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Candidate Profiles: Cumby City Council Election

Early voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 13, for the General Election. In addition to containing national, county and state races, the ballot for voters who live in Cumby will contain the Cumby City Council and City of Cumby sales and use tax reauthorization elections as well.

Sample ballot for Cumby elections

Voters who reside within the city limits of Cumby will be asked to choose one of two choices for Alderman Place 1 and Alderman Place 2 on Cumby City Council as well as to reauthorize local sale and use tax of 1/4th of 1 percent to provide revenue for street maintenance and repairs.

A special election was originally scheduled in the spring to fill the two empty seats. However, due to COVID-19 the election had to be canceled. This summer, an election for both seats and mayoral election was called for Nov. 3. At the end of filing, the same candidates had filed for Alderman Place 1 and Place 2, and Doug Simmerman drew no challengers for mayor. The sale and use tax was also added to the ballot.

Early voting by personal appearance in the Cumby elections will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Oct. 13 and continuing through Oct. 30 in the Game Room at The ROC, First Baptist Church’s Recreational Outreach Center, 115 Putman St., in Sulphur Springs. Extended voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25; and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, and Thursday, Oct. 29. On Election Day, Nov. 3, voting will be conducted at the 12 county voting centers, including Cumby Municipal Building, 100 East Main St.

Applications for ballots by mail for those who qualify must be not just postmarked but received no later than the close of business on Oct. 23. Applications for ballots by mail should be mailed to Hopkins County Clerk Tracy Smith, 128 Jefferson St., Suite C, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Ballots by mail may be returned by mail or, for this election only, dropped off at the voting location. Other voting information, including sample ballots are available on the Hopkins County website (http://www.hopkinscountytx.org/) under the Voter Information menu

Cumby voters will be asked to choose one of the the two candidates for Place 1, Sheryl Lackey or Wayne Mobley; one of the two candidates for Place 2, Amber Hardy and Audri Mayo; and whether they are for or against Proposition A for the street maintenance tax. Doug Simmerman’s name also appears on the ballot, although he is unchallenged in his bid for reelection as city mayor.

To help voters learn a little more about the four council candidates who are challenged for the seat they seek, KSST asked each to complete a candidate profile provide information about themselves and their candidacy, including their reasons for seeking a seat on Cumby City Council. Candidates responses are shared here, in ballot order by Place, in their own words.

Place 1 Alderman

Candidate 1

Sheryl Lackey

Name and office sought: 

Sheryl Lackey, Cumby City Council Alderman Place 1

Family information:

Married for 27 years and we have 4 children, one grandchild and another on the way.

Occupation:

Stay at home house-wife and small business owner.

Education, training, etc.:

Before getting married I worked for a Law-firm in Dallas as a receptionist/secretary as well as started training with a paralegal.

Why are you seeking this office?

I am seeking a place on the Cumby City Council as 3 of our 4 children have grown into adulthood and started pursuing their own interests with their lives and families. I got a chance to be more involved with the community in which I live and have grown to love. I have a passion for serving and helping, and serving as council member would be a great way to give back to our community.

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them?

As everyone is aware the City of Cumby’s finances have been in a disarray for many years. Without operating with the proper checks and balances some of our former leaders were spending money inadvisably and imprudently. Slowly but surely it is getting better, however, I feel there is much room for improvement with transparency and “Day to Day” operations, better checks and balances in every department; especially with the findings of the Forensic Audit. I feel the budget needs to be readdressed and restructured by taking line items out or drastically reduced. I will urge the Mayor and Council to give up our pay which currently at the end of the year it is costing the citizens $6,300. The current council has a budget of $2,500 for training, I believe this could be significantly reduce to $1,000 by utilizing the Texas Municipal League’s resources with past webinars starting at $65, in which the city secretary as well as the council members would benefit.

We have infrastructure issues that desperately need to be addressed. We have water tanks, pumps and well issues along with roads that are in much need of repair, improper maintenance and lack of foresight has helped create these problems. I believe as a council we need to aggressively pursue grants that will not only allow us to upgrade and maintain our current systems, but, also put us in a position to handle future growth of our city.

