PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 19, 2013

Early voting begins Monday

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

— Early voting for city council seats in Groves and Port Neches as well as the constitutional amendment election begins on Monday, Oct. 21.

Registered voters will be able to cast their ballots at locations in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Groves and Port Neches and the two city council elections are for at-large seats so voters do not have to be in a specific ward or place to vote for candidates.

In Groves, Councilmember Sidney Badon Jr. will face newcomer Rob Vensel in the Ward 3 race.

Badon, 57, a bricklayer, has been on city council for six years.

Vensel, 51, is owner of R&B Storit and is new to the political arena.

The Ward 1 Councilmember Dr. James Arisco has opted not to seek re-election. James Rasa, who is retired, filed for the position and did not garner any opponents.

Both Ward 1 and Ward seats are two year terms.

In Port Neches, seats held by Place 1 Councilmember Terry Schwertner and Place 3 Councilmember Roy Hollier are up for grabs.

Schwertner will not run for re-election but two business persons have thrown their hats into the ring for the Place 1 seat; Kimberly Hall and Christopher McMahon

Hall, 47, is preparing to open Wild Truffle Boutique on Port Neches Avenue.

McMahon, 45, is chief operations officer at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas.

Place 3 incumbent Roy Hollier, a retired electrician, has garnered his first since being elected to office. He will face Adam Anders, a sales representative.

There will be no election for Port Neches-Groves ISD as only the incumbents filed for the spots.

Voters will also see nine constitutional amendments on the ballot including one authored by State Representative Allen Ritter and State Senator Tommy Williams — Proposition No. 6 which provides for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas.

The Constitutional Amendments up for vote include:

• Proposition 1 — The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed in action.

• Proposition 2 — The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.

• Proposition 3 — The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.

• Proposition 4 — The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.

• Proposition 5 — The constitutional amendment to authorize the making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property and to amend lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.

• Proposition 6 — The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.

• Proposition 7 — The constitutional amendment authorizing a home-rule municipality to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.

• Proposition 8 — The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.

• Proposition 9 — The constitutional amendment relating to expanding the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.