CS Voters Say No to Council Recalls

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Voters in College Station overwhelmingly said no to the recall propositions for three city councilmembers Saturday night.

When all the votes were counted, Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilmembers Katy-Marie Lyles and Dave Ruesink will retain their seats by virtue of nearly three-to-one vote totals against their ousters.

The propositions to recall Berry and Ruesink failed with 73 percent of the votes each. Lyles' proposition failed with 74 percent.

Just shy of 6,000 votes were cast in each case. More than half the votes in College Station were cast in early voting, and after those ballots were counted, the three sitting councilmembers had good news. About 75% of the first set of voters were against the recalls.

The propositions came as a result of petitions signed by supporters of the community of Wellborn. Berry, Lyles and Ruesink had each voted to continue studies of the annexation of Wellborn, which drew the ire of residents there and dissatisfied College Station residents. Even prior to the final vote on annexation, enough signatures were collected to put Berry, Lyles and Ruesink on the ballot.

The three and a bevy of former representatives and community leaders said the use of recall in this case was unwarranted, as they had done nothing illegal in denying Wellborn residents the right to vote on their future or by annexing the land. They said recall should be used in the case of illegal or unseemly actions by sitting representatives.

Berry was elected mayor just last year and has two years left on her first term. Lyles will now serve out the remaining year of her first term, and has said she will not seek a second. Ruesink earned a second term in 2009, and has one year left on the council before he reaches his term limit.