City Council runoff
BURLESON – Todd Hulsey and Pam Grant Tatum, who fought to a political stalemate in May’s City Council race, face off once again in a special Place 4 runoff election slated for Saturday, June 17.
There was no clear winner during the May election. Pam Grant Tatum received 1,168 votes or 33.91 percent; challenger Shannan Sutter received 580 votes or 16.84 percent; and Todd Hulsey received 1,304 votes or 37.86 percent. The seat had been vacated by Matt Aiken, who chose not to run for re-election.
Election Day is June 17. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All voting takes place at Burleson City Hall, 141 W. Renfro St.
Both Hulsey and Tatum agree there’s a lot on the line.
"This runoff is bringing a momentous local election season to a close and is, for me, the culmination of a first-time political campaign,” Hulsey said in an interview.
Tatum said there’s a lot of work to be done by good leaders.
“The most important issue facing Burleson leadership is maintaining the quality of life of our Burleson citizens,” she said.
Both candidates have been campaigning vigorously in anticipation of the election. Hulsey continues to press forward with his trademark advertising and stumping while Tatum has been conducting extensive political discussions on social media.
Hulsey said the campaign has been a rewarding, but oftentimes tiring experience.
“I have been blessed to have met hundreds of Burleson residents and to have reached out to thousands more through various media,” he said. “I am impressed with the civic minded citizens who have allowed me to listen to and hear their concerns and hopes for our city as we move forward into our shared future. I am proud to have led a positive campaign and am honored by the great support I have received."
In a written statement to the Burleson Star, Tatum said the victor of the election will face issues of population growth and city leadership.
“My parents moved our family to Burleson over 46 years ago; in order that they could put the crime- ridden, over-crowded hustle and bustle of DFW in their rear view mirror,” she said. “They wanted a place where their children could experience good schools and safe neighborhoods. The number one issue facing our city would be the explosive, exponential population growth which is bringing crime to our city.”
Tatum extensively quoted crime reports and statistics from the city of Burleson’s website and described the information as overwhelming.
“Being a resident of Burleson for over 46 years, I can tell you, walking out to your driveway to find your car has disappeared over night, or coming home to find your home has been burglarized, has never been the norm in our hometown. However, these crimes are now increasing at an alarming rate,” she said.
“What do we need to do to slow down this rate? First of all, slow down our explosive population growth, increase the number of officers on patrol and pay our officers appropriately. Our police force is awesome; because our police men and women are getting the job done, despite, some formidable odds. Our police force is expected to cover 26.9 square miles of land mass which encompasses 200 miles of streets. This land mass extends past and around Joshua to the Chisholm Trail Toll Road to the city limits of Alvarado and all the Burleson city limits in between.”
In other areas, Tatum said most businesses must provide and maintain their own parking areas and Old Town is an exception.
“I do not feel it is the burden of all residents to pay for and provide maintenance for these parking areas,” she said. “I want our leadership to get in the habit of planning first and growing second in order that our citizen's quality of life is not compromised.
“The citizens of Burleson do not want over- crowded streets, and the added crime that comes with added population.”
She said Burleson school children deserve to have the optimum amount of students in their classrooms so education is not compromised.
“It's time to stop the irresponsible growth and be able to provide services and for our residents to allow them to have safe neighborhoods, appropriately populated schools and streets,” she said. “Burleson citizens deserve better than the urban sprawl and crime that is coming to town.”
Hulsey, meanwhile, said if he is fortunate enough to win this election, he will come to city government with a positive attitude and a conservative approach.
“I believe in solid management, positive leadership, and good fiscally responsible governance,” Hulsey said. “I look forward to working with council colleagues and city staff to help move our city forward as we grow.”
Hulsey said some changes need to be made in order to ensure the continuation of good city government.
“I am in favor of changing the city charter to prohibit council members from conducting private business with the city, and also establishing term limits and single member districts for council elections,” he said.
“I favor a review of both the city charter and our code of ordinances to identify and change or remove those laws and regulations that stifle businesses and business development, and limit personal liberty,” he added. “I believe that personal liberty and a free market economy are foundational to American greatness and I am proud to have worn the uniform for nearly 30 years of regular and reserve military service. I look forward to continuing to serve as a council member if chosen to do so by the citizens of Burleson."