Cumby operates with a “Strong Mayor” form of Government. Listening to members of the community there is a huge division within our small town. Many have voiced their concerns to council members with many issues up to and including city personnel and feel their voices are not being heard. I want to have an Ordinance written to change to a “Weak Mayor” form of Government so that the council will have more say when it comes to personnel matters. I will press to have committees that would involve citizens so that they can let their voices be heard. As the “Governing Body” the Council works for the Citizens and we need to start rebuilding the trust and prove that their voices do matter.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

It will take time for the City and community to facilitate changes that need to be done, however, I believe with teamwork and community input we can achieve these goals so that our town can thrive and prosper once again. I love this town just like a family and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities of uniting, rebuilding and restoring Cumby. I humbly ask for your vote during the November 3, 2020 election.


Candidate 2

No photo provided for Wayne Mobley

Name and office sought:

Wayne Mobley

Alderman Pl. 1 city council

Family information:

single

Occupation, brief job description:

55 yrs in flooring ind.

Certified in all fields including Building

Education, training, special skills, experience:

H.S. — Certified in floors covering building

Why are you seeking this office:

Was asked To by Friends

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them?

Streets — Street Lights — clean up old houses

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

Brutally honest — Tell The Truth no mater what, speak my mind



Alderman Place 2

Candidate 1

Amber Hardy (Photo: Tru2You Photography)

Name and office sought:
Amber Hardy
Cumby City Council- Alderman place 2

Family information:

I am married and have 2 daughters.

Occupation, brief job description:

I am a substitute teacher at Cumby Elementary. I cover classrooms when teachers are out.
I work with grades pre-k through 6th

Education, training, special skills, experience:

I have a high school diploma. I have coached youth sports teams for 3 years.

Why are you seeking this office?

Because I want to be a part of the positive change that I wish to see in our community.

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them?

My first and foremost concern is the division I have seen in our small town. My husband and I moved here 6 years ago, because we felt Cumby was a small, tight knit, family like town. We thought it the perfect place to raise our growing family. Since being here unfortunately, I have learned that our sweet town is torn, one against the other. United we stand and divided we fall. If everyone could come together as one, for the sake of our future, our town could flourish in so many aspects. I hope to see unity, and I will be honest and open minded to everyone and their ideas. I will hear their concerns with an unbiased opinion. I will listen. And I will speak for the ones who aren’t being heard.

There are obvious issues with our infrastructure. Water, streets, schools, and funding. I hope to help bring ideas to the table that could potentially create a solution for some of these issues.

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?

I am honest. And that’s all I ever will be. There’s no place, and no use for secrets.

I am completely invested in the youth of our community. I am a substitute teacher at our elementary school. I am a Tball and Softball coach for CYSA. I am also a youth soccer coach for Commerce Parks and Rec. I dedicate every single day to working with children. They are the future of our town.

I have been active at city council meetings for the past 2 years. I have been in the front row asking questions and voicing concerns. And I’ve done so politely and respectfully. I feel now is the time to do more than sit on the sidelines. I can not allow myself to question the problems we face, and not be willing to play an active role in finding solutions.


Candidate 2

Audri Mayo

Name and office sought:  

Audri Mayo, City of Cumby, Alderman Place 2

Family information:  

Married to Allen Mayo for almost 30 years. Two children who live in Round Rock, Texas with four grandchildren, 2 step-children, 7 step-grandchildren, 5 great step-grandchildren.

Occupation, brief job description:  

Self-employed insurance underwriter with the same company for over 10 years. Provide insurance companies with pertinent information necessary to make claim decisions.  

Education, training, special skills, experience: 

Degree in Psychology from Texas A&M Commerce with some work toward my master’s degree. I have worked 30+ years in management for several different companies earning multiple certifications related to the insurance industry. My management career has involved inventory control, data processing, and most areas of accounting. Additional time spent working toward RN which compliments my insurance underwriter skills.  

Why are you seeking this office?  

The years of management in several industries make me uniquely qualified to assist in identifying and resolving current and future issues related to city government.  

What do you feel are the top areas of concern, need or challenges in the office you are seeking, and your plan to address them?  

I think the city has come a long way in the last year toward making the city officials reputation whole again but I believe even more transparency is necessary to reassure the citizens that their tax dollar is being handled appropriately. 

What do you feel is most important for the public to know about you and your candidacy?  

I have been a homeowner in Cumby for almost 20 years so the stakes I’m working for are life-long stakes for me.  I love this little city but I want to work hard to make it even better than it is.  There is so much potential for Cumby to grow its economy yet still maintain the small-town charm.

Author: Faith Huffman

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