Kyle candidate ruled ineligible to run for office

A candidate vying for the Kyle City Council Place 2 seat was ruled ineligible after city officials discovered he did not properly register to vote at a new address prior to the deadline.

But the issue opened a separate can of worms when it was discovered the candidate had been paying 30 years worth of city taxes on part of a property that sits beyond Kyle’s borders.

On Monday, Robert Rizo, a construction worker who lives at 606 Old Stagecoach Road, was ruled ineligible to run for office.

Jennifer Vetrano, Kyle city secretary, said Rizo attempted to change the address on his voter registration information to the 606 address, which is inside the city limits.

Rizo said he filed the change of address form because he had moved to a home on family owned property. 

However, Rizo applied to change his voter registration information on Aug. 17, which was four days before the state’s Aug. 21 filing deadline. Vetrano said it takes 30 days for changes to voter registration information to become effective, which would have surpassed the filing deadline.

Rizo submitted his filing the day of the deadline. He had been slated to run against Tracy Sheel.

Vetrano said she first became aware of the situation when she saw Rizo was not on the city’s list of registered voters. After calling Hays County’s officials, she discovered he was registered to vote at an address that bordered the city’s limits.

Rizo said learning of his ineligibility was “very disapointing” and “disheartening” as he thought he had a “good chance to win the District 2 seat.”

Running for the seat was Rizo’s way of “serving my community in a different capacity,” he said. He added he wanted to be the voice for his district.

However, he also felt the process was handled “really badly.” He felt the city was “doing everything they could to keep me off the ballot.”

Kim Hilsenbeck, Kyle communications coordinator, said Vetrano “tried everything she could” to keep Rizo on the ballot, but she was unable to do so.

But Rizo is now vying to collect back taxes he feels his family is owed.

Rizo said he was led to believe the property, located at 608 Old Stagecoach Road, which was his listed address on his voter registration card, had been annexed by Kyle in 1976.

Prior to submitting his candidate paperwork, Rizo said he asked the Hays County Central Appraisal District regarding the 608 and 606 properties, to which they said both were in the city limits.

Rizo said he was “very surprised” when Vetrano called to inform him the 608 property wasn’t in Kyle.

“We’ve been paying taxes on that house … the tax office has been collecting city taxes on that house,’ Rizo said.

David Valle, chief appraiser at the Hays CAD, said part of the Rizo family property was incorrectly marked within city of Kyle boundaries. Valle said the CAD is in the process of attempting to correct the mistake.

However, Valle said the family can only collect up to five years in back taxes as a result of CAD policies.

“We’ve been paying on the property since 1976, how does this compensate for that?” Rizo said. “We’ve been paying city taxes and now don’t have a voice. We’re weighing options to see what we can do as a family.”

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