Voting 2020

Voters cast their ballots. File photo.

In addition to an election this May to determine Lewisville’s next mayor and a new council member, voters can also weigh in on four charter amendments.

Proposition A would provide an additional seat to the City Council, giving Lewisville six council members and a mayor. The number constituting a quorum would also be adjusted.

This proposal comes as Lewisville is expected to annex Castle Hills in December.

When Lewisville had its last charter election five years ago voters approved residential districts.

“The council decided to add a seat for improved representation,” said City Manager Donna Barron. “We looked at other cities that are similar in size to Lewisville, and we have a smaller council than most of them.”

The new residential districts will be important as Lewisville’s population will increase significantly upon annexation. Barron said the annexation will bring in approximately 14,000 residents to Lewisville, which has a population of approximately 107,000. She said Castle Hills has room to grow to approximately 30,000 residents.

James Kunke, the city’s communications and tourism director, said if the proposition passes the residential districts would be drawn based on Census data, which is usually available in April. But because of the pandemic those numbers may not be released until August, he said.

The city would then have to quickly draw the new district lines in time for the council to vote in January to call a May election.

If the proposition passes the mayor would continue to only vote in the case of a tie, a practice that Lewisville has had for years. Kunke said that provides a different type of leadership role.

“That way the mayor can look at things from the big picture instead of individually,” Kunke said.

Proposition B would align the city’s budget deadlines with state deadlines. Barron said the budget process can be complex with various deadlines the city must adhere to per state law and the charter, which can sometimes conflict.

“So this simplifies the process,” Barron said.

Proposition C removes the requirement that a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission must own property in Lewisville.

Kunke said at one time council members were required to own property before a state law removed that requirement. He said for some reason the requirement for P&Z members to own property, perhaps an oversight, was left in place.

Proposition D removes a power of the council to distribute duties to the city staff. Lewisville uses a council-manager form of government where the council makes the policy and the city manager handles the day-to-day implementation of it.

“This has been in place since 1963, but we have no record that the council has ever used that power,” Barron said.

This year’s election will take place May 1. Early voting runs April 19-27.

Also on the ballot will be four candidates running for the mayor’s seat – Councilman TJ Gilmore, Tiffanie Fowler, Delia Parker-Mims and Timothy Freibel, Jr. Longtime Mayor Rudy Durham opted not to run for reelection.

With Gilmore leaving his seat to run for mayor that opened up Place 3 on the council. Ronni Cade and Penny Mallet are running or that seat.

In Lewisville ISD, Buddy Bonner and Paige Dixon are running for Place 1. In Place 2 incumbent Allison Lassahn and Sheila Taylor will face each other.  

Follow Chris Roark on Twitter!

@Reporter_Chris

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