Edinburg sets special election date - The Monitor: News

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Edinburg sets special election date

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Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 5:14 am

Edinburg called a special election for Sept. 14 to fill its vacant City Council seat.

The seat opened May 28 when then-Mayor Pro Tem Gus Garcia Jr. resigned to take the top job at the Edinburg Economic Development Corp. With a 120-day deadline to fill the position required by law, the City Council opted for a September date that allows it to partner with the city’s school district on a tax ratification election that was already planned.

Mayor Richard Garcia said the September date gives candidates more time to mount a campaign and helps the city split costs with the school district on the election.

“There’s a school election going on at the same time so we figured we would work with them to try to save costs,” Mayor Garcia said.

Filing opened Wednesday for the seat held by Gus Garcia Jr. since May 2006. The filing period runs until 5 p.m. July 15.

Early voting begins Aug. 28 and runs until Sept. 10. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Although the seat was expected to draw interest from a large crowd, no one has publicly announced his or her intent to run yet. No one filed for the office Wednesday.

Because the city is prohibited from making an interim appointment to fill the seat, the city will operate with four council members — creating the potential for split votes on city actions — until the vacancy is filled.

City and school district officials are still working to determine how they’ll work together on the election.

The school district plans to hold a tax ratification election Sept. 14 to ask voters to allow them to swap funds set aside for construction and bond payments to its general maintenance and operations fund, raising available cash for daily operations without affecting the district’s tax rate. The tax switch will allow the district to generate about $42 million more — including additional state funding — for expenses such as paying teacher salaries, operating school buses or buying technology.

The school district plans to ask residents to allow it to raise its maintenance and operations rate by 13 cents per $100 of property value while lowering its rate set aside for construction and bond payments by the same amount.



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