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Henderson pushes elections back to November

By Angela Ward
Oct. 26, 2011 at 11 p.m.

Henderson's elected officials will get an extra six months in office next year.

Reacting to Texas Senate Bill 100, the City Council voted Tuesday evening to move the city elections from May to November 2012, Mayor Buzz Fullen said.

The bill allows a municipality to elect all city council members in the same year, doing away with staggered terms. It also offers the option of maintaining staggered terms and moving municipal elections to November.

"I think it will make a tremendous difference in voter turnout," Fullen said. "Most people think of election day as being in November, as that's when we vote for state and national offices, so having city elections at the same time should increase participation in local elections."

City elections will be on the second Tuesday in November rather than the second Saturday in May. The bill also gives school boards the option to move elections to the national election day as well.

"I'm very much in favor of this. It will make it much easier for people to be politically involved, because there will only be one election season," Fullen said.

In other business, the council engaged the Rusk County Rural Rail District to work on moving forward with the "Rails to Trails" project, which will allow abandoned railroad tracks within the city to be converted into walking trails.

The trail will be about half a mile long and will run from Texas 64 south to East Main in downtown Henderson.

"We think this will increase the walkability and vitality of our city, especially the downtown area" Fullen said.

The council also approved emergency repairs needed on a water line on FM 840.

"It's leaking, and we wanted to be proactive and get the repairs done before it burst, so that the people who live there wouldn't be completely without water," Fullen said.

About 20 families are serviced by the pipe, and the new repairs should be completed within three weeks, he said.



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