History repeated itself in the 2015 general election when 4 City Council positions were filled without there ever being an election and without there ever being a campaign for office. Candidates didn’t even need to produce political platforms or state what they were running for.
Alderman Places 1, 3, and 5 were up for reelection, and the position of Mayor was vacant and was also up for election. Only 1 person applied for each position. Miraculously, the 3 people who applied for the 3 Aldermen positions didn’t apply for the same exact position.
This mimics the same result of the 2014 election when the first City Council members were elected. In 2014 the group that knew the most about the election and bared the most responsibility to the community was the Committee to Incorporate Sandy Oaks, run by Jim Clement and Pedro Orduno. These men promised to involve the community in getting people to run for office, but instead created the Sandy Oaks Political Action Committee and hand picked people to run for City Council. They also went on a smear campaign attacking the 3 candidates outside of SOPAC.
SOPAC members gained political office because CISO (Clement and Orduno) went out of their way to not communicate to the community. Shortly after the election the City Council, which was 2/3 SOPAC, thanked CISO for its efforts, essentially rewarding CISO for lying to the community and placing SOPAC members into office.
Now in 2015 the same exact process has happened. The entity that bare the most responsibility to the community is the City Council, which went out of its way not to communicate with the community. The result of this lack of communication was that another select few people were able to personally benefit.
The City Council has now been established for an entire year. In that time frame they have never bothered to set up signs, send out newsletters, send out post cards, or do anything to communicate with the community. When the Council had been requested to send out notifications, members complained it would cost too much. They were more than willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on awful advice from attorneys, though.
At one point the Council discussed setting up a bulletin board at the entrance to the Waterwood subdivision and Micki Ball, an Alderman at the time, said she would take on the task. The bulletin board was never established and now Ball was able to run for Mayor unopposed.
The City Council, especially Ball, is quick to point out that the city has a website where people can get information. But so far, the only way the Council has advertised that website is at City Council meetings. So the 15 or so people who regularly attend meetings certainly know about the website, but what about the other 3,985 people in the community?
By not communicating with the community, both CISO and the City Council has damaged the success of the city. These people claim they want a city, which would mean they want a successful city, but instead they have actively worked to ensure the city is not as successful as it could be.
For example, take the position of Mayor. The community is best served by having the absolute best and most qualified individual in the community to be mayor. CISO didn’t break the law by politically maneuvering Jim Clement into the position of Mayor. But they did damage the community by not setting the opportunity to have the best Mayor possible. The result was a Mayor who lied to voters outside a polling location, helped create an illegal amount of sales tax, tried to create a retroactive property tax to 2013 (before incorporation), and was so incredibly incoherent at times that many audience members in Council meetings debated what drugs he was taking. Clement’s past history would have disqualified him from ever winning the position of Mayor. Regardless of how he wrecked and bankrupted the WPPOA, he was also part of bankrupting Bexar Met Water District. A local news crew even caught Clement sleeping at one of the Bexar Met Board meetings when he was a member of the Board.
CISO’s precedent of not communicating with the community, and the City Council’s choice to reward that action and to continue its practice, jeopardizes having a city continue. Now Micki Ball is Mayor and the community is left wondering, yet again, if the person leading the city is the absolute best for the job. No one can possibly know because Ball never had to run for office.
Since incorporation, no mayor has ever run for office. That’s pathetic. The City of Sandy Oaks is too small and too financially limited to play such petty political games.