Sherman voters will decide who should fill two city council seats and if the city should continue its street sales tax, among other items, when they hit the polls this November. The city officially opened candidate filing for the fall election on July 20 for the district 1 and district 3 seats.
Candidates have until Aug. 19 to file to be on the ballot and Aug. 23 to be a write-in candidate. Early voting will run from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1 for personal appearance voting.
Here are three things to know about the upcoming election:
1. The incumbents have already filed.
“There are packets here in city hall they they can pick up in the office,” City Clerk Linda Ashby said Thursday.
November’s election will see Shawn Teamann and Pam Howeth seek reelection for district 1 and district 3, respectively. Ashby said both incumbents have filed for reelection, but no one has filed to run against either candidate. If neither candidate is opposed, Ashby said the council elections could be cancelled, but other items will be on the ballot.
For candidates seeking to run for the seats, Ashby said there are four pieces of paperwork that must be completed: an application to be on the ballot, the appointment of a campaign treasurer, the code of fair campaign practices and an eligibility affidavit.
2. What is the street sales tax?
This revenue stream for the city, which must be renewed every four years, allocates one-eighth of a cent in sales tax to the maintenance and repair of existing roads.
This tax cannot be put toward other projects, including new roadway construction and is estimated to bring in about $1.3 million in revenue each year. What separates this from other revenue streams is that it paid by both residents and visitors to the region. Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch estimated that about 50 percent of the tax’s revenue comes from outside Sherman, which has made it popular in previous election cycles.
“It is something that that has typically been seen as a valuable resource,” he said. Previous elections return numbers of 80 percent or higher in favor of the tax.
3. Updating the city charter
Ashby said though she had not heard any information on specific amendments to the city charter yet, the city likes to revise and amend its charter every two-to-three years to keep it up to date.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.