Voters elect Fuller, Rhea, McLeod

By SHELLY WILKISON

Liberty Hill city voters changed the makeup of the city council Saturday when they rejected incumbents Jamie Williamson and Vicki Brewer and elected Connie Fuller as Mayor, Dr. Ron Rhea to Place 2 and re-elected Wendell McLeod in Place 4.

Voters also extended a 1/4 cent sales tax for street maintenance. The tax, which generates about $100,000 in annual revenue, has been in place since 2002. State law requires it be renewed by voters every four years. In complete, but unofficial returns, 75 voted for the extension while 25 opposed it.

In the race for Mayor of Liberty Hill, Mrs. Fuller defeated one-term incumbent Mrs. Williamson with 66 percent of the 109 ballots cast. Mrs. Fuller, a real estate broker, received 72 votes to Mrs. Williamson’s 37. Mrs. Williamson, who owned a publication that is no longer in business, was previously elected to one term on the council (2001-2003), and ran another unsuccessful race in 2008.

The election of Mrs. Fuller as Mayor leaves a vacancy in Place 1 where she was serving. The Council is expected to appoint someone to fill the unexpired term. Mrs. Fuller served as Liberty Hill Mayor from 2005 to 2009. She resigned before her term had expired and the seat was not filled until voters elected Michele “Mike” Murphy in May 2010. Mrs. Williamson was elected Mayor in May 2012.

In Place 2, Rhea was elected Saturday with 70 percent of the vote. He received 73 votes to Wise’s 32 votes. Rhea received the most votes of any candidate running for Council this year. He is a pastor at Life Springs Church in Liberty Hill. Wise, a local businessman and rancher, is a current member of the City’s Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors.

Sixty-four percent of those voting in Place 4 last week supported McLeod over Mrs. Brewer. McLeod received 69 votes to Mrs. Brewer’s 38 votes. McLeod formerly managed the Liberty Hill Water Supply Corp., which is no longer in existence, and is retired from the Internal Revenue Service. He is beginning his second consecutive term since first elected in 2012, but has previously served multiple terms on the city council.

Mrs. Brewer, a financial manager for a local company, served one term in Place 2 on the council. In 2013, she announced she would not seek re-election. When she decided to run again, she said she chose to oppose McLeod in Place 4 because “I feel the citizens should have a choice in each and every election.  If the citizens have no choices, no opponent in the City Council races, why get out and vote?”

According to Williamson County Elections Division, 109 people voted in Liberty Hill city elections. In 2013, 47 ballots were cast in council races. In 2012, 165 people voted and in 2011, there were 148 who voted.

The County reports 636 people residing within the city boundaries are  registered to vote. In early voting and Election Day voting last week, 17 percent of those eligible participated in the election.

Council members serve two-year terms.

There was no election for Liberty Hill ISD school trustee this spring as the incumbents were unopposed.