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2022 Helotes General Election Early Voting Schedule

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2022 04 25 - Helotes Early Voting

Early voting starts today!

  • April 25 through April 29: 8 am to 6 pm
  • April 30: 8 am to 8 pm
  • May 1: 12 pm to 6 pm
  • May 2 through May 3: 8 am to 8 pm

*Please note the article’s main photo is from Monday April 25th, 2022.

Helotes News Early Voting April 2022 Circled Web Version

Helotes News Early Voting May 2022 Circled Web VersionHelotes City Council 2022 Candidates

Registered voters in the City of Helotes will have the opportunity to cast votes only for the candidates vying for Helotes City Council Place 2.

Incumbent, Council Member Linda Salazar

Challenger, Mrs. Jen Sones

Council Members Craig Sanders Place 1 and Cynthia Massey Place 4 were unopposed.

Helotes News candidate interview and links to candidate social media are available via the Helotes News 2022 Election Center.

What Else is on the Ballot?

The summary below is based on Editor’s individual sample ballot who is a registered Bexar County voter and lives within the Corporate City Limits of Helotes. Registered voters may visit Bexar County’s Elections website to generate and view Individual Sample Ballots.

STATE OF TEXAS PROPOSITION 1

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”

Your options are: For or Against.

STATE OF TEXAS PROPOSITION 2

“The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.”

Your options are: For or Against.

NORTHSIDE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – PROPOSITION A

“THE ISSUANCE OF $992,000,000 OF BONDS BY THE NORTHSIDE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES, THE PURCHASE OF THE NECESSARY SITES FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES, AND THE PURCHASE OF NEW SCHOOL BUSES AND THE LEVYING OF A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”

Your options are: For or Against.

2022 General Election Interview Series Helotes City Councilmember Place 2 Candidate Linda Salazar

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Linda Salazar Place 2 Nov 2020 Web

Helotes News sends interview questions to the candidates via email. We publish the interviews in the order received. We email all candidates at the same time. Please view the Helotes News Election Center 2022 for a log of our out-going initial emails to candidates.

General Background

Helotes News: How long have you been a resident of Helotes?

Linda Salazar: I’m a native Texan. I was born in San Antonio, raised an Army Brat—mostly in Germany—and returned home to graduate from Taft high school.  I worked jobs at Sea World, Fiesta Texas, and H-E-B while I attended UTSA.  I’ve worked and lived in San Antonio my entire adult life.  When it came time to build our forever home in 2019, we knew we wanted to live in a small, tight-knit community where we could enjoy peaceful hill country living.  We found it in Helotes.

Helotes News: What do you enjoy about Helotes?

Linda Salazar: Above all, the people. We really look after one another.  This was particularly evident last year during Winter Storm Uri aka Snowvid.  Neighbors reached out to each other and offered assistance whether it was sharing fresh water and non-perishable food or taking turns using a generator for heat and to power electronics. It was a tough situation, but we got through it together.

Helotes News: What frustrates you about Helotes?

Linda Salazar: While I’m proud of the many improvements we made in Helotes during my tenure, there is still much to be done.  My primary concern is managing our city’s growth.  We must be thoughtful and intentional and ensure we preserve the spirit and character of the Helotes way of life.

Helotes News: Are you currently employed? If yes, with whom?

Linda Salazar: Like many people, I got laid off in 2020 due to COVID. I spent the summer hanging out with my teenagers watching Tiger King (she totally fed him to her tigers).  In the fall I received a call from an old friend who had an opening at her company that she thought would be a great fit for me.  I was delighted during the interview process to see that not only did they need specific skills that I had, I would also get to learn some new skills.  I accepted the position as the Client Development Director for the Omnia Group just a couple weeks before I was elected to City Council.  It was hectic learning both my new job and my duties as a council member at the same time, but with lots of support from my family, co-workers, fellow council members and Helotes staff I have grown into both roles and am excited to keep going!

Helotes News What is/was your professional background before you were added to the ballot?

Linda Salazar: I graduated from UTSA with my BA in Political Science and Sociology. After graduation, I began my career at the City of Alamo Heights where I learned the innerworkings of city government.  Next, I found my passion for corporate training.  Since then, I’ve worked in the Learning & Development departments of several companies including USAA and CHRISTUS Health.  My experience working for public, private, and non-profit companies across multiple industries has served me well in my duties on city council.

Civic Engagement & Community Events

Helotes News: Tell us a few things about how you are involved in our community.

