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Elections in Bandera County - signs o' the times

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

No matter how small or large the election, in Bandera County it's become almost de rigueur that campaign signs disappear and, as a consequence, recriminations fly.

In the current contested elections in Precincts 1, 3 and 4, of the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District, as expected, a tempest in a teapot has brewed over - what else? - now-ya-see-'em-now-ya-don't campaign signs.

In an email sent Sunday, May 5, Jim Hannah, a member of Bandera City Council, informed interested parties: "As of yesterday, all of Robert Skinner's campaign signs were stolen in Medina and along Highway 16 North, along with two out of four in Bandera."

Skinner who spoke with Bandera County Courier publisher and owner Gail Joiner the morning of Tuesday, May 7, apparently was unaware not only of the email Hannah sent on his behalf, but also that "all" of his signs were missing.

As it turned out, however, two of Skinner's signs had been removed in the Medina area because a property owner had purportedly not given permission for the signs placement. In an email, Skinner indicated that one sign "is going back up in Medina as the landowner there said he did not remove it and would like it back up."

Additionally, two of Skinner's signs had been removed from a vacant lot on Main Street after it had been ascertained that one of the property owners had not been contacted regarding the sign's installation. As it turned out, however, apparently a second owner, Al Rajabi, of San Antonio, had given permission without informing his development partner, Gene Hartman, of Bulverde, that he had given his consent. After the miscommunication, both Rajabi and Hartman are now apparently allowing all candidates to pound campaign signs into their property with impunity.

State statutes demand that it is incumbent upon all candidates - or their representatives - to secure permission from land and property owners prior to installing campaign signs on private property. And, here in Texas, if the law didn't, then simple common courtesy would dictate that permission be secured!

In the same email, Skinner wrote, "As far as I am concerned this is a nonissue about the signs as a lot of this was due to miscommunication."

For his part, Hannah in his email made no bones about with whom he stands in the upcoming election, referring disparagingly to the BCRAGD as a "so-called water conservation district." Those interested in the full content of Hannah's email are invited to drop by Courier offices at 1136 Main Street.

For the record, in Precinct 1, incumbent Don Kruckemeyer faces challengers, Robert Koimn and Joe DeHoyos; in Precinct 3, incumbent Jerry Sides faces challenger Skinner; and in Precinct 4 candidates Richard Lingk and Bob Williams square off against one another, vying for a seat left open by the resignation of Leroy Knuepper. In Precinct 2, Don Sloan is unopposed and no election is being held in that precinct. For precinct polling places, see the Courier article about the BCRAGD election below.