Candidates are lining up to file for open seats on the Mansfield City Council and school board.
Two people have filed for each of the pair of open council seats, while an incumbent is unopposed and three have filed for school board positions. The filing period opened Jan. 18.
Incumbent Larry Broseh, 62, who has served five three-year terms in the council’s Place 7 seat, is challenged by Emery Betts, 21, a community organizer.
Broseh says he wants to see through some important projects.
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“I think we’re at a pivotal point in Mansfield history, with H-E-B, the Market Street shopping center on Broad near (Texas) 360, the hospital’s next expansion and roadway infrastructure,” he said.
With the city’s growth, new voices are needed, Betts says.
“Mansfield is changing and growing, it needs someone who reflects those changes,” he said. “I’d like to help modernize Mansfield with voting districts and term limits. I think three three-year terms is reasonable. Most cities around Mansfield have switched to voter districts. You have someone you know you can reach out to.”
Former councilman Mike Leyman, 69, a retired police officer, and Wayne “Trey” McCreary, 49, who is in aircraft manufacturing, have both filed for Place 6 on the council.
Leyman served on the council from 2007-2011 before resigning to seek a seat in the state Legislature.
“I would like to discuss some of the financial decisions,” he said. “I would rather take some to the voters rather than the council decide. I’m not opposed to the StarCenter, but I believe that these kind of decisions should go to the voters. Certificates of obligation should only be issued for health, public safety or some dire need. Had it gone to the voters, I believe it would have passed.”
McCreary says his “middle-class blue-collar” voice is needed on the City Council.
“I’m excited about a lot of the new businesses, but not thrilled about the new apartments,” he said. “I’m really passionate about the history of Mansfield, and I love what they’re doing with the downtown area.”
Incumbent Wendy Burgess, 46, has decided not to seek a third three-year term in Place 6, she said.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what a new council member brings,” Burgess said. “I really enjoyed my time on the council.”
In the Mansfield school board race, Jessica Camacho, 34, a stay-at-home mother, Joshua Spare, 46, an IT director, and Houston Mitchell, 52, who is in customer service, are all running for the Place 6 school board seat.
The school district is the reason Camacho’s family moved to Mansfield almost two years ago, she said.
“I think it’s really important to build on each new success,” said Camacho, who has a degree in business marketing and a master’s degree in public administration. “When the school district is doing well to continue to constantly re-evaluate where we can do better.”
Spare filed to run for school board in 2015, but withdrew his name before the race because of obligations with his homeowners association.
“The whole area is booming and the school district needs to grow with it,” he said. “My focus would be growth, making sure we have the proper number of schools in the proper place to assure the MISD continues to be able to serve students.”
Mitchell, a long-time community volunteer, wants to continue the high level of academics in the school district, he said.
“We can continue to help our kids grow,” Mitchell said. “I think our system gets our kids ready for college. I want to keep our kids’ expectations as high as they can be.”
Daniel Gallagher, 48, has decided not to run again for his Place 6 seat. Gallagher, who has been in education for the past 20 years, was promoted to assistant superintendent of the Little Elm school district and will be relocating after his son graduates in 2018, he said. Gallagher was elected in December 2015 after Danny Baas resigned from the school board in mid-term.
“I chose not to run so the community could vote someone in who could serve the full term,” Gallagher said. “I’m very proud to have served on the Mansfield ISD school board. It’s been one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had in education.”
Courtney Lackey Wilson, 46, an executive assistant and business owner, is running for a third three-year term in Place 7.
“There’s several items I’d like to see completed,” she said. “We are currently working on a STEM academy, as well as a pre-k center. Also, the district of innovation. There are so many ways to go with that.”
Candidates for school board must be at least 18 years old, registered voters, have no felony convictions, have lived in Texas for at least 12 months and lived in the Mansfield school district for at least six months.
Council candidates must have lived in the city for at least 12 months and be registered voters. In order to be a registered voter, points out City Secretary Jeanne Heard, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and have no felonies.
This article contains information from News-Mirror archives.
Filing for the Mansfield City Council and Mansfield ISD school board is open until 5 p.m. Feb. 17. Council packets are available at City Hall, 1200 E. Broad St., and trustee packets are available at the MISD administration building, 605 E. Broad St. Election Day is May 6.