Tablet Local

Runoff elections needed in White Settlement, Keller council races

Editor's note: This article has been updated from the original.

While Tarrant County voters approved nearly all municipal and school district propositions Tuesday, that wasn’t the case in Parker County.

Weatherford voters there said no to a bond proposition for downtown infrastructure improvements while Parker County residents in the Aledo school district shot down a $61.5 million bond package that would have built new schools and made other campus improvements.

Two cities — White Settlement and Keller — will have runoff elections next month for council or mayor seats.

Fort Worth voters overwhelmingly approved $450 million for a 14,000-seat multipurpose arena and sports facility proposed for the Cultural District, and Arlington voters approved the largest bond package in the city’s history to improve streets, parks, libraries and fire facilities.

Two school districts were given the go-ahead to build new campuses and make security and technology upgrades.

Three cities in Tarrant County and Reno, which overlaps Tarrant and Parker counties, reauthorized sales taxes to fix streets or fight crime.

The returns were complete but unofficial on Wednesday.

Arlington

Arlington voters approved four propositions totaling $236 million designed to improve streets and sidewalks, parks, libraries and fire facilities.

“It’s encouraging to know the public is in agreement with the direction in which we are trying to get our city to go,” District 8 City Councilman Michael Glaspie said. “We live in a wonderful city, but there are some things we can do to improve the look and feel and the efficiency and effectiveness with which we deliver services. That is what this funding will help us do.”

The largest proposition, $160 million to rebuild streets, sidewalks and make other mobility improvements around the city, passed by 74.9 percent.

Voters also approved $60 million for 16 park projects, including new recreation centers with pools for east and southeast Arlington. That proposition passed by 67 percent.

Downtown will eventually get a new fire station and Arlington’s firefighters will have additional technology and tools to practice with at the Fire Training Center thanks to a nearly $10 million proposition approved by 77.2 percent of voters.

A $6 million proposition for two library projects had the fewest supporters. Though 65.6 percent of voters said yes, the $5.7 million proposal to build a new East Branch Library and $395,000 proposal to remodel the Woodland West Library drew 21,759 no votes, the highest number of opponents in all four propositions.

Benbrook

Renee Franklin won the City Council Place 2 seat with 52.9 percent of the vote, and Mark Washburn won the Place 6 seat with 69.6 percent.

Fort Worth

Fort Worth voters approved propositions to create three new taxes to fund an arena and sports facility at Harley Avenue and Gendy Street.

About 79 percent of voters approved an admission tax on each ticket to events held at the venue, at a rate not to exceed 10 percent of the price of the ticket. The second proposition, a tax on each stall or pen used by livestock during an event held at the venue, was approved by 76.9 percent. That tax cannot exceed $20 per stall or pen for any event, and some events last for several weeks. The third proposition, a parking tax at the facility, not to exceed $5 for each vehicle, passed with 72 percent of the vote.

The nonprofit Event Facilities Fort Worth has pledged to raise at least half of the money for the proposed venue. The public portion would also be funded with the state’s and city’s portion of the hotel/motel tax within 3 miles of the arena.

Keller

Businessman Christopher Whatley will face attorney Armin Mizani in a runoff for City Council Place 2. In a three-way race, Whatley received 47.8 percent, Mizani 36.9 percent and Frank Roszell 15.2 percent.

The City Council will probably set the runoff for Dec. 9, a city spokeswoman said. The winner will serve until May when the Place 2 seat expires and will be up for re-election.

“I really want to encourage all the voters to get out and make their vote count,” Whatley said Wednesday. “It’s just as important the second time.”

Trophy Club

Timothy Kurtz, a business owner, won a three-way race for the unexpired Place 4 term on the Town Council. Kurtz got 50.51 percent of the vote in Tarrant County and 54.57 percent in Denton County.

Weatherford

Weatherford’s $16.5 million proposition for infrastructure improvements that aimed to make historic downtown more attractive to businesses and shoppers as well as relieve traffic congestion lost by fewer than 600 votes.

“The city will continue to plan for future growth as well as proved solutions to present and future problems,” City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said. “Many of those will require voter approval before they can be undertaken and that is as it should be. We deeply appreciate each and every person who voted in this election.”

The vote was 3,033 opposed and 2,463 in favor.

White Settlement

None of the three candidates in White Settlement’s mayoral race captured more than 50 percent of the vote, forcing a runoff. Jerry Burns, who received 47.7 percent, will run against Ronald A. White, who got 37 percent. George Klecan got 15.3 percent.

There will also be a runoff for City Council Place 1. Paul Moore won 38.3 percent and will face Johnny Powell, who got 32 percent. Gunnar Rasmussen won 29.7 percent.

Sales tax votes in four cities

About 83 percent of Richland Hills voters reauthorized for 10 years a three-eighths-cent sales tax for the crime control and prevention district.

Reno voters approved a quarter-cent street maintenance sales tax by 57 percent, according to the Parker County elections administrator’s website. Only one resident in the Tarrant County portion of the city voted, weighing in with a no vote.

Street maintenance sales taxes were approved in other cities, including Forest Hill by 81 percent and Azle by 87 percent.

School district bonds

The Keller school district’s $169.5 million bond sale was approved by 57 percent of voters. The proposal includes building three schools, renovating and expanding an existing school to make it a career training center, renovating and adding on to Keller High School, and upgrading security and technology.

The Aledo school district’s $61.5 million bond package did not pass Tuesday. Though 59.3 percent of Tarrant County voters approved the proposition, it was rejected by Parker County voters. Those proposals would have included building a new elementary school; renovations and additions for Coder Elementary and McAnally Intermediate; building controlled-access entries to Stuard and Vandagriff elementary schools and Aledo Middle School; technology and safety and security upgrades and the purchase of 18 school buses.

Eighteen months after Birdville school district voters defeated a bond proposal, a revamped package passed with 66.7 percent of the vote. The $163.2 million bond issue will rebuild three of the district’s oldest campuses, upgrade technology at all schools and improve security.

Staff writers Lance Winter, Mark David Smith and Marty Sabota contributed to this report, which includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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