Three council seats up for election

Seats for three Wolfforth Council members will be up for election on May 11 after the entire council voted last Wednesday to approve five different election orders.

The council approved a resolution authorizing a joint general election, an election services contract, an ordinance calling the election, an election notice and an election order during a Jan. 23 meeting at Wolfforth City Hall.

“It’s really five different pieces of paper saying the same thing,” City Secretary Debbie Perkey said.

Anyone interested in running can file between Jan. 30 and March 1, Perkey said. The two-year seats of council members Randy Gross, James Vardy and Ramiro Villarreal are up for election.

Villarreal ran for a one-year unexpired term a year ago.

The council also voted to approve support for a potential employee of the Wolfforth Economic Development Corporation, the Wolfforth Community Development Corporation and the Wolfforth Chamber of Commerce.

The city’s support would be in the form of providing an office, equipment and supplies for the employee, who city officials said would be Terri Robinette, the current president of the Wolfforth Chamber of Commerce.

Councilwoman Julie Merrill said Robinette is dedicated to her job, while Randy Gross said a part time employee for the three organizations would be helpful.

He said members are volunteers and just don’t have time to do everything.

But Gross asked if he should abstain because he is a member of the CDC.

Perkey told Gross that she did not believe that would be necessary, and the council approved the support for Robinette’s employment.

The council heard a report on racial profiling from Police Chief Rick Scott, who said he has reviewed city data and doesn’t believe Wolfforth Police are making any stops based on race. Texas police departments are required by the state to report on stops annually.

Scott’s report states that of 541 stops last year, officers knew of the race or ethnicity of the person being stopped six times prior to the stop. In 35 instances, Wolfforth Police performed a search, with 21 of those being consented searches.

The data, Scott’s report states, shows “we stop Caucasians the most.”

The council took no action on the police report.

Scott made another report to the council about a police accident. A driver who was allegedly drunk hit a police car which was stopped behind another car, he said.

Officer Jacob Peer was still in the car, Scott said, but he said within 10-15 seconds, “He would have been standing outside that vehicle, and probably dead.”

The chief said the officer immediately went to help the driver of the other car, ignoring his own injuries. Later, the officer had to seek medical attention when things had calmed down.

Scott said the officer had followed all rules for pulling over during a police stop. The council took no action on the report about the accident.

A resolution regarding Arthur Street was tabled until all documents are complete.

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