West University will have an entirely new mayor and City Council come May.
There will be competition for the mayor’s position, with incumbent Councilmembers Bob Higley and Kevin Boyle filing by Friday’s deadline — but four council positions drew just four candidates who, barring unforeseen circumstances, will be elected to serve.
Incumbent Mayor Susan Sample was term-limited, and Higley and Boyle will be giving up their council seats to run for the chance to replace her. With Councilmember/Mayor Pro Tem Mardi Turner also term-limited and one-term Councilmember Kellye Burke failing to file for re-election, that leaves the council seats to first-time office-seekers Ed Sobash, Kevin Trautner, John Barnes and Lauri Lankford.
However, one of the four council candidates will get a prize if they get the most votes. Historically the council candidate who receives the most votes is chosen as mayor pro-tem. The mayor pro-tem assumes mayoral duties when the mayor is absent or unavailable.
Those who aren’t registered to vote have until April 19 to do so in order to cast a ballot in the municipal election. Early voting will take place weekdays from April 22-30, and the general election will run from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.
UPDATED: Harris County officials recently informed West University Place that they had discontinued their voting machine lease program that had allowed cities to rent Harris County voting machines and use them to administer its own elections.
Because Harris County does not have anything on the ballot, they will not be using all of their locations for the May election. So West University Place City Secretary Thelma Gilliam requested a single polling location be at West University Place City Hall since that is where West U residents have been voting for several municipal elections. Gilliam’s request was granted pending a review for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and other requirements. She expects a review next week and final approval shortly thereafter.
As for early voting, the Fiesta Mart at 8130 Kirby Dr. will be the nearest location. Since the County doesn’t have anything on the ballot, they will not be using all of their locations for early voting.