North Richland Hills cancels council election

Posted Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- The City Council election has been canceled because only incumbents filed the required papers to run for a two-year council term.

The decision comes after the council voted in September to increase the city's property tax rate by 4 cents to 61 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Tax rate increases -- this was the city's first since 1993 -- often spark interest in running for city office.

The tax rate increase will help pay for a $48 million bond that voters approved in May for the planned City Hall off Boulevard 26. Residents had been told that the tax rate would increase if they approved the bond, said Mayor Oscar Trevino, who is not up for election this year. And the bond was approved by about 70 percent of the vote, he said.

"The increase in the tax rate wasn't a surprise to anybody," Trevino said.

He said residents are comfortable with the council members who were up for election. The council voted 7-0 on Monday to cancel the May 11 election, giving Councilmen Tito Rodriguez, Place 1; Tom Lombard, Place 3, David Whitson, Place 5; and Tim Welch, Place 7, another term.

The Southlake City Council voted March 19 to cancel its city elections because there were no competitive races. Colleyville is expected to make the same decision Tuesday.

Last year's North Richland Hills municipal election cost about $20,000, City Secretary Patricia Hutson said. The deadline to file for office this year was March 1. Candidates can opt to pay $150 or collect 150 signatures from registered voters to file for office, she said.

In other business, the council chose by consensus to name the roadway to the planned City Hall. They agreed during a workshop before the regular council meeting to call the street City Point Drive. Consultants Laura Hunt and Sandra Brodnicki of Team Brodnicki and Hunt of Arlington presented the council with nine options.

The consultants said that they interviewed nine people, including city leaders.

"People talked about a sense of place," Hunt said.

The other options were: Gateway Avenue; City Campus Drive, Enterprise Place, Market Place, City Center Boulevard, Polaris Boulevard, Vantage Place and Grand Boulevard.

The city paid the consultants about $3,500 to recommend the names, said Police Chief Jimmy Perdue, who is coordinating the City Hall project. City officials hope that the complex, which is scheduled to open in late 2015, becomes a catalyst to attract businesses, shops and restaurants.

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