Tyler is blessed to have community members willing to put themselves forward for often-thankless public service. Choosing between them, when many candidates have unique qualities to offer, can be tough.
In the race for an open Tyler City Council seat, however, the choice seems clear. Insurance broker and small business owner Linda Sellers has proven her commitment to the community in countless ways.
She's facing three other candidates in the race for the District 1 seat. Her opponents in the race are Waterson Calhoun, Billy Larson and Detrese Harkey.
Mrs. Sellers knows how city government works. She has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, on the Vision 2010 Committee, Lake Tyler Committee, Traffic Task Force, and the committee originally exploring the Loop 49 corridor prior to the formation of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority.
And she knows the community. Mrs. Sellers served as chairwoman of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce from 1999 to 2000, and was a board member of the Tyler Economic Development Council. She also has served on the development board of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and on the boards of East Texas Mental Health Inc., the East Texas Symphony and the Literacy Council of Tyler.
While it is refreshing to see such broad interest in a race for a key role in our city, it is clear Mrs. Sellers has done her homework in preparing for the job. We recommend that voters choose Linda Sellers.
TISD DISTRICT 5
So often, elections can seem like a choice between the lesser of two evils — that's particularly true at the national level. How refreshing that voters in Tyler ISD District 5 have the opposite dilemma — two fine candidates who each bring something different to the race.
Incumbent Barbara Smith is facing challenger Aaron Martinez.
A Tyler resident for 31 years, Mrs. Smith is a former educator who has seven children and nine great grandchildren. Mrs. Smith is a graduate of New York University and has served on the Tyler ISD school board almost a year. She has also served on the board of Tyler's Catholic schools system.
What she brings to the table is an in-depth understanding of the educational system.
Martinez, on the other hand, brings to the table the concerns and perspective of an active, involved TISD parent. Martinez has two boys who attend Andy Woods Elementary School.
He is grounds manager for Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics and has lived in Tyler almost seven years. He has a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Texas A&M University. Martinez says that as a parent, he is concerned about teacher turnover and class sizes.
We should celebrate the fact that two outstanding candidates are vying for the same position though it seems a shame we can't vote for both of them.
So voters must choose between high-level experience in education on one hand, or the perspective of an involved parent on the other hand.