Gilmer voters to decide on 15 propositions
By Sarah Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
May 9, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Gilmer voters will decide on 15 propositions when they step into the voting booths Saturday, including whether to add a council seat and whether to give the mayor a vote on the council.
If passed, Gilmer's Proposition 1 would add a sixth seat to the city council, and Proposition 2 would allow the mayor to vote on all matters that come before the council - not just to break a tie, as is the rule.
Gilmer City Council has five seats. Officials want to add a sixth, which would result in six votes that could be split three to three.
However, that would go to seven votes if Proposition 2 passes and the mayor regularly votes.
Gilmer Mayor R.D. "Buck" Cross, in his 10th year as mayor, said both propositions are beneficial to the town.
"We just feel like the mayor is an elected official and he should be able to vote if he wants to vote," Cross said.
He added the mayor's vote would let the people know what kind of person they put in office.
"The mayor represents the people and it (a vote) would put more responsibilities on the mayor. Then the people know what he is for or against," he said.
Voters also will be casting a vote for mayor in a race where Cross meets his first challenger in eight years.
Steve Dean, who works in a lumber wholesale business, manages a vineyeard and operates the Flight of the Phoenix aviation museum, is challenging Cross to be the man who brightens the town's future.
Dean said this past month his decision to run was spurred by a desire to make Gilmer a town where his children and grandchildren could call home - saying Gilmer needed to expand to offer employment opportunities to people with an education.