Monday marks the beginning of filing for council seats in both Bryan and College Station. In all, five city council positions will be contested in the two cities, and a few twists and turns have already taken place.
In addition to Councilmen Ben Hardeman and Russell Bradley finishing their first terms and up for a second, Mayor Pro Tem Paul Madison will be leaving the council to make a run for the Brazos County Commissioner's Court. Madison has served on the Bryan Council since 2001, and would have had a year left on his second term.
"Under the Texas constitution, when he announced his candidacy for the county commissioner's seat, it constituted an automatic resignation from his council seat," said Bryan City Secretary Mary Lynne Stratta. "But also, under the constitution, he will continue to serve in that capacity until his successor is duly elected and qualified."
Filing for Madison's soon to be open seat is underway. The winner will serve out the remaining year, and be eligible to run for two more full terms. Madison will oppose current commissioner Carey Cauley.
In College Station, the council will have two seats up for grabs. First term Councilwoman Nancy Berry will seek a second stint, but this time for three years. As per a 2003 charter change, councilmembers now serve three year terms, and the staggered change-over for different seats will wrap up with Berry's Place 6, and Place 4, currently occupied by Susan Lancaster, who will not be seeking a second term.
In a statement, Lancaster praised crime reduction in Northgate and the defense of the arts. "As the city council moves forward without me, I suggest strongly that they serve everyone equally, and that they do their business in public, for it is truly the public who eventually must pay for whatever the city council does," Lancaster wrote.
She also said she regrets not having enough votes to prevent the illegal termination of then-City Manager Tom Brymer.
Both cities will also have a pair of school board seats contested, and charter changes may be up for voters to decide.
Filing ends March 13 for candidates in the regular elections, with the elections set for May 13. Filing for Madison's seat and the special election ends March 7.