May ballot crowded with options


Voters in Liberty Hill will have options up and down the ballot with five contested races, a list of school bond propositions, and a sales tax election for the Emergency Services District (ESD).

Filing for all three City Council places and two of the four Liberty Hill ISD Board of Trustees places closed Feb. 12 with two or more candidates.

In the school board race, four candidates will be on the ballot for Place 3 – Steve Messana, Michael Ferguson, Charlene Stevens and Antonio Canas – while incumbent David Nix did not file seeking reelection.

In Place 6, most recently held by Vickie Peterson who resigned in January due to work obligations, there will be six candidates. On the ballot for the one-year remaining on Peterson’s term will be Aurora Trahan, Robert Baughn, Lockie Ealy, Cory Milam, Kristi Hargrove and Jennifer Williams.

It is not necessary for any candidate to achieve a 50-percent majority in either race, so a runoff election will not be necessary in the pair of crowded places.

Incumbents Kathy Major (Place 4) and Anthony Buck (Place 5) did not draw an opponent and will serve another term.

In the race for three City Council seats, Chris Pezold, Kim Sanders and Michael Helbing filed to run for Place 1. Incumbent Steve McIntosh did not file for reelection.

Place 5 Council member Liz Rundzieher is seeking another term, but Angela Lynn Jones has filed to run against the incumbent.

Crystal Mancilla is running against incumbent Gram Lankford in Place 3.

In addition to the School Board and Council places, voters will decide the fate of a $491 million bond election that will appear on the ballot as four separate propositions.

The first proposition totals $457.7 million, and makes up most of the total bond package. It includes funds for new schools, campus renovations and expansions, planning funds for additional new campuses, land purchases and a variety of other infrastructure projects.

The second proposition voters will decide on is $8 million for technology devices for both teachers and students.

Proposition 3 is for $6 million for the expansion of Panther Stadium at the high School, and Proposition 4 is for $20 million to construct a stadium on the second high school campus.

The ESD, which provides fire and emergency services, currently receives one cent of sales tax revenues within the district, but if its May proposition passes, then all of the maximum 8.25 percent in sales tax would be sewn up in the area, with a quarter cent going to the Liberty Hill Public Library District and 6.25 percent to the state.

Inside the Liberty Hill city limits, the 1.75 above the library’s share and the state’s portion goes to the City, not the ESD. The three quarters of a cent available outside the city limits is what will be voted on, and in some areas outside the Library District the ESD could gain an entire cent if the measure passes.

The ESD brings in a majority of its revenues in property and sales tax. In 2020, with the one-cent allocation the ESD brought in $1.28 million in sales tax revenues.