Jones unseats King in Granite Shoals

By Lew K. Cohn

and Alexandria Randolph

The Highlander

Newcomers will take all three spots on the Granite Shoals City Council in final but unofficial election results from Saturday’s municipal election.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Adam Warden will become the next mayor of Bertram, while Jane Scheidler joins Kim Klose on the City Council.

In Burnet, voters approved 16 of 17 proposed City Charter amendments on the ballot.

Granite Shoals

On the same day as the famed Kentucky Derby, Bruce A. Jones parlayed an early 103-67 lead following absentee and early voting into victory, defeating incumbent Place 2 City Council member Shirley King by a total of 207-143. Jones outpolled King 104-76 on Election Day as well.

I would like to thank the voters of Granite Shoals for your large election turnout and selecting your newest city council members,” Jones said. “If it weren’t for everyone getting out to vote, I don’t think I could have won. Thanks to each of who that took the time to talk with me about our vision of Granite Shoals which helps me prioritize our concerns. I’m always ready to listen to you, so please call or email me anytime.

Congratulations, you now have a voice at city hall. Thanks to all, now it’s time for me to get to work as your Place 2 City Councilman.”

I am disappointed with the results of the election. During my campaign, I focused on facts instead of inflammatory and patently false accusations, and tried to help people understand how the real world works when it comes to a council-manager form of government,” King said.

For instance, as a councilperson, I am forbidden by law to interact directly with city staff regarding the daily operation of city programs and policies. That is the city manager’s job. All I can do is try to get the council as a whole to act in the best interest of the citizens by creating and enforcing policies that will compel the staff to make better and more beneficial choices to help our citizens.

During my years as a councilperson, I fought a lot of battles on behalf of our citizens; many of them behind the scenes. I guess I didn’t win enough of them,” King added. “As a matter of fact, one benefit of losing this election is that I am now free to publicly express my opinions about what happens at City Hall and act as a vocal agent of change in a way that I never could as a councilperson. I look forward to this new challenge.”

Jones will be joined on the council by Terry Scott, who jumped out to a 120-47 advantage in early and absentee voting and ended up defeating Ryan Wolters, 234-106, for the Place 4 council seat held by Tom Dillard, who could not run again due to term limits.

Will Skinner ran unopposed for Place 6 on the council and received 283 votes. Incumbent Mark Morren did not seek re-election.

A special called canvass meeting will take place May 15 at 5 p.m. and new council members will be sworn in at the 6 p.m. May 22 regular City Council meeting.

Bertram

Warden, who did not seek re-election to his City Council seat, took a 19-10 lead in absentee and early voting and then coasted to victory on Election Day, winning by a 92-30 margin over Danielle Armknecht.

Incumbent mayor Cynthia Shell Anderson did not seek re-election, but instead ran for Warden’s City Council seat against Scheidler. With Klose seeking re-election, voters had to select two of the three council candidates.

In the City Council election, Scheidler jumped out to the lead in early and absentee voting with 23 votes to 12 for Klose and 5 for Anderson. On Election Day, Klose overtook Scheidler on Election Day to finish with 75 votes to Scheidler’s 73, while Anderson finished third with 29 votes.

On Wednesday, May 2, Warden held a forum called “Ask Adam” at the Globe Theatre in Bertram where he answered questions from an audience in a final attempt to reach out to voters. Asked about how the city plans to supply water to all new homes in the city's incoming subdivisons, Warden said, “We get our water from the Felps ranch and pipe it 13 miles. We’re looking at another way to get our water from the same place …

The pipe that takes the water from the Felps place 13 miles to Bertram is 30 years old. Within 10 years, that line will be outdated. The lines around town are outdated and we’re constantly repairing them.”

Warden said he believes the city's comprehensive master plan — which was the product of work by the council, Economic Development Corporation and others — will be key to managing commercial growth in Bertram.

We’ve looked at zoning at where businesses should be. That plan is in effect. I think we need to work on infrastructure before the growth comes. We have a little bit of time, but not much,” Warden said.

I would like to see a downtown. We’re in a building (The Globe Theatre) that’s doing fantastic for our community, but if you look around, there are not a lot of other businesses around. Our EDC board is looking at recruiting those people. I think we need more people in our city limits to really get that growth.”

Scheidler herself asked Warden about how to best get more people involved in the “boards and committees that are running Bertram,” especially as there are “some 800 registered voters” in the community.

I think we could educate the community a little better by working with the Chamber of Commerce,” Warden replied. “We could put out flyers, talk to people, get the word out a little better. Maybe that’s something you and I, the Chamber of Commerce and other interested people could all sit down and figure out how to get that done.

We all have the same goal, and that is to make Bertram great again. Actually, just to make it better. We all have the same goal and we stand by each other.”

It seems as Bertram may have already started getting more people involved. Voter turnout in Bertram was up more than 64.9 percent above last year, with 122 people voting compared to just 74 in 2017. Having a mayoral election on the ballot likely contributed to some of the increase, though just 93 people voted in the 2016 election.

Burnet

Burnet voters rejected a proposed Charter amendment that would have let the council skip the step of creating and maintaining a comprehensive plan. Voters rejected the proposal, 59-57, with all but two of those votes against coming in early and absentee balloting.

All the other Charter amendements were approved with at least 65 percent of the voters favoring the changes.

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