Blossom City Council changes election dates, banks

BLOSSOM — “It’s all about safety,” Blossom Mayor Charlotte Burge said. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the well-being of Blossom residents is her top priority during election season.

That’s why at Thursday’s City Council meeting, Burge and the council unanimously voted to push back their local elections to Nov. 3, the date of the general election. That was an option offered by Gov. Greg Abbott as part of his call on Texans to socially distance themselves. Burge said she hopes that by November, Covid-19 will be under control enough that it will be safe for large groups of people to convene at polling stations.

“It’s all about keeping people safe,” Burge said. “If you look around in Blossom, we have probably about 65% to 75% of our people who are retirees, and so we’re just trying to be safe just like everybody else.”

The election postponement was made in front of empty chairs as council chambers remained closed to the public due to Covid-19, and it means Blossom residents will be met with a long ballot in November, which will include local candidates as well as presidential candidates. But for Burge, it’s well worth the wait.

“I didn’t want to take the chance of anybody getting sick from this virus,” she said.

In other business, the council debated whether to transfer the city’s Depository Services Contract, its bank accounts, from Heritage Bank to Lamar National Bank. Councilmembers weighed the options, discussing interest rates and potential benefits for city employees.

“(Changing banks) is not insignificant,” city secretary Stacy Prestridge said, noting that Blossom has been a longtime client of Heritage Bank.

After conversations with representatives from both banks, the council unanimously voted to switch management of the city’s finances to Lamar National, citing direct deposit capabilities and better interest rates for both the city, and for city employees, should they choose to switch as well.

“It’s in the interest of the city, which is what we’re in the business of,” Burge said.

Councilors also approved a motion to raise wages for part-time summer maintenance workers to $15 an hour, and they discussed ways to recruit seasonal workers who will do everything from filling potholes to landscape maintenance. Prestridge said the job posting will be available online shortly.

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