SAN ANGELO, Texas – “It’s a big relief that for the next two and half months I don’t have to go out there and run a campaign. There’s no divisiveness within the department. I can concentrate my time for the next two and half months on issues we have in the department and in the city,” San Angelo Police Chief Frank Carter said.
Carter is the only candidate who filed to run for the San Angelo Police Chief election in 2020 therefore, he will keep the position for four more years.
Over the last four years, Carters says he’s proud of many things, some of those include working with City Council to receive new audio and visual equipment in patrol cars and body cameras. The new equipment is already in the patrol units and Carter says the body cameras are being phased in currently. Carter explained that the Department was often having to buy used parts on Ebay to repair the AV equipment because it was so antiquated.
Another achievement from his first term that he is proud of has to do with the falling crime rate within the city.
“Crime has decreased…dramatically,” Carter said.
Carter says he shares the credit with his Administration, Assistant Chief Tracy Fincher, who manages operations, and Assistant Chief David Howard, who manages support services along with the over 250 officers and personnel employed by the Police Department.
For the next term, Carter says he has a few main issues he’d like to address: adding more man power to the Department, making sure the salaries are comparable to other benchmark cities, and finding, or building, a new structure for the San Angelo Police Department to call home. He says he does realize there will be other issues to tackle in the future and the Chief’s position does produce pressure however, he relies on his family, friends, and the community for support.
“There’s days as an elected official you feel isolated out there and if it weren’t for those things…it makes it tough on you,” Carter said.
Overall, Carter says his first term as Police Chief was great and he’s looking forward to the years to come.
“It’s been a great four years. I’m humbled by all the support that I have. All the encouragement, the prayers, my family who has stood behind me, and the Lord,” Carter said.
No election means the City is saving money, and so are taxpayers:
City Clerk Julia Antilley says the cost of elections is different each cycle.
“The cost of the election varies greatly. It depends on how many people are having an election at the same time so the school districts, if the county is going to do something or the state,” Antilley said.
On average, a City election costs around $30,000 but runoff elections can reach upwards of $60,000.
According to City data, in 2016 there was a general election and a runoff but the City of San Angelo shared expenses with Wall because they had an issue on the ballot. Overall the cost for all of that was around $61,000.
In 2017 there was a general election and runoff election as well. The City shared expenses with San Angelo ISD and the cost totaled around $32,000.
The most recent election cycle in 2019 included a November special election. The City shared the cost with the State (due to propositions being on the ballot) and with Water Valley ISD. The expenses reached around $14,000.
The City, and who they split the bill with, is sharing the cost of labor for the County Elections Office staff or, the people who are working the polls during early voting and on election day. The City also must pay for mandated printing notices like, when and where a candidate can file, deadlines, and other public notices.
The funds that pay for those items comes from citizens and even tourists who purchase various items in San Angelo.
“The City Clerks office is funded by the general fund which is largely funded through the property tax and the sales tax so when you buy something local we get the sales tax for the City and that goes into the general fund. From there, we’re paying for the County services and state mandated printing services,” Antilley said.
With no City election being held in 2020, the City Clerks office will return the money to the general fund.
“What we usually do is just give the money back to the budget staff and say if you need to handle any leave payoffs or if you need to handle anything for the general fund, you can use this money.”
One thing Antilley said she wants the public to know has to do with how many are actually showing up to cast their vote.
“People don’t know how low our voter turnout is, I wish more people would get out and vote and take part in the City’s democratic process,” Antilley said.
For more information about City Elections, click here.
For voting information, click here.
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