The Flower Mound Town Council on Thursday postponed the town’s May election and extended the town’s disaster declaration because of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The council held an emergency meeting on Thursday night to consider the two actions. After presentations by emergency management personnel, the council voted unanimously for both.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued Wednesday a proclamation allowing local entities to postpone their May elections. Flower Mound has two council seats expiring this year, Place 2 Sandeep Sharma and Place 5 Claudio Forest. Mayor Steve Dixon said the two challengers — David Johnson for Place 2 and Ann Martin for Place 5 — would prefer moving the election to November, and both Sharma and Forest agreed.
Instead of holding the election in May, those seats will now be on the ballot in the Nov. 3 general election, and the current officeholders will remain in their seats until then. The filing period will not be re-opened, so no new candidates can be added to the ballot between now and then. The deadline to register to vote will be Oct. 5. Early voting will be from Oct. 19-30.
The town also extended the Declaration of Local Disaster, which Dixon signed on Sunday. The mayor’s declaration was not more restrictive than the Governor’s executive order Thursday that requires gatherings to be no more than 10 people and forced the closure of many businesses. The declaration closed, and will keep closed, the Flower Mound Public Library, Community Activity Center and Senior Center. Council agreed to extend the declaration 31 days, until April 20. It could be amended and/or extended.
During the meeting, Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos said the town wants to do everything it can to support restaurants and other businesses in the town, and the council agreed that the town should relax its code enforcement on local businesses during this time.
The council also seemed to be in agreement that it doesn’t intend to force the closure of any other businesses that were not included in the Governor’s executive order, unless neighboring cities and counties are also making the same changes. Council members said that if they were to close, for example, salons, but neighboring cities didn’t, residents could just patronize businesses in another city and their action would just be punishing Flower Mound’s businesses.
The council sat with an empty seat in between each member. A small number of residents attended the meeting on Thursday, and they sat in the audience, spread out several feet away from each other, per social distancing guidelines.