Voting

Voters wait in line for voting at the Comal County Election Center on Monday, Oct. 21, 2018.

New Braunfels City Council on Monday will consider approving the second reading of an ordinance setting the May 2 election, 18 propositions to update the city charter and establish early voting and election-day polling places.

The ordinance doesn’t address the elections of two council members and the city’s next mayor, which as of Friday had only one candidate file for each position. Patrick Aten, city secretary, said if all three remained unopposed by the end of the filing period on Feb. 14, the city will proceed with canceling those elections.

The last day to register to vote for the May 2 elections is April 2; early voting begins April 20 and ends April 28. During the Jan. 27 council meeting Aten said the ordinance, if approved, would set the Comal 

Comal County Elections Office, 396 N. Seguin Avenue, as the early voting site, and the following as election-day polling locations:

• District 1 — Westside Community Center, 2932 Interstate 35 South Frontage Road

• District 2 — New Braunfels First Church of the Nazarene, 210 W. Klein Road

• District 3 — Comal County Senior Center, 655 Landa Street

• District 4 — Christ Presbyterian Church, 1620 Common Street

• District 5 — Comal County Goodwin Annex, 1297 Church Hill Drive

• District 6 — Walnut Springs Elementary School, 1900 S. Walnut Avenue

Aten said three of six district election-day polling locations will change. District 3 changes from Seele Elementary School, 540 Howard Street; District 4 from Faith United Church of Christ, 970 N. Loop 337; and District 5 from Lamar Elementary School, 240 N. Central Avenue.

Wayne Peters, District 5 council member and mayor pro tem, did most of the leg work on fashioning proposals to revise the city charter. Approved by voters in 1966, it limits a council member and mayor to two consecutive three-year terms and no more than three in a lifetime.

Six propositions address minor clarifications and corrections; three address city council terms and vacancies, and now four will address the duties and responsibilities of the city manager.

Peters on Jan. 27 moved to adopt all but one of 19 proposals — Proposition H, which called to place the city secretary and assistant city secretaries under the city manager.

“We looked at the existing charter and thought it said the positions were appointed by city council,” Peters said. “Because they are already under the city manager, I’ll move to approve the ordinance with (removing) that proposition.”

Before council approved the ordinance on first reading, Mayor Barron Casteel asked City Manager Robert Camareno about the rules by which officials can educate the public about the propositions, as the city cannot lobby for or against approval by voters. Camareno said the city will prepare a fact sheet on the proposals.

“We’re giving staff a heads up to begin working on that material,” Camareno said. 

Casteel, who with Peters and District 6 Council Member Leah Garcia are barred from seeking third consecutive terms, said he’ll be happy to speak on the changes. 

“It doesn’t matter because they don’t affect me,” Casteel said. “But it would be helpful to start a calendar of public meetings so we can start getting some of that information out.”

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