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Local Bonds And Propositions Help Shape Texas Communities

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
In Austin, voters are deciding on Prop A, which seeks to expand Austin's public transportation system.

From Texas Standard:

In addition to the races at the top of the ticket – Trump versus Biden, Cornyn versus Hegar – Texas voters have choices to make about school bonds, propositions and charter amendments this election.

There are thousands of these local votes scattered across the state; some places have none while others have several. Liberty, for example – a city of about 8,000 people in Southeast Texas – has 42 propositions on its ballot.

Here’s a list of some of the bond elections and propositions Texas voters will decide on this Tuesday:

– The Dallas Independent School District is proposing the largest school bond election in state history – nearly $3.7 billion, mostly for facility upgrades.

– Austin voters also have a big ticket on the ballot: a $7 billion bond that would expand mass transit in the capital city.

– Fort Bend County residents will decide on a $38 million bond for parks.

– Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District, about an hour east of Houston, is holding a bond election for about $38 million to replace and consolidate facilities at its high school, which is currently spread out among nine buildings. According to Superintendent Dwaine Augustine, the main catalyst was the shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018.

“The question continuously came up, ‘How do you secure this high school? We have all these buildings, kids go in and out. Why can’t you lock the doors?’ That sort of thing. And so the board knew that that was a priority with our community,” Augustine said.

The district also has some structures that still need to be repaired from damage it sustained during Tropical Storm Imelda, so some of the money will be used for that.

– Kyle will consider whether to set up a police review board.

– Voters in Laredo will decide on a measure that would trigger an automatic recall election if a city council member is convicted of a felony.

– Texarkana voters will decide whether the city and its firefighter union will be forced to go into arbitration if they can’t agree on a contract.

– In Coleman, fifty miles south of Abilene, there’s a proposition that, if passed, would require the mayor to cast a vote in all matters that come before the city council.

– Voters in Lytle, a rural community of outside San Antonio, will have a say on whether to allow restaurants to serve mixed drinks.

“Think about restaurants like Chili’s or Applebee’s, those types of restaurants. Currently we don’t have anything like that. If I want to take my wife out on Friday night and have a steak and have a drink, our options are extremely limited in this area,” said Mark Lovelace, president of the Lytle Chamber of Commerce.

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