GALVESTON — For two reasons, the Galveston Town Council will look completely different in 2020 than it did at the start of this year.
The council members will all be chosen “at-large” instead of by wards, and all the candidates in the November election will be first-time candidates.
There will also be an election because there are more than five candidates, and one is a Democrat.
The Democrat is Todd Fry, and the Republicans candidates were chosen by the party at an Aug. 14 caucus. Those Republicans are Sunny Sailor-Gordon, Wes Hull, Cynthia Leduc, Samuel Levine and John Zook.
Also running were incumbents Herbert “Butch” Alcorn, John hart and Jim Jackson, as well as Charles Scalf.
Hull and Zook will have some experience if elected because they were sworn in as Town Council members Aug. 19, Clerk-Treasurer Rose Jackson said. But they are also new to town government.
“I just think it’s wonderful,” Rose Jackson said. “People are getting involved that have never been involved before. It’s exciting.”
They bring fresh minds and fresh eyes, she added.
Because Galveston is switching from council members representing specific areas to at-large members that represent the whole town, none of those chosen will serve a full four-year term.
The top three vote getters will serve three years, and the other two will serve one year. This is meant to stagger the terms of the council members. The council voted to approve the change in August 2017.
Zach Zimmerman, who was a council member then, said staggered terms on the council will mean that when there’s a new council, there’ll still be people who have a recent memory of work being done.
“There’s no reason one of us can’t represent everyone within the town,” Zimmerman said then. “Our wards are relatively small. ... We do represent our whole town in general.”
The clerk-treasurer will also be filled by someone new. The caucus chose current Utility Clerk Heather Gilvin as the Republican candidate for the position over Rose Jackson and Mychelle Roberson.
Rose Jackson, who has filled the clerk-treasurer position since September 2015, will assume the utility clerk position come 2020, according to the plans. She said she decided the night before to step down as a candidate to take care of personal issues and because it’s time to pass the position on to the next generation.
“It would not be fair to the town if I’d be gone for a month or two,” she said.
Gilvin has been utility clerk for two years.
Jackson said she will help Gilvin learn the stringent requirements of the position.
“She really is young enough, she could make it a career,” Rose Jackson said.
Gilvin or any new clerk-treasurer elected will also serve for three years this term, and the next term will be for a full four years.