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January 27, 2016     The Burnet Bulletin
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Page 2 Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Burnet Bulletin Bumet, Texas " T From Page 1 also included candidates for the Texas Senate District 24 seat being relinquished by Sen. Troy Fraser: Burner County's Reed Williams; Dr. Dawn Buckingham; Ryan Downton; Susan King, R.N.; Dr. Brent Mayes, and Jon Cobb. The forum began with Farney's opening statement, setting out accomplishments to support a third re-election. "We cut $4 billion in taxes," she said. "We also have the toughest border secu- rity bill in Texas history and I was the co-author of that bill...We have 250 new DPS troopers; I was a co-author of a bill that addresses human trafficking, drug smuggling and weapons trafficking. "I am also working with Governor Abbott's office cur- rently to help stop sanctuary cities. I am one of 11 people the strongest pro-life bill in the United States," said Farney. Wilson set a lighter tone: "You probably came to see my wife more than me, so lets make sure that happens." before framing his candidacy. "Terry Wilson is a liberty loving, constitutional conser- vative, who will fight for our freedoms," he said. "Matter of fact, I have done that for the last 32 years, retiring in June (from the U.S. Army) at the grade of Colonel. I will do the same in the State Legislature, fight for our freedoms." Wilson spoke of an active role in the Burnet County community, in the First Baptist Church in Marble Falls and serving as a Boy Scout assistant leader. "Look, I did not retire in June from the United States Army to be a politician," he affirmed. "I carry a lot of experience to handle not only enemies of the state, if you will, but internal business to disseverment, and I will get to on the House State Affairs it. Committee that will vote "I honestly believe the 'Yes' (when) this will go to the State of Texas can be a bright floor so that we can stop sane- shining star and leader for this tuary cities," Farney said. nation that desperately needs Famey listed gun rights one," Wilson said. endorsements from the The moderator, Llano National Rifle Association County Republican Club (NRA) and Texas State Rifle President Ron Hewitt, turned Association (TSRA) and pro- to previewed questions to ask life endorsements from Texas Farney and Wilson about most Alliance for Life and The and least important items on Texans for Life. the Abbott-Patrick agenda for "In 2013, I was one of the Texas. people that stood there behind "We are going to continue Gov: Perry as we worked (out) to work on things to pertain to standing up to the federal gov- ernment, not allowing them to get in the way," said Farney. "Absolutely, education, first and foremost," Wilson said. "I will tell you, I have been in third-world countries where there is zero, and frankly we don't have that problem here, yet. But...if we do not do something about our education system and make the improvements and adjust- ments needed, our future is at stake, not just for the child himself but us as a nation." Among audience ques- tions was one on school vouchers. "I was hoping that would come up tonight," Farney said. "I am an absolute champion for private schools, I have not met with one private school that wants taxpayer dollars to come their way." Wilson was affirmative as well: "Absolutely, you know the Republican principals. Number seven says having an educated population with par- ents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children. I believe in that 150 percent." Candidates for Texas Senate District 24 took the hot seat with pre-reviewed ques- tions from Hewitt and audi- ence questions. "I am running for the sen- ate to decrease the footprint of government that we feel in our everyday lives," opened Buckingham. "Looking at the world our children are inherit- ing, it is frightening, and we have got to stand up and fight for their futures." Williams, retired from the petroleum industry, addressed the forum from the perspec- tive of his new career as owner of Hoover Valley Vineyard in rural Burnet County: "I am very interested in making sure that we keep this community the way it is, that it thrives, that it has good schools, good churches, that the water is in the lakes and the rivers." Self-made in the business world, Downton referred to his ownership of Little River Healthcare in Temple for an example q~,his ~ualificati,0ns: . '~.[ ~en: I ~0k i hat busines~ , garSiiago we,wer debtt on the verge of bankruptcy. I was able to take PHOTOS BY CHRISTI BERTELSON/BURNET BULLETIN Incumbent District 20 Rep. Marsha Farney, Marble Falls, focus on audience questions Ph.D., and challenger Terry Wilson of during the Burnet candidate forum. that company and turn it around, and balance a budget and create jobs." A fifth-term member of the Texas House of Representatives who has served chairwoman of the House Defense & Veterans' Affairs Committee, King opened with thanks to service men and women. "I hope I am not one of the bums that you want to kick out, because my intent is to always serve the people, to be constituent driven, not a group that is going to give me a con- tribution, not a group that grades people with report cards, but people like you," said King. "I am running for Senate because I can't help it," opened Mayes, a retired diag- nostic radiologist. "I could no longer stand the hope and change, the fact that we had been betrayed by both houses, by Republicans. Finally, I have said its enough. I either go inside, lock the doors or I will come out and fight. I decided I got a fight left in me." "Wow, please don't fight me Brent," quipped Cobb, an entrepreneur and small busi- ness owner next to open. "I survived 2001, which was a tough time to be in busi- ness after Sept. 11," he said. "I survived 2009, which was also a tough time to be in business. Once we got on an even keel, I realized how the state gov- emment, because of the gross margin tax, was affecting my business. So, I decided I needed to stop complaining and go down there and watch. While watching, I was over- whelmed with the feeling that the men and women running our government, don't know the first thing about running a business." Questions to the prospec- tive Senators, again aiming at priorities, included the topics of Governor Abbott's Texas Plan and nine constitutional amendments. Williams and Downton stated security was number one on the list. King hewed to state rights and Mayes cited sanctuary cities. Ethics ranked highest for Cobb, while Buckingham, a former Lake Travis ISD School Board trustee, announced education was the most important. Audience questions also were aimed at District 24 can- didates, including how they felt about the Confederate monuments being moved and about government assistance. "I can imagine we are going to all have the same answer on this one," said Cobb. "As a limited govern- ment person, if you can work, and stop it," Buckingham said. "We need to go through each of these programs and reduce what is paid for them," Williams said. "I know