by KIM HILSENBECK
With no majority winner in the Buda City Council Place 2 special election last Saturday, the two candidates with the highest vote totals, Wiley Hopkins and Amy Proctor, will face each other in a runoff election later this spring.
Hopkins, a retired managing executive for government housing finance corporations, received 110 votes – 48 percent of the total. He is on the Buda zoning board of adjustments committee. Hopkins also said he was instrumental in bringing the 300-unit, $21 million Silverado Crossing apartment development complex to Buda.
Amy Proctor, a 30-year resident of Buda who listed her occupation as “family advisor,” received 64 votes, or 27.8 percent.
The third candidate, former Buda City Council Member Cathy Chilcote, received 55 votes for 24 percent of the total. City Secretary Danny Batts said the votes will be canvassed at the Feb. 5 city council meeting.
U.S. Census data puts the population of Buda at 7,680 as of the last estimate in 2011. According to Hays County voting records, 5,038 of those residents – about 65 percent – are registered voters.
Chilcote, community director at a property management firm, lost her previous council seat in November to George Haehn. She said the turnout for the special election, less than five percent of registered voters, is disappointing. She also said the lack of a crisis may have deterred more people from voting.
“It’s very sad,” she said. “There’s no fire. There is no crisis or big issue driving who needs to be on [the council].”
Chilcote said she called many people ahead of the election and a high percentage were unaware one was being held. She said they asked her if there was a problem in Buda.
“It’s often difficult when you have these little elections and the city is doing so well,” Chilcote said. “There is no major headline to drive the race.”
Chilcote said she is not inclined to throw her support behind either of the two remaining candidates and does not plan to vote in the run-off election.
Chilcote served several terms on the Buda City Council.
Of his 48 percent of the vote, Hopkins said he is very pleased.
“The results reflects (sic) my supporters (sic) efforts for my election to the Buda City Council. I look forward to the run off (sic) election in March,” Hopkins wrote in an email.
He also complimented his opponents.
“The supporters for Mrs. Proctor and Ms. Chilcote should be pleased with their candidates (sic) campaigns and hard work. Both Amy and Cathy performed their efforts in a respectful fashion,” Hopkins wrote.
Proctor did not respond to the questionnaire sent to her by Hays Free Press prior to publication, nor did she return a weekend phone call after Saturday’s special election.
Her husband, Wayne Proctor, called and said his wife prefers to provide answers in writing. He later submitted, in person, a typed sheet of paper using an anecdotal statement to explain the preference for written versus in-person answers, however, the information does not have Amy Proctor’s name or signature on it.
The statement said, in part, “Early in the campaign, I was having a conversation with one of the city officials about the procedures for electioneering. A week or so later, I heard parts of the conversation come back to me completely distorted and out of context (nothing serious).”
It went on to say, “I asked the official in the future to keep our conversations just between the two of us.”
Later in the statement, it said, “I was informed by the official that this was a public office and any conversation we had was public information.”
Wayne Proctor also delivered a two-page hand-written letter, but it did not answer all of the questions from the Hays Free Press.
Proctor wrote, in part, “I have strong convictions about the problems Buda is facing in the future. We have uncontrolled growth, increasing traffic, increasing costs to the citizens of Buda to pay for the increasing need for water, sewer management, building more road, and repairing the existing ones.”
The Buda City Council Place 2 run-off election will take place 20 to 45 days after of the canvassing of the Jan. 26 special election results.