City council field starts to take shape

January 30, 2017

wu-candidates-election-logo-1With the February 17 filing deadline for the May 6, West University Place mayor and city council elections just a little more than two weeks away, four resident have turned in the required petitions to be on the non-partisan ballot.

Two incumbents, Burt Ballanfant and Mardi Turner, filed for re-election. Joining the early field is first-time candidate, and two-term parks board member Wayne Franklin. Rounding out the early field is former three-term city councilmember Dick Yehle.

Councilmember Burt Ballanfant says that, at this time, it is his plan to run for reelection.

Councilmember Burt Ballanfant has filed for re-election.

Ballanfant has a long record of elected civic participation, he served on the City Council from 1999-2001 and then as mayor from 2003-2007.

Councilmember Mardi Turner has filed for re-election.

Councilmember Mardi Turner has filed for re-election.

Turner has been a mainstay of West University Place civic participation for more than two decades, with prior service on the Recycling and Solid Waste Board and the Park Board.

Wayne Franklin is a seven-year resident of West University Place.

Wayne Franklin is a seven-year resident of West University Place.

Franklin has been a resident of West U since 2009, The seven-year resident is married to journalist Rachel McNeill, an anchor-reporter with KPRC-2 TV and has sons, 5 and 8, who attend West U ES. The family lives on Dartmouth Street. A board certified cardiologist, he’s on the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he serves as a faculty senator.

Dick Yehle has filed to return to the city council.

Dick Yehle has filed to return to the city council.

Yehle is a 27-year resident of West University Place who previously served three terms on City Council, 2005-2007, and 2011-2015. Yehle was a member of the Zoning and Planning Commission for three terms and served one term on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Likely other candidates

Susan Sample is the mayor of West University Place.

Mayor Susan Sample has announced for re-election.

Mayor Susan Sample has announced she running for re-election, but has not filed. There has been no discussion of an opponent, but any qualified West University Place resident has until Feb. 17 to gather the signatures of 25 registered West U voters to have their name placed on the ballot in opposition.

Bruce Beneke has shown interest in running for city council in 2017.

Bruce Beneke has shown interest in running for city council in 2017.

Bruce Beneke has expressed an interest in running for City Council, but not filed. Beneke is a well-respected 20-year resident of West University Place who lives on Tangley Street. He retired from Apache Corp., an oil and gas company and now serves on the Building and Standards Commission.

Bob Higley has picked up petitions, but not filed for city council.

Bob Higley has picked up petitions, but not filed for city council.

Bob Higley is a 45-year resident of West University Place who has served three terms on the Zoning and Planning Commission and was previously a member of the Charter Review Committee. His wife, Laura, who served as West U mayor from 1989-1991, has been justice on the First Court of Appeals since 2002. Higley is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo and resides on Belmont Street.

Michael Kaplan has said he will run for city council on May 6.

Michael Kaplan has said he will run for city council on May 6.

Michael Kaplan is a 16-year resident of West University Place. He and his wife of 15 years live on Robinhood Street and have two children at West University Elementary School. He has been the Republican Precinct 183 chair for three years. He is senior vice president/wealth manager at Morgan Stanley.

Brennan Reilly's intention are unknown.

Brennan Reilly’s intentions are unknown.

One-term Councilmember Brennan Reilly has not responded to our requests about his intentions. So Reilly is a question mark.

West University Place Election Facts
The City of West University Place holds its general elections to choose a mayor and four councilmembers in May of odd-numbered years. The next general election in West U will be held on Saturday, May 6 with polls open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

George Boehme

George Boehme is the publisher of InstantNewsWestU.com and West University Essentials magazine.

View more articles Subscribe
menu
menu