New Diana ISD voters say no
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
May 15, 2014 | 942 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voters in the New Diana Independent School District overwhelmingly rejected a proposed $15 million school bond issue Saturday, while Ore City voters renewed a sales tax and narrowly ousted a city council member. Big Sandy voters reelected two city council members, but ousted another.

In complete, unofficial returns, the bond issue for new facilities, including about 16 new classrooms, lost 540 to 133—a margin of more than 4-1. It would have raised property taxes by up to 37 cents per $100 valuation.

Asked by The Mirror Saturday night if he thought the size of the proposed tax increase was why the bond issue failed, New Diana School Supt. Carl Key said, “I’m sure it was a part of it. I don’t know it was the deciding factor.

“We tried to get the word out for everyone (to vote). . . We had a very good turnout,” Key said.

In Ore City, city voters renewed a one-fourth of one percent sales tax for street repairs by a vote of 65 to 23 in complete, unofficial returns, while Steve Heim apparently ousted incumbent Councilwoman Jeannette Orms by only four votes, 48 to 44 in unofficial returns, for a 1-year unexpired term.

Ms. Orms had chosen to run for the unexpired term of the late Bonnie Caldwell, who died recently, rather than seek reelection to a full term.

In Big Sandy, a light turnout reelected incumbents Rex Rozell and Monica DeCuir, while newcomer Sue Jones effectively ousted incumbent John Worden, who was seeking reelection.

Unofficial vote totals were Rozell, 39; Mrs. DeCuir, 38; Ms. Jones, 26; and Worden, 19, according to City Secretary Laura Moody.

A city spokeswoman said 32 of the 48 voters who cast ballots voted early before Saturday. While votes in the New Diana and Ore City elections were tabulated at the Upshur County Courthouse in Gilmer, Ms. Moody said Big Sandy was planning to have its electronic votes tabulated in Gregg County in order to save money, and to count its own paper ballots.
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