Citizens to be Heard - ELECTIONS AND OTHER CITIES
The following was read during Citizens to be Heard at the City Council meeting on April 26, 2017. During this meeting several citizens stood up to speak about concerns with the toll road project. As of June 28th, this citizen has still not received a response from the city.
I would like to speak to the council tonight about the decision you have already arrived at about the toll road petition. In a little while, you will have your chance to address 16 of your constituents that gave their to time reach out to the citizens, go door to door and really stop to speak with them about the toll road project and the lack of a public vote. I ask that you pause for a minute before you do so and reflect on what we are asking. We are asking that this project be brought to the people of Cibolo and to let the voices of the governed be heard. You will argue that our voices were heard when you were elected by the people. I would ask that you really consider the numbers though. 6 of the 8 of you were elected with less votes than the 1031 signatures on our petition, which was collected in 30 days’ time. More people want this put to a vote than voted for most of you. For example:
District 1 – Councilwoman Schultes
Re-elected in 2016 after running unopposed and received 683 votes
District 2 – Councilmen Garret
Re-elected in 2015 with 359 total votes cast and 222 votes in his favor
District 3 – Councilwoman Gebhardt
Elected in 2015 with 274 total votes cast and only 164 votes in her favor
District 4 – Councilman Gibbs
Elected in 2016 with 1,402 total votes cast and 1,034 votes in his favor
District 5 – Councilman Russell
Elected in 2016 with 1,508 total votes cast and 1,015 votes in his favor
District 6 – Councilman Houge
Re-elected in 2016 after running unopposed and received 758 votes in his favor
District 7 – Councilman Weber
Elected in 2015 with 197 total votes cast and 102 votes in his favor
Elected in 2015 with 1,785 total votes cast and 1,133 votes in his favor
We know that Cibolo election turnout is pitiful. The Total Votes Cast by Election:
2013 = 2,598
30% = 779
2014 (Primary Election) = 5,230
30% = 1,569
2015 = 1,962 (need to verify)
30% = 589
2016 (Presidential Election) = 4,351
30% = 1,305
As you can see by these numbers, the 2014 and 2016 elections years had significantly higher voter turnout due to the Presidential Primary and one of the highest contested Presidential Elections in history.
I know each of you arrived at your decision to vote in favor of the toll road by your own path and feel that it is for the good of the city, but everyone is mistaken sometimes and it takes a special humility and strength of character to admit that you were wrong.
Now is your chance to be the leaders we elected you to be. Right now, the city is part of an unenforceable contract. Before signing a new binding contract, you have the chance to let the peoples’ voices be heard. Please present the citizens with your pitch for the toll road, allow the opposition to present their rebuttal, then, let the citizens decide via a public vote.