As the deadline recently passed for local governments to accept candidate filings for the May elections, some questions have surfaced about the City of Dayton Lakes, located North of Kenefick off FM 1008, as well as the City of North Cleveland, located just outside of the City of Cleveland on the far North end of Liberty County.
According to Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush, the City of Dayton Lakes is completely out of compliance with regards to elections, and no one knows about the City of North Cleveland because no one from the county’s standpoint knows the last time they conducted an official election.
“My office is always working to make sure that things are done correctly and accurately when it comes to the voter roll and elections in Liberty County. My job is to assist all jurisdictions that may have elections, to do them accurately and assist them in getting into compliance concerning elections,” Bush said.
After reaching out to an individual with some working knowledge of the situation in Dayton Lakes, there are serious issues in that jurisdiction that are not only affecting elections but their ability to even operate as a city altogether. A recent petition was brought to the Libert County Elections Office that would like to see the city dissolved completely; the only problem is there is not an official City Secretary to present that petition to, thus there is no one that is legally able to conduct any elections in Dayton Lakes to address the petition.
In an interview with the City of North Cleveland Mayor Bob Bartlett, he believes that their small city is following the correct rules regarding election laws, however, there are some issues according to the date he gave us for their filing deadline. Bartlett claimed the deadline for that race is Wednesday, March 31, and that North Cleveland holds elections every other odd-numbered year, but the State of Texas required all small cities in Texas to complete this process by Friday, February 12 at 5pm.
There is a deadline for cities that have four-year terms, however, that deadline is Friday, March 5, not to mention there are no documents on file in the courthouse that says the City of North Cleveland holds that type of election.
Bush was reaching out to Bartlett to see if there is any assistance that his office could provide the City of North Cleveland, and he hopes to do what he can to assist the City of Dayton Lakes and the citizens of that city as well.
“We never want to have room for people to question the accuracy and legitimacy of their elections. The Democracy will not stand if you cannot trust your elections.”