Gilmer Mayor Buck Cross reelected
All 15 amendments to charter approved
May 17, 2013 | 4106 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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A light turnout of Gilmer voters Saturday reelected Mayor R.D. (Buck) Cross by a margin of more than 2-1 over former City Councilman Steve Dean, and overwhelmingly approved all 15 proposed amendments to the City Charter.

Cross had 142 votes to 62 for Dean in complete, unofficial returns to win a sixth term in the office he has held since 2003. Dean was the mayor's first opponent since Cross won his first term in 2003 by defeating the late Joe Woodson.

Cross served 12 years as Upshur County Sheriff before becoming mayor, while Dean was a councilman in the 1970s and was making his first run for public office since unsuccessfully running for mayor 37 years ago. Cross and Dean ran a low-key campaign which drew only 204 people, or 6.81 percent of the city's registered 2,997 voters to the polls, according to the Upshur County Clerk's Office.

More than half those who cast ballots—112—did so early before Saturday, the clerk's office said.

Cross was at the Upshur County Courthouse, where votes were tabulated Saturday night, when City Secretary Kathy Davidson Hoover informed him he had won. "You're stuck with me another two years," Mrs. Hoover joked in telling the mayor the outcome.

Cross then told The Mirror he appreciated his supporters' votes, and that "We're going to keep doing the same thing we've been doing." He had campaigned on the motto of retaining "a winning team" at City Hall, citing accomplishments during his 10 years in office.

Two City Councilmen, Jose Cavazos of District 2 and Brian Williams of District 3, also won reelection without opposition Saturday as Cavazos got 40 votes and Williams polled 76 in unofficial returns.

The first five of the 15 proposed charter amendments were bundled, requiring a single vote to approve all or none, and passed 142-36. They expand the number of City Council members, allow the mayor to vote on all issues rather than only to break ties, change rules of procedure, change the proceeding on adopting the city budget and alter the time for elections.

The other propositions and their winning unofficial vote totals included:

Proposition 6--Requiring the city publish ordinances sooner than it does now, 154-29

Proposition 7--Defining the City Manager's Powers and Duties, 148-36

Proposition 8--Providing for what happens in the City Manager's absence from work, 138-33

Proposition 9--Changing procedure for naming Fire Chief (who will still be elected by the Fire Department), 148-24

Proposition 10--Providing that the City Manager's proposed budget takes effect if the City Council fails to adopt a budget, 144-38

Proposition 11--Setting effective date of budget and regulating certification of copies, 155-24

Proposition 12--Providing the budget establishes the amount to be raised by property tax, 137-38

Proposition 13--Regulating filing to run for office, 142-30

Proposition 14--Changing the wording in the oath of office, 154-24

Proposition 15--Reducing the number of members of the Charter Review Commission, 140-28.
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