Two women, both with previous experience at Town Hall and in business and community service, are stepping up to the plate and making a pitch to voters to become Glen Rose’s next mayor.
The Reporter last week sat down with each candidate to discuss her background, vision for Glen Rose and stands on key issues. Both women are smart, articulate and personable. They share the same views on many areas, but have somewhat different personal styles and long-term goals.
The general city and school board elections are on Saturday, May 11.
Next week the Reporter will profile the candidates for Glen Rose City Council and Glen Rose ISD Board of Trustees.
Lila Carter began her presentation to the Glen Rose/Somervell Chamber of Commerce meeting last week with “two why’s and a what.”
Why she’s running: “The mayors as a rule have been women,” Carter said. “We are caring and nurturing. That’s what it’s going to be — not for money, power or prestige.”
Two months ago, Carter didn’t think she’d run for mayor, she added. But she decided she couldn't complain about what was going on at Town Hall if she didn't try to make a difference.
“You can’t complain if you can’t step up” to the plate, Carter said.
What she plans to do first: “I’d get the council up to date and educated through workshops so we have a council that will follow the rules,” she said, a reference to several votes that the council had to rescind this year after it came to light that they didn’t follow rules set out in the state’s municipal code.
Carter also voiced her opinion on a topic that has split the council.
“I’m also going to put a city administrator back into the budget,” she said.
Carter, who works as a realtor at Century 21, also said she would try to be in the mayor’s office at Town Hall every Monday and have an “open door” policy with voters.
She also urged residents to get out and vote. Last year’s city election had such low voter turnout that some candidates were elected with fewer than 100 votes.
“I just hate to see 100 votes come up,” Carter said. “That’s so pathetic. If you’re concerned about Glen Rose, talk to your friends and tell them to come vote.”
Carter, who was born, raised and educated in Lubbock, came to Glen Rose 16 years ago. But her ties to town go back a long way. Her grandfather was the town’s first mayor. Her relatives the Price family owned Barnard’s Mill for 40 years. Carter spent summers and holidays in Glen Rose and five years she and her husband, Ray, moved into her grandmother’s two-story white stone house on Barnard Street.
“We spent five years redoing the house,” she recalled.
Carter is active in the choir at First Baptist Church. She is a founding member and two-time past president of the Glen Rose Garden Club. She and Ray have two daughters, one of whom is moving her family to Glen Rose from Jacksonville, Fla.
In an interview, Carter said she would be a very visible mayor and represent a strong image for Glen Rose.
“I’m going to lay the groundwork and network,” Carter said. “I don’t think the city has been represented and I plan to represent the community at functions.”
She added that hasn’t felt city government has been open and transparent enough. She also wants to improve communication with the county government,
When you drive or walk around the town square, you’ll likely spot Jean King.
If she’s not inside the Somervell County Museum telling visitors stories about the county, she’s sitting outside talking to friends, neighbors and strangers who drop by.
King, who served as mayor for three terms, has spent the past eight years at the museum.
“From a wheelchair I have kept that museum going,” King said. “And I enjoy it.”
King originally is from Houston and went to college at Trinity College in Dublin — not Texas, but Ireland.
“I fell in love with an Irishman,” she explained with a laugh.
After college she landed back in New York.
“I was going to be a famous actress,” King recalled. “And then it became apparent I had to get a job.”
She learned to type and got a job working at a fundraising organization. Then she became a fundraiser herself with a consulting group in New York. Federal laws covering donations and fundraising changed so much that King decided to go back to Houston and worked at the Texas Medical Center for well-known heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey, among others.
Then a friend in Stephenville whom King knew from college invited her to visit. King said she fell in love with the area and landed a job working as an administrative assistant for Christine Jurzykowski and Jim Jackson, the previous owners of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.
King was appointed to the council when one of its members died. When she ran for election, she won by one vote. King was mayor pro tem under former mayor Helen Kerwin and Bobby Gladwell.
She ran again for mayor twice more and was defeated by Connie Kirk and then Pam Miller.
But King is not one to give up. She also is committed to following rules.
“I feel very strongly that people who get elected to office need to be familiar with the rules,” King said from her home in Wolf City. “A meeting needs to be run in an orderly fashion. I do abide by the rules.”
Like Carter, King supports hiring a city administrator. She also wants Glen Rose to get back to the basics of taking care of its streets, parks and city services.
“My priorities would be to get back to the infrastructure,” she said. “We really need to address our street situation and our water situation here in town. We need to research what the long-term plan is for Oakdale Park. I’m a firm believer in you have to have a plan.”
Although she’s in a wheelchair, King said she can get to meetings without any problem. She uses the Transit System to get around. Friends also help her.
“Getting back to basics is my main campaign thing,” she said. “We are going to move forward. You can’t halt progress and people will take kindly to progress if they feel it’s positive.”
King also vowed to maintain an open and transparent office.
“I’m a mayor for the people,” she said.