PORT ARANSAS, Texas — May 7 is Election Day across the country.
In Port Aransas, among the several ballot items is the one for mayor, replacing the late Charles Bujan.
Bujan’s family had a long history in Port Aransas, and he was well-liked by many in town.
“He was obviously a legacy, and he was a good listener, and he’d get out there and do some stuff,” said Scott Tanzer, who owns Port A Beach Buddies. “But, he was just a really good individual, he was a good, charitable person.”
Tanzer has been in Port A for 15 years. He hopes whoever wins the mayoral election will be transparent with the people of Port Aransas, and continue to build on the culture of the area.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge, but it’s totally doable,” he said. “It’s a small town, we’re growing really fast, there are a lot of people who know how to do it here, we just have to get everybody on the same page.”
Additional issues the mayor-elect will have to tackle relate to tourism in the area: how tourism affects the area, short-term rentals and even traffic brought by it.
“I would like to see them do something with the traffic, because the traffic is so bad everywhere,” said Mary Jane Shanklin, who has lived in Port A for 30 years.
“It’s still a small town, there’s a lot of congestion here, and you add the folks who are staying here in the condos and hotels, and you add the day-tripping in there, the congestion gets really brutal. And the local community can’t even get to the grocery store certain times of day,” Tanzen said.
Shanklin also hopes the mayor-elect can lower taxes, and make the city more affordable, so long-time residents like her can continue to live in the growing city.
“Make it affordable for the people who have come here, that can continue to live here,” she said. “My kids and my grandkids graduated from here, they’ve got great schools. Like I said, a lot of my friends and family members can’t live here because of the high cost.”
The Port Aransas mayoral candidates are Gregory Chittum, Wendy Moore and Martin J. Phalen.
The other elections in Port Aransas are for Council Members, Places 2, 4, and 6.
Early voting ended Tuesday, Election Day is Saturday.