One member of the city council bows out as filing gets underway for May election.


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


The city of Stephenville is gearing up for another election in May, and four members of the city council are up for re-election this go-round.


But one councilman told Beneath the Surface News that he will not seek another term.


“The council has done an incredible job tackling some very big projects. I feel we have great momentum to continue this positive trajectory forward,” Councilman Nick Robinson (place 3) said. “Serving our community has been a very rewarding honor, but it does require a significant amount of time. Therefore, I plan to take a little time to spend with my family and will not seek re-election.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Mark McClinton (place 1), Ricky Thurman (place 5) and Gerald Cook (place 7) are also up for re-election.


It’s not clear what McClinton plans to do, but Thurman and Cook both say they will seek another term.


In my 2019 candidacy announcement, I mentioned my commitment to keeping property tax rates as low as possible, that Stephenville was in a critical phase of economic development, and that reinvesting in our city’s infrastructure, services and economic development programs will keep Stephenville one of the most desirable places to live in America,” Thurman said. “I have stood by those statements and have been honored to serve the citizens of Stephenville.


“Last year brought challenges and decisions I never imagined facing as a public servant. We have navigated uncharted territory, and the journey is not over. It was not perfect, but I am proud of the energy and resources your council and city staff committed to navigating Covid-19.”


Despite last year’s challenges, Thurman outlined a number of accomplishments like lowering the tax rate and recruiting $60 million in new economic development projects including approximately 75 new manufacturing jobs.

The council also approved funding to complete two major infrastructure projects and began the process of a third, expanded fire service shift personnel for the first time in 12 years and gained approval to join the Texas Historical Commission’s Main Street Program.


Cook said he, too, is proud of the council’s accomplishments.


“In a time of tremendous and unforeseen difficulties in the past year, as a council we planned for the present and future, achieved economic development success that citizens will see for years to come and set the stage for more economic and community development in the future,” Cook said. “We also have moved forward with capital improvement projects that will greatly enhance streets, utilities and public safety. We have done this by being more innovative in ways to finance projects while maintaining the lower tax rates.

“The next few years will be among Stephenville's best.”

ELECTION INFORMATION


Filing to run for Stephenville City Council is underway now through Feb. 12.


The last day to register to vote is April 1 and early voting will take place from April 19-27.


Election Day is Saturday, May 1.


An application for a place on the ballot can be found here.