The mayor of Pleasanton was elected with 11.9% of Pleasanton’s 2019 population of 10,557 per the US Censue Bureau.
The mayor of Poteet was elected with 5.6 % of Poteet’s 2019 population of 3,437.
Why do we have such low voter turnout in a community that never seems to hold back their opinion on social media about how these two cities are run? I don’t know the percentage of voters for the school board elections because the populations of the district are difficult to figure out. Jessica Tom won Pleasanton ISD District 6 trustee with 141 votes against incumbent Felipa Garza who earned eight votes. Patrick Hurley, who ran for Pleasanton ISD District 3, received 185 votes with Ernest Gonzales receiving 23 and Paul Bernal 17.
For a full list of voter turnout, please look at the front page of this week’s Pleasanton Express. I am so perplexed at the low turnout. Unless you never get on social media and do not read the local newspaper there is no way that you could have not known when Early Voting and Election Day were happening. Further, the Pleasanton Express held a Candidate Forum at the Pleasanton Civic Center and ran a voter’s guide that could be accessed for free that had the candidates’ views, positions and qualification listed. The Grange also held a Candidate Forum for all candidates in Poteet.
How can two such dynamic and involved communities that are progressive and growing reap such low voter turnout?
Should we have a vote and move mayoral and school board elections to the same time as gubernatorial or presidential elections? We can do this, but we need to get signatures to put it to a vote. I do not have the answer now, but I know that we must make some changes to see a larger number of voters turn out for important elections such as mayoral, city council and school board.
I was so proud of the candidates running for the Pleasanton mayoral race. Both are tremendously capable, talented and effective leaders. It was a joy to see them get to know each other through the election process. The photo included here is one from the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidate social. I absolutely love it. I think it sets the tone for a bright future of collaboration and working towards a better Pleasanton. Those of us at the Pleasanton Express have so enjoyed working with Mayor Travis Hall. He has been open, available, transparent and wrote a weekly column that I believe strengthened our news organization and kept the residents in the know on what was happening.
Poteet Mayor Willie Leal who was in my opinion an outstanding mayor for the city of Poteet also wrote a weekly column for us. Please read his farewell column this week. I look forward to seeing what he and his wife, Diana, continue to do to make Poteet a beacon for new businesses. I want to thank him for his idea of a Tri-city transit system which he worked with Mayor Travis Hall, Mayor Robert “Doc” Williams and Atascosa County Judge Robert Hurley plus AACOG on bringing to this county.
Please attend your local city council and school board meetings. Those meetings can be found every week in the Pleasanton Express and you may search for it at www.pleasantonexpress.com.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.