Candidates begin filing for council, water board ballots
by Gary Kent
Mar 01, 2012 | 1397 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez and George P. “Trace” Morrill, III were the first two city residents to file for places on city election ballots last week.

Then on Tuesday, towing company owner Ralph “Lee” Arismendez, 47, filed for a place on the Ward 4 City Council ballot.

The incumbent in Ward 4 is David Carabajal. But he had not filed for a place on the ballot there.

All city residents interested in filing for a place on either the City Council or water board ballots will have until 5 p.m. Monday, March 5, to do so.

Martinez has been elected mayor twice by his peers on the council. The 45-year-old son of former County Judge Jimmy Martinez works as a regional director for oil spill response at the Texas General Land Office.

Morrill is a 35-year-old attorney who was appointed to the position he now holds on the Beeville Water Supply District’s board of directors just weeks ago to the unexpired term of Bill Grigsby, who died earlier this winter.

He is the son of George P. Morrill, II, who was the first president of the Beeville Water Supply district board. He is the grandson of George P. Morrill, I, who was a member of the Nueces River Authority. The BWSD’s George P. Morrill, I Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch was named after Trace’s grandfather.

Three City Council members and two water board members will see their terms expire in May.

In addition to Martinez, the terms of Ward 3 Councilman John Govella Fulghum and Carabajal will end.

On the water board, Morrill is the Place 1 representative and Kay Hickey is in Place 2.

Because water board members represent no geographical areas and run citywide, voters in all five city wards will be able to cast ballots this year.

In addition, voters from throughout Beeville will be casting ballots on whether to allow the city to place one-eighth of one percent of the city sales tax in a special street maintenance fund.

Voters first approved using one-eighth of the one percent 4B sales tax for street maintenance four years ago.

But state law which allows 4B sales tax money to be spent on streets also calls for that option to be renewed every four years.

That program has provided more than $200,000 a year for city streets. Most of that money has been spent on seal coating.

City voters who wish to cast ballots early and avoid going to the polls on May 12, election day, will be able to apply for mail ballots beginning March 28. They will have until May 4 to get their mail ballot applications to City Secretary Imelda “Mel” Bernardo’s office at City Hall.

Early voting by personal appearance will begin on April 30 and continue until 5 p.m. May 8.

Voters who wish to cast early ballots in person will need to report to Bernardo’s office at City Hall.

City Council and water board elections could be canceled in the event that none of the candidates is opposed.

If that should be the case when the filing deadline arrives on March 5, the two governing bodies may declare those who have filed the winners and save the expense of printing the ballots for those positions.

However, because of the decision over the street maintenance fund issue, elections will still have to be held in each of the city’s five wards.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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