Boughton to run against Pacholl for Ward 2 seat

Published 4:56 pm Saturday, May 29, 2010

Austin City Council’s most senior member just got some competition.

Roger Boughton, a former vice president at Riverland Community College and current member of the local Fire Civil Service Commission, filed paperwork Friday to become a candidate in the Ward 2 race. That seat is currently held by Dick Pacholl, who has spent 20 of the last 28 years on council.

Pacholl filed for reelection on May 18.

Boughton, 69, said his candidacy isn’t based on problems he has with Pacholl. In fact, he said he thinks Pacholl is a “good guy.”

But two things really compelled Boughton to jump into the race. One, he doesn’t think people should ever be unopposed in a democracy, which Pacholl was up until Friday.

Two, he said he thinks government gets stagnant when people serve more than a term or two, adding that fresh faces are always needed.

“Everyone should be asked that question: ‘How many terms are you going to run?’ ” Boughton said, adding that he would only serve one if elected.

That doesn’t mean the retiree would be entirely new to council. In 2000, following a resignation, Boughton was appointed to fill in, which he did for a year. He also has served on city library and charter boards, in addition to his current appointment to the fire commission.

Boughton said his main focus as a councilman would be to figure out how to make Austin more self-reliant as state aid continues to dwindle.

“We really need to get focused on that,” the candidate said. “Now is the future.”

He also said establishing good relationships with the two people who become the city’s new police and fire chiefs will be key.

Other filings

In Ward 3, union carpenter Jeff Bednar has thrown his name into the race. Bednar, 41, currently serves on the Austin Planning Commission and is seeking his first elected office.

Bednar said his more than 20 years in the construction industry give him the insight to spearhead important city projects, namely flood prevention work.

“With large amounts of construction in (the) city upcoming, I feel a construction background would help in making good and educated decisions,” Bednar wrote in a filing statement, which was submitted Friday.

Bednar added that his two years on the planning commission have allowed him to get involved with important planning issues, such as the debate over allowing wind turbines in the city.

Bednar will be challenging incumbent John Martin, who officially submitted his paperwork Thursday. Judy Enright, currently the physical plant director at RCC, also filed as a challenger in Ward 3 Wednesday.

In the race for council member at-large, Michael Weinmann, the senior computer operator at Hormel Foods, has joined incumbent Janet Anderson, who filed May 18.

Weinmann, 49, said he filed because he was simply interested in giving it a try, adding that he doesn’t plan on campaigning heavily. He also said the at-large post would be perfect for him to get his feet wet, since it has two-year terms, not four-year ones like the other council spots.

“Maybe I’m unorthodox,” Weinmann said. “I’m just giving people another option.”