An unexpected “technicality” has reduced the field in the race for the three expiring places on the Glen Rose City Council from six to five.
Johnny Martin, one of the six people who had filed to run for a seat on the Glen Rose City Council in the May 5 election, has withdrawn from the race.
Martin told the Glen Rose Reporter on Tuesday he had notified City Secretary Terri Johnson that he is no longer a candidate. He explained it was because of what he called an unforeseen “technicality” — an unexpected conflict in which his daughter-in-law has been hired by the city as a receptionist at the Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Johnson said Martin came to City Hall on March 2 to officially withdraw his name after he realized the conflict would prevent him from taking office if he were to be voted onto the Council. Martin said that his withdrawal came early enough that his name will not appear on the ballot in the May 5 election.
Johnson explained that a Texas law bars candidates from taking office within six months after a relative has been hired for a position with the same local government entity (in this case, the city of Glen Rose). Glen Rose Chief of Police Buck Martin is Johnny Martin’s son, but has held that position for several years.
The five remaining candidates who will be on the ballot are incumbent Robert Marquez, along with Chris Bryant, Julia Douglas, Cheryl Scheetz and Laverne West.
Martin, who is 74, said he had previously served for about a dozen years on the Glen Rose City Council in three separate stints, starting in the 1970s.
Martin retired from his job with Texas Utilities in 2000.
He noted that the law that made the conflict involving his daughter-in-law’s employment a factor applies only within six months of the hiring. So, Martin said, he hopes to file next year when two of the other five at-large places will be expiring, and that his experience could be a plus for the Council.
“I had a lot of time on the Council, so I feel like I can contribute,” Martin said. “It takes a little while to get your feet on the ground.”
The terms of current City Council members Doug Mitchell, Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Ramsay and Marquez are expiring this year. Mitchell did not file to run for re-election so that he could run for one of the two places opening on the Somervell County Commissioners Court. Ramsay, who began serving on the City Council in 2011, opted not to run, saying she believes in the principal of term limits.
The City Council places held by Linda James and former Mayor Dennis Moore will expire next year.
Martin said that when he served on the Council, he was concerned with keeping the tax rate low, and trying to keep costs down for taxpayers.
“We not only took taxes back (from 47 cents), but we kept them the same. It’s still at 38 (cents),” Martin said.
The voting site for the Saturday, May 5 City Council election will be the Glen Rose City Hall, 201 Vernon St. Voting will be from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Early voting by personal appearance will begin on April 23 (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). Early voting in person will end at the close of the business day on Tuesday, May. 1.