Change is coming to the Dripping Springs City Council dais after two political newcomers, including the first woman elected to office in 24 years, ousted a pair of incumbents in the race for three seats Saturday.
DRIPPING SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL
Taline Manassian, an attorney who has lived in Dripping Springs for nine years, rolled to victory by claiming 24 percent of the vote. Roughly 23 percent of registered voters in Dripping Springs cast ballots, with only 6 percent of the 110,384 registered voters countywide hitting the polls in the May 6 election, according to Hays County election results.
Manassian surged ahead to the lead by claiming 96 votes after early voting and maintained the advantage by taking 114 additional votes on Election Day.
By virtue of her win, Manassian becomes the first woman elected to the Dripping Springs council dais since Annette Rushing in 1993. She also becomes only the sixth woman to be elected or appointed to office in the city’s history.
Voters in Dripping Springs placed support behind incumbent council member Bill Foulds, Jr., who took 18.39 percent of the vote.
Foulds, who has been on the city council for 16 years, used 79 Election Day votes to surge ahead to claim one of the three seats up for grabs.
The biggest surprise of the night was William Travis Crow, a political newcomer, whose 95 Election Day votes catapulted him onto the dais.
Crow was fifth in a field of six candidates after early voting results were released Saturday, but took 20 percent of the vote on Election Day to win.
His victory signaled the defeat of candidate Harrison Thomas Schultz, who was running for office for the first time, along with incumbents Santos Alba and Charles Busbey.
Alba, a Dripping Springs native, had served on the dais since he was first elected to office in 1993, while Busbey was first elected in 2011.
Taline Manassian was elected to the CODS council Saturday. She’s the first woman elected or appointed to council in 24 years and only the sixth in the history of Dripping Springs City Council.
Women who have been elected to council:
Annette Rushing – 1993
Elidia Nevarez – 1992
Jo Fulkerson – 1992
Debra Rhodes Miller – 1989
Joy Whisenant – 1982
Meanwhile, voters in the Emergency Service District (ESD) 6 supported a proposition allowing the implementation of a sales and use tax in areas not already at the maximum 8.25 cents.
Roughly 70 percent of the 1,266 votes were in favor of the proposition, which is expected to assist the North Hays County Fire Rescue by creating an alternative revenue source.
According to the district, the new tax could bring in as much as $160,000 annually with the passage of Proposition 1. Currently, ESD 6 levies a property tax rate of 7.95¢ per $100 property valuation in its district, which encompasses 244 square miles and serves approximately 35,000 residents.
Voters in Dripping Springs ISD chose to reelect two incumbents who were vying for their seats in a three person field Saturday.
Ron Jones and Barbara Stroud both claimed victory by each taking 39 percent of the vote. Jones, a consultant who was first elected in 2013, led the way with 1,049 votes, while Stroud, an attorney and mediator who sought her fourth reelection bid, took 1,032 votes.
Political newcomer Trey Powers, a mortgage loan officer who has lived in Dripping Springs six years, finished third with 557 votes.
May 6 Election Results
City of Dripping Springs – THREE SEATS
Taline Manassian – 24.45% – 210 early votes/96 election day votes
Bill Foulds – 18.39% – 158 early votes/79 election day votes
William Travis Crow – 18.16% – 156 early votes/61 election day votes
Harrison Schultz – 16.76% – 144 early votes/64 election day votes
Charles Busbey – 15.48% – 133 early votes/70 election day votes
Santos Y. Alba – 6.75% – 58 early votes/34 election day votes
DSISD Trustee – Two seats
Ron Jones – 39.76% – 1,049 early votes/613 election day votes
Barbara Stroud – 39.12% – 1,032 early votes/600 election day votes
Trey Powers – 21.11% – 557 early votes/289 election day votes
For – 70.54% – 893 early votes/521 election day votes
Against – 29.46% – 373 early votes/207 election day votes