothy Leach.

Wadlington, who currently serves as a city councilman in Place 1, originally filed to run for that office, city secretary Linda Taylor said, but then withdrew that petition and filed another to run for mayor.

Leach is a former detective with the Venus Police Department who has filed suit against the city, alleging that his termination was a violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act.

Tying the mayoral race with its number of candidates is the race for the unexpired term of departing Venus city councilman Billy Bernard.

Three citizens -A.B. Owens, Jeannie Prazak and Yvonee Shank - are vying for the remaining year on the place’s term.

In the other two Venus municipal races, Randall Buck now faces off against Judy Faulkner for Place 1 on the city council and Casa Gonzales faces Teresa Hoffman for Place 2.