Linda Salazar: Whether I’m sitting on the board of a non-profit, serving at my church, mentoring young adults, or volunteering with local charities; I’m always happy to help when I can.  I live by the philosophy, “Look around, see what needs doing, and do it.”

Helotes News: What events have you attended in our city?

Linda Salazar: Most recently, I attended the Miss Helotes pageant. I was so impressed with all the young women.  They were graceful, poised, and eloquent.  Of course, as a mother of one of the contestants, I clearly had a favorite.

Helotes News: What events do you support or think should be eliminated/reworked? Tell us why.

Linda Salazar: As long as the events are safe, have a positive message, and bring our community together; I think we should keep them. My favorite events are ones where good food and fellowship abound.

Helotes News: Do you have any ideas about adding public spaces or additional community events to Helotes?

Linda Salazar: I’m in favor of using the public spaces we already have. For example, I voted to move our 4th of July event to festival grounds because it had outgrown the City Hall property.

Political

Helotes News: What is your primary motivation for seeking reelection/election to City Council?

Linda Salazar: I’m running for re-election because I love doing this job. Being a Helotes city council member has been one of the greatest honors of my life. It enables me to see to the needs of our community by working with the mayor, my fellow council members, and the Helotes staff to find solutions that benefit us all.

Helotes News: As an incumbent, what is the primary argument you should be re-elected (includes those who were appointed to a City Council Place)?

Linda Salazar: I should be re-elected because there is so much more to do, and I have the education, experience, and determination to get it done.

Helotes News: If re/elected to council, how will you approach decision making as one of five voting members?

Linda Salazar: Right now, we have the dream team of leaders in Helotes.  The mayor, council members, and staff department heads all have very different backgrounds, but that is our strength.  We look at issues from different perspectives, we speak and listen to each other respectfully, and leave no stone unturned in our quest to find the best solutions.

Helotes News: How will you engage citizens in the decision-making process, or will you?

Linda Salazar: One of the best parts of being a council member is getting to talk with my fellow Helotians and local business owners.  Sometimes they contact me through my Helotes email address, social media, or they just walk right up and start talking to me.  Whichever way the conversation starts, I’m always happy to listen and see what I can do to help.

Helotes Thematic

Helotes News: How would you describe Helotes to someone who has never visited our city?

Linda Salazar: My answer is the same as it was when I first ran in 2020: It’s a little slice of heaven nestled just outside the hustle and bustle of San Antonio with a vibrant community of down-to-earth, hard-working people who truly care about each other.  It’s got everything you could want—great local businesses, shops, restaurants, schools, churches, and a genuine Texas honky tonk.  It’s simply my favorite place in the world to be.

Helotes News: Do you view Helotes as a small town with small-town charm? Or, do you view Helotes as a small-town that has outgrown or is outgrowing that theme?

Linda Salazar: I think we are both a small town and a growing one. We need to honor our past and stick to our values, address the current needs, and prepare for our future.

 

 

 

 

2022 General Election Interview Series Helotes City Councilmember Place 2 Candidate Jen Sones

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Helotes City Council Candidate Place 2 Jenifer Sones

Helotes News sends interview questions to the candidates via email. We publish the interviews in the order received. We email all candidates at the same time. Please view the Helotes News Election Center 2022 for a log of our out-going initial emails to candidates.

General Background

Helotes News: How long have you been a resident of Helotes?

Jen Sones: I am married to an Army veteran and we were stationed at Fort Sam Houston several times over the years. Our kids consider Texas as their home. After my husband retired from active duty, we moved to Helotes in 2018 from our duty station at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Helotes News: What do you enjoy about Helotes?

Jen Sones: My husband and I enjoy walking our dog on the canyon, and love the beauty of the Hill Country. Helotes is unique because it has maintained its small-town charm despite the rapid growth of Northwest San Antonio. For me this is due to the genuine, friendly nature of our community. When friends from our military days visit, they comment on the kindness and warmth of the people they encounter. Neighbors know their neighbors, and look out for each other. This was especially evident when the snow storm hit in February 2021. It was neat to see neighbors come together to share water, firewood and groceries. Support also came from the City of Helotes when it opened its facilities to provide water for community members without service.

Helotes News: What frustrates you about Helotes?