that is a tough thing to do because some people are real needy on them." "I agree with everything the other candidates have said," said Downton. "Just one thing I will add that will help is drug testing." "This is a complete federal program," said King. "They determine everything about it. It is highly irritating and peo- ple use it to buy illegal drugs." "For the able bodied, if you don't work, you don't eat," said Mayes. "The chamber was hon- ored to co-host the forum with our State Representative and Senate candidates last Thursday. Forums are a great way to engage the community in the upcoming election and afford candidates the opportu- nity to share what they bring to the table in the way of solu- tions, programs, and their own political positions. We are at a critical stage, and it is impor- tant to elect the right candi- dates. The only way to elect the right candidates is to be informed," said Kim Winkler, director of the Burnet you should work and, if you Chamber Of Commerce. can support yourself, youFor more information on should support yourself." the candidates visit https://ba|~ "The fraud and abuse is 1 o t p e ramped in our welfare system, dia.org/Texas_State_Senate_e and we have got to stand up lections,_2016. Llano Republican Club president and mediator for Thursday night's candidate forum Ron Hewitt speaks with From Page ] Burnet Bulletin Publisher Frank Shubert before the event begins."Almost 200 citizens were in attendance at the The best resources for Burnet County Republican Club Candidate Forum," information about the March Shubert said. "Hewitt's questions thoroughly tested the Primary are candidates' understanding of important issues. Burnet www.VoteTexas.gov, a web- Cou0ty and the 24th Senatorial District are incredibly for- site maintained by Texas tunate to have such accomplished candidates vying to Secretary of State; the main represent us in Austin." website for that office, www.sos.state.tx.us, and the office of Burnet County Elections Administrator Doug Ferguson. Choose "Elections" from"Departments" offered at ili ii i~ ii!il i iiiiiii iiill ! iiiiiilzliiiiil ~~ www.burnetcountytexas.org and online browsers will find ~iiiiii!~iiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiii BURNET BULLETIN Voting hours during the primary election will be extended to get more regis- tered voters to the polls, said Bumet County officials. Early voting for the pri- mary election will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and Burnet County Elections Administrator Doug Ferguson said the hours on Saturday, Feb. 20, will be extended to encourage participation. election dates, sample ballots and information about regis- tering to vote and applying to vote by mail. The elections office, 512- 715-5288 or electadmin@bur- netcountytexas.org, is located at 1701 East Polk Street/Texas 29. That information includes voter registration facts. To be a qualified voter, one must: Register to vote in the county in which you reside. Be a U.S. citizen. Be at least 17 years and 10 months of age and be 18 by Election Day. Not convicted of a fel- "When I talked to the party chairs, they said it was tough for moms with kids and activi- ties to make it to the polls," he said. "Since we're not having polling day on Monday because it's a holiday, the polls will open all day Saturday to give people a chance." Ferguson said that usually the polls are open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, but the hours will be extended to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. "I think we'll have a pretty ony, or have completed all of your punishment, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, or period of probation, or received a pardon. To register to vote: Obtain a Voter Registration Application from a government office, library, city office, or online at www.votetexas.gov. Voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it is received or on a person's 18th birthday, whichever is later. If moving to another county, one must re-register in the county of the new resi- good tumout," Ferguson said. "There's quite a lot of activity in the county right now." Early voting will take place from Tuesday, Feb. 16, to Friday, Feb. 26, excepting Sundays. Since no Democratic can- didates filed in the county elections this year, the primary will feature Republican candi- dates who will win county offices this coming November. Ferguson added that standby volunteers are needed for both the Republican and dence. A person registering to vote must provide a driver's license or personal identifica- tion number. If neither of these is an option, then they will be asked to provide the last four digits of their social security numbers. If a voter has none of those, his/her identity will be checked the first time he/she votes. To vote: In Texas, a voter must pre- sent a photo ID. In the Primary Election, a registered voter may cast a ballot only in one political party's election. i Democrat polls, and would receive training to administer the election. Ferguson reminds voters that they must be registered within 30 days of the election in order to vote. Feb. 1 is the last day to register. As of Wednesday, there were 27,612 registered voters in Bumet County. Information on voting location for all 20 voter precincts can be found at the Elections Administration webpage at www.burnetcoun- tytexas.org. PEC members nominate and elect other members to serve on the Co-op's Board. This year, Board seats in District 4 and District 5 are up for nomination and election. Visit pec.coop/nominatibn to learn more. BY ALEXANDRIA RANDOLPH BURNET BULLETIN Burnet County Commissioners Closed on the sale of a property that will soon house the Elections Administration Department. Burnet. County Judge James Oakley said in Commissioners Court Tuesday morning, Jan. 26, that staff would close on the 2,000- square-foot property on 106 West Washington Street that afternoon. Oakley said the purchase had been discussed previously in executive ses- sion. "The front half is office set up and the back half is storage. The intended use would be for the elections administrator and their offices, too," he said. "It's going to take a little bit of renovation, but in the long term, it's a really good invest- ment." The new building is on Washington Street in between the courthouse square and US 281 roadway. Currently, the elections administration offices are housed in metal out-buildings behind the Burnet County Courthouse Annex on Polk Street. The closing price is $88,504.88, and the building was appraised at $112,500. "The purchase price is well below the appraised price," Oakley said. "If every- thing moves forward, we're set to close at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday)." Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the building. In other action at the meet- ing, commissioners approved the start of the bid process by the Bumet County Sheriff's Office to find three new patrol vehicles. The new vehicles would come fully equipped, with the exception of radios, which would be transferred from the three vehicles to be replaced.