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Commentary: Your vote counts
The Nov. 5 ballot may not include a presidential race, but it’s pivotal for the future of the county and our state.
Your right to vote, to have a say in what our government does, is worthless if you don’t exercise it.
In addition to voting on nine amendments to the Texas Constitution, Wilson County residents can vote yay or nay on borrowing $8.5 million for several projects.
Wilson County residents successfully petitioned the Wilson County Commissioners Court to give voters their say on whether taxpayers agree to the proposed debt to repair the courthouse -- unstable and fenced off for more than a year now -- and to renovate the buildings currently supporting county functions and provide larger, improved library space.
People questioned the amount of the proposed debt -- $8.5 million in certificates of obligation -- along with the cost of the repairs and renovations, the methods in choosing to go into debt, and how the proposed funds would be used.
Yet early voting numbers are dismal. Why the apathy?
If you pay Wilson County taxes, the $8.5 million will affect you.
Young voters may not think that Proposition 5, the reverse mortgage issue, is about them, but voting on this issue now will make a difference when you follow the natural path and grow old.
Water is one of the single most important issues on the ballot, especially in the wake of the ongoing drought and the state’s unprecedented population growth.
Proposition 6 concerns funding critical water resources, but is moving money around the right answer? Supporters say that moving $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund will prevent an increase in taxes to support water funding.
Opponents caution that, as written, this amendment will not provide additional sources of water. There also is the fear that this amendment gives additional clout to big-city needs at the expense of rural agricultural needs. Funds are already available through the Texas Water Development Board, and moving money from savings will limit the state’s ability to respond in a disaster or other emergency.
Whatever your opinions, if you live in Texas or pay taxes in Wilson County, there is plenty on the ballot that will affect your future.
In 1776, 56 men signed a document that changed the course of human events. They put their names on a piece of paper, knowing that doing so made them, their families, and their fortunes targets of the British government. But they believed so strongly in their course, they willingly made their choice known.
Because of them, we have representative government.
We have the right to say how our tax money is spent.
We have the right -- and the responsibility -- to vote.
For a list of the nine amendments, go here: http://bit.ly/1921W06. Early voting continues through Friday.
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November 5, 2013 11:46pm
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