Now that the elections are over, elected officials are ready to begin work in their respective positions for the good of their areas and constituents.

Annette Pernell, elected to the district four seat on the Orange City Council over opponent Jimmy Sims by 127 votes to 111.

“Whether Jimmy or myself had been elected, the real winner would have been the voters,” Pernell said. “It’s all about the citizens in the district and whoever had won, they would have a fighter for them on the council.”

Pernell said that she thanks all those who came out and voted for her and that she is sitting down soon with those who helped her campaign to see what can be done to aid district four’s residents.

“We need to make sure that we are addressing the needs of the district,” she said. “Before, when all council members were elected at large, I didn’t see things being done in district four. I live here, and now people have a representative that they can come to concerning things in the district where they live.

“This election was not about me. It was about the majority of people living in district four.”

The school board of West Orange-Cove C.I.S.D. is still elected via at-large positions with Tony Dallas with 561 votes and Andrew Hayes leading all votes with 561 and 530 respectively. Dr. Mary Hardin only managed to gain 268 and Murray Taggart brought up the rear with 160.

“I want to thank the patrons of West Orange-Cove that came out and voted for me for another term,” Hayes said. “I hope to see us look at the drop-out rate and find ways to bring that down while bringing up the graduation rate.”

Hayes, who was employed by the school district for 45 years before retiring in 2005, said that tough decisions have already had to be made dealing with reduction of staff, but that he hopes to see the board able to focus on education of the students in all the best ways possible.

“We are making plans for the improvement of instruction for our district,” he said.
Dallas agrees.

“We’ve already had to deal with a lot of things in the district,” he said. “I have three children enrolled in this district, so obviously I want to see us excel in academically every way we can. This is my first time to serve on the board and I hope to see our academic ranking go up and for us to be in a better financial position.”

Dallas said that he also wanted to thank everyone who came out and voted in support of the bond issue, which passed by a vote of 582 to 333.

“I definitely want to see this bond through and make sure we do our spending correctly,” he said.

On the other side of town, Marlene Courmier, a retired educator in the school system, was elected to position three on the Little Cypress-Mauriceville C.I.S.D. school board in a landslide, garnering 275 votes to her opponent Barry Bates’ 39.

“From working in the district, I feel that I have a well-rounded knowledge of what the teachers and students in the district need,” she said. “I felt that I could be very influential in the district decision-making process because of that expertise.”

In the Bridge City I.S.D. elections, Michael Johnson became the new place six trustee with 307 votes, while his three challengers Mike Faulk, Jason Martin and Chris Thomas only garnered 215 votes, 195 votes and 34 votes respectively.

Mark Anderson took place seven with 493 votes while opponent Dale Simmons had only 246.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and came out to vote,” Johnson said. “We are all looking for the best quality of education for our students and having drug-free campuses.”

Johnson said that the district needs to keep a tight belt on spending while keeping the facilities of the district operational.

“Two years from now, we could be in the same boat as other districts across the state if we are not careful,” he said. “And, I would want us to keep as many of our teachers, and save as many of their jobs, as possible.”

Anderson, who has served two terms already, now begins his third consecutive term and it ready to just get back to work.

“First on the agenda we have to hire a new superintendent to get the business of the district done,” he said. “We have already closed the application process and should begin interviews by the end of the month.”

Anderson said that while the district is in good shape financially, they want to stay on their toes to make sure that they keep the district business and education at the best possible caliber it can be.

“This school finance is a mess that was created by the state legislature,” he said.
“Currently, Bridge City is in as good a position that we can be in when compared with other districts across the state.”