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What You Need To Know For Saturday's Municipal Elections

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KC Ivey
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Flickr Creative Commons

We’re two and a half weeks away from the May 27 statewide runoff, but there’s also an election Saturday. Dozens of local municipalities will be voting on mayors and city councils, taxes, school boards and bonds. In this week’s Friday Conversation, KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter talks with our political reporter, Shelley Kofler, about Saturday’s top races.

Interview Highlights: KERA's Shelley Kofler...

...on the importance of these county elections:

"They’re going to decide who will sit on local school boards and whether these school districts will be able to sell bonds -- in other words, borrow money – for things like new buildings or some specific new project. In Dallas the election of two school board members is especially important because if a majority of voters in the fall decide Dallas should become a home rule district, which we’ve heard a lot about, these board members will choose the people who basically design the new district."

...on the school bonds on the ballots in Frisco and Arlington: 

"The fast growing district of Frisco wants to sell $775 million in bonds. They say they need that to build schools, buy buses and buy land for schools.  Opponents are saying that’s just too much. There’s also an opposition group in Arlington that believes the district would incur too much debt if it sells $663 million in bonds.  Arlington would use that money to build schools, upgrade transportation and they also want to develop multipurpose activity centers." 

...on the Irving mayor’s race:

"...It’s quieter this year.  This is, of course, a repeat match-up between current Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne and former mayor Herbert Gears, who she defeated last time. This isn’t the big spending slug fest it was before. Gears has said his big issue is ending property taxes for seniors so that’s who he’s trying to woo in an effort to get his seat back."

Ballot items by county

Tarrant County

Dallas County

Denton County

Collin County

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.