In the middle of a three-way race for the Fort Worth school board’s district 1 seat, questions surfaced about whether one of the candidates meets the residency requirements for the post.
At issue is whether Jacinto A. Ramos Jr. lived in the single-member district for six months before the March 1 filing date, as required.
The Star-Telegram asked him to respond. Ramos said he has lived in the district, representing Fort Worth’s north side, since July 2012. That’s seven months. [Update: okay, it was pointed out that it is more than seven months. ]
Ramos used to live in a home he owns on Cochise Drive in far north Fort Worth (near Haslet), but said he leased the property out in June 2012. Because new tenants were located quicker than expected, the family stayed with Ramos’ mother in her home on Northwest 30th Street from June 15 to 30. The next month, they moved into the property they own on Harrington Avenue. In August, they registered a son at Northside High (two other children attend school in another school district, where Ramos’ wife is an employee).
Tarrant County property tax records show Ramos still has a homestead exemption on the Cochise Drive property. He paid taxes on the property in December.
Ramos says he filed documents to have the homestead exemption changed this month but more paperwork is needed for it to be complete.
He said one part of the initial delay was he had to supply a drivers license with his new address on it to switch the homestead exemption. That’s according to state law changes that went into effect Sept. 1, 2011.
He said he renewed the license in October. Also, he said, the new one had not arrived by Nov. 6, election day. So he voted back at the Haslet-area precinct that matched the license he had at the time, he said.
“I thought that it updated the voter registration when I did the license renewal,” he said. He changed his voter address on March 4 at the Tarrant County Elections Center, a clerk said Thursday.