Mario Cisneros decided too late to declare as a write-in candidate for Pilot Point mayor. The deadline for that was Feb. 19, according to Alice Holloway, the city secretary.
The former city of Pilot Point public works director met with city officials on April 18. He received a letter from Holloway explaining about the deadline.
“As there were no other candidates for the position of mayor, the city has cancelled the election for that position and declared the unopposed candidates elected,” Holloway wrote.
Cisneros said he decided to declare as a write-in candidate because he had been approached by residents to run for mayor. He worked for the city for 18 years but said he retired in October with a “bitter taste in regard to how the mayor handled herself toward me.”
During a budget discussion in September, Mayor Shea Dane-Patterson criticized a pay increase that Cisneros received after he moved to a new position overseeing capital improvements. Later that month, Cisneros was transported to the hospital by ambulance with high blood pressure following a meeting in which the mayor made similar comments.
Cisneros felt he was too angry to run until recently. Now, he knows he would be doing it for the right reasons, he said, “to help the public with my knowledge and how I believe a mayor should act.” He said he would like to guide Pilot Point through growth by empowering city staff. He favors respecting the role of the city manager and taking a team approach to managing issues rather than “the mayor being the dictator and having things run her way.”
Dane-Patterson acknowledged that Cisneros was a dedicated employee and that “his knowledge and experience will be hard to replace,” but she pushed back against his characterization of her.
“My parents raised me to question things when I don’t understand, to speak up for those who can’t and to serve my community,” she said. “There are things happening in our city that I must question. That’s not a dictator, but an investigator.”
Cisneros said he would consider running for a City Council seat in 2020. He said he would like to produce a positive atmosphere at City Hall.
“There is so much unhappiness and turmoil up there,” he said.