Rosenberg City Council member Kevin Raines said he wants to maintain some sort of normalcy intact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why he was in favor of keeping Election Day in May.
But the rest of council didn’t feel the same way.
At a special city council meeting Tuesday, council members voted 6-1 to postpone the May 2 city election until Nov. 3.
According to city staff, this item was placed on the agenda in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed last week that local governments can move general and special elections to the next uniform date in November without otherwise adjusting the term of office.
“I spoke with (County Elections Administrator) John Oldham,” Mayor Bill Benton told council. “They have election workers that have not canceled out.
“I spoke to him after the shelter-in-place order and he said they can still do the election as long as the shelter-in-place order is not in effect on Election Day.”
The order is set to expire April 3.
Council member Isaac Davila said he would be in favor of moving Election Day to November, but suggested a special election in July during the same date as the run-off elections, if applicable.
“I would prefer a date sooner too but I’m not going to risk public health,” council member Steven DeGregorio said. “There’s a lot going on right now. The numbers keep going up and up and we need to see where this thing is going to lead us.”
Council member Tim Anders said he would be in favor of postponing the election because he couldn’t bear to jeopardize the health of the constituents.
Raines said postponing the election would do more harm than good.
“I’m in favor of leaving it... May 2,” said Raines, who teleconferenced into the council meeting.
“I believe that we got to give some bit of normalcy to the people in our city by leaving it May 2. I think that’s enough time to clear up. The seniors can vote by mail and we could probably rig up something to do a drive-up voting situation. We do it with the handicapped.
“That way we can ensure everyone gets a chance to vote.”
However, the rest of council did not agree.
Council member Jacob Balderas made a motion to postpone the May election for Nov. 3. The motion was seconded by council member Richard Olson. Raines voted against the motion.
Up for election are District 1-4 council spots, currently filled by Isaac Davila, Steven DeGregorio, Tim Anders and Richard Olson.
Davila and newcomer Keith Parker have filed for District 1.
Former council member Susan Euton will face incumbent DeGregorio for the District 2 position.
Anders will face former council member Alice Jozwiak.
And Olson will face Marc Morales.
The next Rosenberg City Council meeting will be held April 6.
City council meetings can be watched live on the city’s YouTube Channel “RosenbergTXGov,” on the city’s website at www.rosenbergtx.gov/tv, and on Comcast Channel 16 for residents within the city limits.