By Alexandria Randolph
Unofficial final voting returns Saturday night showed that the wet/dry local option election passed with a 74 percent margin, allowing alcohol sales in the newly annexed areas of the city. The vote was 364, or 74 percent, to 127, or 26 percent.
Former Marble Falls Mayor Raymond Whitman won with a 52-48 percent margin against incumbent John Packer for Marble Falls Council Place 5.
Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Christian Fletcher said he wasn’t surprised about the results of the wet/dry vote.
“When we circulated the petition, there was very little opposition, so we were cautiously optimistic through the process and certainly happy with the turnout,” he said.
Fletcher said the allowance of businesses to sell alcohol in the newly annexed areas may affect the newly annexed areas south of town the most.
“The biggest impact will probably be on the south side of town where there is a lot of available commercial property. The development that some have been waiting for may start to take shape now,” he said.
In the Marble Falls City Council election, Whitman garnered 236 votes to Packer’s 216 votes.
Whitman could not be reached for comment Saturday night.
Whitman served on city council twice with six years as a councilman, four years as mayor pro tem and four years as mayor. He served on the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors for eight years.
In regards to propelling growth, Whitman said earlier he feels the city needs to take steps to encourage development by reaching out to and meeting with potential developers, and should explore public-private partnerships which would spur the building of workforce housing and additional retail, commercial activity.