Council addresses airport, finances, election
Port Aransas City Council members heard details of a city financial report, cancelled certain election plans and held a final vote on residency requirements for members of the city’s Airport Advisory Board.
The council dealt with the matters at its meeting on Thursday, March 15.
• The council voted 5-0 to cancel plans for a May 12 city election to decide city council membership because no one running for election has an opponent. Council members Glenda Balentine and Steve Lanoux were absent.
Only the incumbents whose terms are expiring filed for re-election. They are Place 2 Councilman John Price, Place 4 council member Balentine, Place 6 Councilman Lanoux and Mayor Keith McMullin.
The filing period to run for council ended March 5. Early voting is April 30 to May 8.
City voters do have matters other than council membership upon which to cast ballots: A school board race, five proposed city charter amendments and a referendum on rescinding the city council’s vote to change the Coastal Management Plan in a way that would allow the council to permit more vending on the beach.
• The council heard a presentation on a recently completed city financial report. Highlights included the fact that the city’s assets exceeded its liabilities at the close of the fiscal year ending in September last year by $27,764,360.
At the close of the fiscal year, city government funds had combined balances of $7,625,840, the report said.
The city’s total net assets increased by $987,051 during the fiscal year, according to the report.
• The council voted 4-1 to approve, on third and final reading, a change to residency requirements for members of the Airport Advisory Board. Councilman Keith Donley voted against the measure.
The new rule means that at least four members of the five-member board must be qualified voters of the city and that one may be a non-resident. To be a qualified voter, one must be a city resident.
Previously, no members of the airport board had to be Port Aransas residents. The board in the past has had members who didn’t live here. Donley argued that some non-resident members were qualified for the spots because they were longtime pilots who had ties to Port Aransas and knew a lot about how small airports should be run.
Proponents of the residency requirement change have said they want the board to meet more regularly and be more responsive.