Jen Sones: At times there is a communications challenge between citizens and the City of Helotes. Although the city provides a myriad of information on its website and social media sites, sometimes there is still confusion concerning the activities of city government. If I have the privilege of serving as a council member, it is my hope that I can use my background in communications to support Mayor Whitehead’s initiative to establish direct email notifications to citizens with important information. I also plan on using social media to update citizens on the current activities of city council. Citizen involvement is critical, and I want to promote and encourage it.

Helotes News: Are you currently employed? If yes, with whom? If you are not employed, are you retired, a business owner or financially independent?

Jen Sones: I am not employed full-time, and am at a crossroads as our family enters a new season. For many years, I homeschooled our children and managed frequent moves as a military family. As two of our children have graduated and moved on to college, I started one-one-one tutoring with dyslexic students. One of my students completed the program last fall and I am screening a new student this week.

Helotes News: What is/was your professional background before you were added to the ballot?

Jen Sones: I hold a degree in communications/public relations. After several internships in Washington, DC, I landed my first job in our nation’s capitol after graduation. Over the next six years, I worked for several national and international organizations in publishing, marketing and communications. I left my career in Washington when I married my husband who was already on active duty. During our tour in Honolulu, I was hired as a senior account representative at an advertising and public relations agency. After our move to San Antonio, I continued to freelance for several clients. After having four children in seven years, I turned my focus to serving as a full-time parent and Army spouse.

Civic Engagement & Community Events

Helotes News: Tell us a few things about how you are involved in our community.

Jen Sones: My husband and I are enjoying a new season where we have time to be more involved in our community. Although I am opting not to go into a lot of detail, my husband and I are committed to volunteering with city events because we care about Helotes. We also appreciate having the time and resources to step out and help community members in need. If my answer seems vague, that is intentional. We support because we love Helotes—not because I am running for city council. If any voter is interested, I can provide more details.

My family attends weekly church services at Oak Hills Church. I participate in a Bible study with women from Helotes and Northwest San Antonio.

Helotes News: What events have you attended in our city?

Jen Sones: Market Days is one of our favorite events in Helotes. We love bringing our dog, and checking out the vendors. We usually end our day with pastry and coffee at one of our favorite Old Town spots. It has been fun to see how Market Days has grown over the years. With COVID behind us, we are looking forward to attending more events in the future.

Helotes News: What events do you support or think should be eliminated/reworked? Tell us why.

Jen Sones: As a general principle, I support eliminating or reworking any city activity when the expenditure does not match the participation levels. I also support eliminating city activities that are redundant and could be streamlined to save valuable resources.

Helotes News: Do you have any ideas about adding public spaces or additional community events to Helotes?

Jen Sones: I support adding public spaces that encourage Helotes as a destination. For example, if there is a proposal for a new park, it is important to place it in a location that showcases our city. I am excited about the new Community Arts Grant Program that was recently passed by the city council. An initiative of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation, the program commissions artists to create works that feature the charm, history and character of Helotes. It will be fun to see how the new initiative, managed by a committee of citizen volunteers, will bring new and iconic art to our city.

I support adding community events based on the interests of a majority of our citizens and local businesses. For example, I would support bringing back the popular Jazz a’Round Old Town Helotes festival if there is a sufficient amount of interest.

Political

Helotes News: What is your primary motivation for seeking reelection/election to City Council?

Jen Sones: After watching the discouraging political events happening on the national stage, I wanted to get involved and support at the local level. I loved being a part of the grassroots effort to elect new leadership in Helotes last Spring, and I am in a season of life where I have time to commit to the work of the city council. After years of moving with the military, it is exciting to establish roots in Helotes through service. I’ve already enjoyed meeting people through the campaign for city council.

Helotes News: As a challenger, what is the primary argument you should replace the incumbent councilperson for your place?

Jen Sones: While I appreciate that my opponent, Council member Salazar, wants to serve Helotes, she has been absent and late on multiple occasions for council meetings and appears unprepared. Helotes deserves more from a city council member and I am willing and able to commit to attending council meetings with full preparation for the issues at hand. My opponent and I approach issues from different perspectives as I would take a conservative approach to making decisions before the council.

Helotes News: If re/elected to council, how will you approach decision making as one of five voting members?

Jen Sones: It is the responsibility of a member of the city council to adhere to the law. For example, a candidate may say they oppose a development in Helotes, but that position is misleading if city council does not have the legal authority to stop it. Council does not have the power to tell a company they cannot build on a piece of property when they are in compliance with city ordinances, including commercial zoning. Recently there has been confusion as to what powers the mayor and city council have in current development projects—both commercial and residential. My opponent has made several decisions on emotion and personal preference rather than following the law. These decisions leave the City of Helotes vulnerable to expensive lawsuits. Lawsuits negatively impact the city budget, and have a ripple effect on how the city provides essential services to include public works, police and fire.

