Hyland Hills released their special district election results on May 21 naming Margaret Gutierrez, Warren L. Blair and incumbent Board President Donald Ciancio as directors.
Voters chose from …
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Hyland Hills released its special district election results May 21 naming Margaret Gutierrez, Warren L. Blair and incumbent Board President Donald Ciancio as directors.
Voters chose from seven candidates for three positions in the at-large election. Residents waited over two weeks for the results, after a recount and a count of absentee ballots.
The district released unofficial results May 4 that put Paul Page and Ciancio within one vote of each other. That triggered a recount and made the absentee ballots critical.
Gutierrez had 554 votes, Blair 505 and Ciancio 487. Page had 480 votes.
Gutierrez and Blair are new to the board, while Ciancio was reelected to serve another term.
Gutierrez, the top vote-getter in the election, said she hopes to understand the division in the district.
“I'm new to the board," she said. "I think it would be imprudent of me to just assume that there's this division without understanding what that is."
She hopes to provide good governance for the taxpayers of Hyland Hills, which is one reason she ran for the board.
“I’ve benefited from all the recreational opportunities that Hyland Hills offers,” she said. “What motivated me to run is to make sure that we are serving all the residents of the community and keeping Hyland Hills affordable for all the residents by ensuring that we are mindful of the taxpayer dollars.”
Gutierrez has had limited interactions with Yvonne Fischbach, executive director of Hyland Hills, but thinks she has been doing a good job. Gutierrez reviewed 10 years worth of their comprehensive annual reports prior to running.
“So based on that review, I think that she's done a very good job from that perspective,” she said.
Blair, who received the second-highest number of votes, said he doesn’t have a secret agenda.
“I don't have any hidden affiliations,” he said. “I just want to have a parks and rec district that works well, is financially well managed, transparent and is meeting the needs of our citizens.”
His top three priorities are communication, making sure there is an effective bidding process and making sure partnerships with municipalities and school districts are strong.
One example he points to is the Perl Mack Community Center.
“When I was out on the campaign trail, I had people who said, ‘I used to go to the Perl Mack and workout, and now, it's closed and we never knew that it was up for sale or that there was an arrangement,'” he said.
For the bidding process for projects, he will strive to get a minimum of three bids, though ideally five to 10.
And he doesn’t believe the board should be involved with that process.
“The board should not be micromanaging (the process),” he said. “Boards have one employee and that employee reports to us.”
Ciancio received the third-highest number of votes. He thinks the election process was an educational process.
“I didn’t understand the recount process," he said. "I didn’t understand the waiting for overseas ballots.”
As to why the election was so close, he thinks people were more involved in the election than in the past.
“That's a good thing; I wish more people would be involved,” he said.
Going forward, he hopes to improve communication, look for ways to reduce water use and make sure recreation opportunites are available to all people.
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