There will be three run-off elections for The Colony City Council after none of the candidates received 50 percent or more of the votes needed to win the election Tuesday.
In Place 3, incumbent Brian Wade received 47.4 percent of the votes (2,239 votes) to Megan Stoner’s 46.7 percent (2,201). Those two will run against each other Dec. 8 in a run-off election. Robert Michelson finished with 5.7 percent (270 votes).
In Place 4, incumbent David Terre will face Lauren Gunn. Terre received 47.5 percent (2,453) to Gunn’s 37.5 percent (1,934). Chris Song finished with 15 percent (775).
In Place 5, incumbent Perry Schrag finished with 40.9 percent (1,483) and will face A.B. Martin, who received 31.4 percent (1,138). Rolando Reyes had 27.7 percent (1,004).
Those challenging the incumbents said residents who voted for the newcomers sent a message that they want to see new faces on the council.
“I think that had everything to do with it,” Stoner said. “It’s just my opinion and my voice, but maybe people want someone younger and more progressive.”
She pointed to the all-male council and said getting elected would add more diversity to the council.
“People want to see diversity in the flesh,” Stoner said. “Having even one new voice would mix things up.”
Gunn also said she believes one of the reasons people voted for her was they want fresh faces on the council.
“I’d like to think it’s because (voters) believe the way I do as far as term limits,” Gunn said, noting Terre’s nine years on the council. “I feel like people want change.”
But others feel like this is not the time for change.
Wade pointed to the city’s success and said that comes from longevity from its council members.
“We have 18 years of strong leadership,” Wade said. “I’m not sure why you would want to change that. I tell voters that if they have an idea, share it with me. But to just go blindly and say we need fresh meat, that’s not a good thing, especially at the local level.”
Wade said he could understand the desire to change leaders if there was corruption or if the city was in a bad financial situation.
Wade said that’s not the case in The Colony, which lowered its tax rate for the 18th time this year and continues to increase its tax base.
“We’ve had Little Rock, Arkansas city leaders come up here and say, ‘How are you guys doing all of this?’” Wade said.
He said that’s a far cry from years past.
“Where we came from is phenomenal,” Wade said.
Wade said if re-elected he wants to continue the city’s growth that has kept the tax rate low.
Terre said one of the priorities for him during his campaign was police and fire protection.
“It’s the No. 1 request that we get,” Terre said. “It’s a national issue, and it’s that way here, too. We want to provide the police and fire departments with the funding they need so they can be the best they can be.”
Terre said quality development is another priority.
“People want quality development, so we want to use good judgment when it comes to apartments, businesses and Grandscape,” Terre said.
The challengers said they have other reasons for running, too. For Gunn, she said maintaining road conditions is a key issue for her. Stoner said priorities for her also include roads, as well as green space and bringing in a farmers market.
Martin said if elected he hopes to change things both at the local and state levels.
The Colony wants to be known as a family orientated town, but it's not,” Martin said. “We have a long way to go. I hope this new administration can help turn some thinking and beliefs around. I hope to get elected to work with Sen. Jane Nelson, regarding laws down state that we have no input in. Laws that affect us. Our house, our decision. We are not being informed.”
Schrag could not be reached for comment.
As far as Terre’s view on the runoff, he said he welcomes the competition.
“It hurts a city when you don’t have competition,” Terre said. “Competition brings out the best in people.”