Helotes News: How will you engage citizens in the decision-making process, or will you?

Jen Sones: Citizen involvement is critical and I will foster and encourage it if elected to council. It is especially important for citizens to be involved when land is annexed as important decisions will be made regarding zoning at that time. There is an opportunity for citizens to be heard at the beginning of each council meeting. A citizen has three minutes to state their concerns before the city council, and may speak on any topic. The City of Helotes recently redesigned their website, and I’ve provided a link to the meeting agendas, minutes and recordings of past and upcoming council meetings. https://helotes-tx.gov/government/agendas-meetings/

As for my approach to citizen interaction, I want to take an honest, direct, and personal approach when answering citizen questions—especially when it may not be a popular answer. I want to be part of a team. I am eager and willing to learn about the myriad of topics that land at city council. I am committed to listening. I am committed to respecting other’s ideas even when disagreements arise. It is also my desire to be accessible to citizens by regularly monitoring and answering questions through my council email on the city web site.

Helotes Thematic

Helotes News: How would you describe Helotes to someone who has never visited our city?

Jen Sones: Friends have asked me the same question. Helotes offers a small-town feel combined with the beauty of the Hill Country, yet we are minutes away from all the amenities of a large city. This description is enticing as we’ve hosted a steady stream of friends and family from all over the country since moving to Helotes.

Helotes News: Do you view Helotes as a small town with small-town charm? Or, do you view Helotes as a small-town that has outgrown or is outgrowing that theme?

Jen Sones: I probably have a perspective similar to other military families in Helotes. Because we have lived all over the world, we appreciate how Helotes is unique and unlike any other city we’ve called home. For me, Helotes feels like a small town. I frequently walk our dog, and welcome it when a Helotes police officer stops to say hi in order to build a relationship with a member of the community. When I shop at the big box stores in Helotes, I appreciate how the national chains have made an effort to showcase local activities. Our local business owners learn the names of their customers, and take the time to visit with them. Helotes has its challenges as well. The seventh largest city in the country, our neighbor San Antonio, is exploding. Helotes isn’t a gated city and all the challenges of San Antonio, and an unsecured Southern border impact us.

Mar 10th 2022 Item 9 Merchant Aye

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March 10th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas amending portions of Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 Environment, Article III Outdoor Lighting and Chapter 66 Signs to reinstate the Planning & Zoning Commission as the final authority body on exterior lighting and signage for commercial development. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Salazar, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 9 McCrossen Aye

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March 10th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas amending portions of Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 Environment, Article III Outdoor Lighting and Chapter 66 Signs to reinstate the Planning & Zoning Commission as the final authority body on exterior lighting and signage for commercial development. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Salazar, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 9 Salazar Aye

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March 10th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas amending portions of Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 Environment, Article III Outdoor Lighting and Chapter 66 Signs to reinstate the Planning & Zoning Commission as the final authority body on exterior lighting and signage for commercial development. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Salazar, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 9 Sanders Aye

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March 10th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas amending portions of Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 Environment, Article III Outdoor Lighting and Chapter 66 Signs to reinstate the Planning & Zoning Commission as the final authority body on exterior lighting and signage for commercial development. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Salazar, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 8 Merchant Aye

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March 10th, 2022 8 Discussion of and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas authorizing the closure of portions of Bandera (S.H. 16), Old Bandera, and Scenic Loop Roads during certain hours for pass through L’Etape San Antonio by Tour De France, a ride and race cycling event scheduled to be held on April 10, 2022. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Massey, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 8 Massey Aye

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March 10th, 2022 8 Discussion of and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas authorizing the closure of portions of Bandera (S.H. 16), Old Bandera, and Scenic Loop Roads during certain hours for pass through L’Etape San Antonio by Tour De France, a ride and race cycling event scheduled to be held on April 10, 2022. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Massey, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

Mar 10th 2022 Item 8 McCrossen Aye

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March 10th, 2022 8 Discussion of and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas authorizing the closure of portions of Bandera (S.H. 16), Old Bandera, and Scenic Loop Roads during certain hours for pass through L’Etape San Antonio by Tour De France, a ride and race cycling event scheduled to be held on April 10, 2022. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Massey, second by Council Member Sanders, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye