Voters in GISD bond election say 'no' to all three propositions
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Nov 05, 2013 | 2828 views | 13 13 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voters in the Gilmer Independent School District soundly rejected all three propositions of a proposed $36.2 million bond issue package Tuesday.

In complete, but unofficial returns, Proposition 1, mainly for a new $30 million high school, lost 1,468-978, while Proposition 2 for new classrooms at Bruce Junior High School was defeated 1,392-1,051 and Proposition 3 for a new multi-purpose facility at the high school campus was defeated 1,696-741, said Gilmer ISD Supt. Rick Albritton. Proposition 3 would have been approved only if Proposition 1 passed.

Total turnout was 2,449 of the school district's 10,507 voters, said school board Vice-President Mike Tackett.

School officials had said the current high school, which was originally constructed in 1950 before undergoing major renovations and additions since, had inadequate science laboratory facilities, inadequate bathrooms, and that millions would have to be spent to repair the roof and air conditioning system on an aging building that was coming to the end of its life.

But bond issue opponents, who favored renovating the school instead, had objected to the 21.2 percent tax hike that would have occurred had all three propositions passed, and to the overall size of the bond issue in the current economy.

Tiffany de Gala, member of a political action committee which opposed the bond proposals, said upon learning the returns from The Mirror, "I would just say that we are very happy with the outcome. We're extremely happy with the voter turnout and we feel that this really shows how the community feels about the proposals.

"We hope that, you know, perhaps the school board might go back to the drawing board and come up wtih a more cost-effective solution to the issues that we face as a school district."

Albritton called the outcome "a very difficult loss," saying "apparently the community's not ready for this at this time, so we'll continue to go forward. . .and we will figure it out."

He said most bond opponents he had heard complained "it's very difficult times and the tax increase was something they thought they just couldn't afford." He also said the issue apparently won approval among voters in the city limits, but failed in rural areas.

"The one thing the opposition did say that is true is that Gilmer ISD is not just a facility. . .We will continue to be a great school in academics and all activities, as we always have."

Tackett meantime said, "The community has given direction of their concerns and their feeling for the propositions. We appreciate all those who came out to vote, and we'll serve the community as best we can in the future." Albritton also thanked all those who voted, and Linda Koudelka, who chaired the political action committee that supported passage.

From GISD: Bond Election Does Not Pass

Please see attached for details.

Bond results 2013.pdf

***********************

Gilmer ISD voters defeated Prop 1 60 to 40 percent, Prop 2 57 to 43 percent and Prop 3 70 to 30 percent.

All nine propositions on the state Constitutional amendment ballot passed.

Texas Secretary of State - Election Night Returns

Office of the Secretary of State

2013 Constitutional Amendment Election

Election Night Returns

for UPSHUR COUNTY

11/6/2013 5:24:29 AM

RACE NAME PARTY EARLY VOTES PERCENT TOTAL VOTES PERCENT

Prop 1 Ad valorem tax exempt of homestead for one's spouse killed in action

IN FAVOR 684 80.75% 1,915 82.57%

AGAINST 163 19.24% 404 17.42%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 847 2,319

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.98% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 2 Eliminate the State Medical Board and its Education Fund

IN FAVOR 678 81.58% 1,833 80.18%

AGAINST 153 18.41% 453 19.81%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 831 2,286

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.85% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 3 Extend # of days that aircraft parts are exempt from ad valorem tax

IN FAVOR 454 55.56% 1,178 52.80%

AGAINST 363 44.43% 1,053 47.19%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 817 2,231

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.64% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 4 Exempt from ad valorem tax of donated home to a disabled vet

IN FAVOR 667 79.31% 1,857 80.63%

AGAINST 174 20.68% 446 19.36%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 841 2,303

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.92% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 5 Authorize reverse mortgage loans when purchasing homestead property

IN FAVOR 439 53.93% 1,174 52.69%

AGAINST 375 46.06% 1,054 47.30%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 814 2,228

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.63% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 6 Create a State Water Implementation Fund

IN FAVOR 449 54.03% 1,067 46.65%

AGAINST 382 45.96% 1,220 53.34%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 831 2,287

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.86% 25,808 Registered Voters

----------------------------------------

Prop 7 Authorize home-rule cities to fill vacancy procedures in charter

IN FAVOR 565 69.24% 1,497 66.97%

AGAINST 251 30.75% 738 33.02%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 816 2,235

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.66% 25,808 Registered Voters

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Prop 8 Repeal TX Constitution's max tax rate for a Hidalgo Co hosp district

IN FAVOR 503 65.15% 1,372 64.96%

AGAINST 269 34.84% 740 35.03%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 772 2,112

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.18% 25,808 Registered Voters

----------------------------------------

Prop 9 Expand potential sanctions against a judge or justice

IN FAVOR 630 76.82% 1,720 76.71%

AGAINST 190 23.17% 522 23.28%

----------- -----------

Total Votes Cast 820 2,242

Early Provisional Ballots Reported 1

Total Provisional Ballots Reported 6

Precincts Reported 22 of 22 Precincts 100.00%

* County Turnout 8.68% 25,808 Registered Voters

********************

Elections on a proposed $36.2 million bond issue for the Gilmer Independent School District, and on nine proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, are scheduled Tuesday.

Polls will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Voting locations for the bond election will be completely different from the normal polling places for Gilmer school-related elections because the school and county are holding joint voting in the bond and amendment elections.

Early voting ended in Gilmer Friday for both the bond issue, which is only for residents of Gilmer ISD, and the statewide amendment election.

As of the close of voting Wednesday afternoon, some 1,025 persons had voted early in the bond election, said Gilmer ISD spokeswoman Judy Moore, while 660 had cast early ballots in the amendment election as of about 9:40 a.m. Thursday, said Deputy County Clerk Greg Dodson.

Only four polling places will be open Tuesday—the Glenwood Water Supply Corp. for residents of county Commissioner Pt. 1; Assembly of God in Gilmer for residents of Commissioner Pct. 2; the Pritchett Community Center for residents of Commissioner Pct. 3; and the Upshur County Library in Gilmer for residents of Commissioner Pct. 4.

Voters who are unsure which location they are supposed to go may call the County Clerk’s Office at 903-843-4015 or the Upshur County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office at 903-843-3089. Photo identification, such as a driver’s license or concealed carry license, is required for voting.

The bond issue, which would result in a 21 percent tax increase of 25.35 cents per $100 valuation if approved in full, is divided into three propositions on the ballot.

Proposition 1 would provide $30,690,000 for building a new 122,000-square-foot high school; razing the current high school, part of which was built in 1950 before undergoing renovation/additions; and renovating the first floor of the old vocational building to house the school district’s administrative offices.

Passage would raise the tax rate about 21.5 cents.

Proposition 2 includes $3,365,000 for adding science, fine art and self-contained classrooms at Bruce Junior High to replace a building reportedly erected in the 1960s, and providing more parking at the elementary and intermediate campuses. Passage would raise the tax rate about 2.5 cents.

Proposition 3, which would be approved only if both it and Proposition 1 pass, would provide $2,155,000 for a multipurpose facility at the high school to be used for various extracurricular activities and other potential functions. Passage would raise the tax rate about 1.5 cents.

A tie vote on a proposition would result in passage.

Among reasons which school officials have cited for proposing the bond issue are the current high school’s age, the high cost which would be required for renovating its roof and air conditioning/heating system, and inadequate science laboratory facilities and bathrooms.

Supporters also cite current low interest rates and contend that waiting longer to build would result in a facility costing more than the proposed $30 million.

Bond issue opponents have argued against the tax increase, say the bond issue is too large, contend renovation is a better option, and have particularly criticized the proposed multipurpose facility as unnecessary.

A summation of the proposed Constitutional amendments is as follows:

Number 1—Allows partial or full property tax exemption for surviving spouse of a military member who is killed in action; Number 2—Eliminates obsolute requirement for State Medical Educational Board and a State Medical Educational Fund, neither of which is operational; Number 3—Allows extending the tax exemption period on storing aircraft parts in Texas.

Number 4—Allows partial ad valorem tax exemption for the homesteads of partially disabled veterans, or surviving spouses of such a veteran, if the home was donated to the veteran by a charitable organization; Number 5—Allows making certain reverse mortgage loans.

Number 6—Creates funds for water-related projects; Number 7—Allows a home-rule city (such as Gilmer) to fill a vacancy in its governing body without an election is the unexpired term is 12 months or less; Number 8—Repeals a part of the state Constitution limiting the tax rate for districts in Hidalgo County, thus allowing voters there to create a hospital district; Number 9—Expands the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Comments
(13)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Scrap
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November 08, 2013
I can understand the voting down of Prop. 2 and 3, but I cannot understand the voting down of a new high school. The only group that lost here were the students of Gilmer High School. I have kept up with this in the newspaper, and for group and the against group remind me of our Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington, "No Class".
1supporter
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November 10, 2013
Was just reading the Longview News Journal, seems White Oak is considering a new High School. It appears their community is behind their kids, school and school board, with a willingness to have a .34 cent taxes increase- WOW-. As one person said if you can't do it for your kids, what can you sacrifice for.
Just Curious
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November 11, 2013
How many students in White Oak are on free or reduced lunch? You really have to consider the demographics of the voting populations when making comparisons. Gilmer is a poor community. It's not about denying the kids a newer, nicer building. It's about what the general population can afford.
A "liberate"
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November 07, 2013
"liberates" is not the word you're looking for, you dolt.

And a new school is not a handout or in any way related to big government.

Heck No
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November 07, 2013
The Yes crowd should be ashamed how they conducted themselves.

Bashing people, arm twisting, skewing the facts, yelling at people, pulling up signs, getting people out of nursing homes to vote, trying to make them vote during school functions including elementary.

This bunch has pulled out every sneaky trick, this was rammed through in a big hurry to catch people off guard. Albritton has pulled shady crap at the voting areas. Even brought ballot boxes in to courthouse (MAJOR ETHICS VIOLATION).

We exercised our voting rights and VOTED NO !!

Time to make changes to the school board and others. Time to take back our Schools.

1supporter
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November 07, 2013
WOW, instead of addressing the need for a building, you want to smear the Administration, sad, very sad.
Heck No
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November 08, 2013
Smear?

I have Stated the Facts.

We did address the building NO new building it is not needed , now fix it.

Education will not change due to a new facility.

The emphasis is on Football in this system, ask any teacher they resent it and I have spoken to plenty.

Huge amounts of money have been funneled to Football that should have been spent on Maintaining these facilities and Education and these are the FACTS like them or not.

Vote out all board members and change staff. Time for a Purge.

Put up or shut up
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November 09, 2013
Seems someone just wants to blab! You toss out

slanderous remarks that lack truth. You apparently know nothing about Albritton or the election codes.

It is sad that you bash (see your own comments) and then want to say how mistreated you no voters are.

Maybe you should check with your own folk and see how they treated the Yes voters. Have you heard the pot calling the kettle black?? Get over it. Your right, the vote is done. Sad face!
1supporter
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November 10, 2013
Looking forward to seeing your name on a ballot and your platform!
You are so dumb
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November 11, 2013
Heck no, I'm sorry but you are an idiot. Everything you just mentioned is exactly what you are doing in your post as well as what both crowds were probably doing throughout the election. There were plenty of Yes signs that were pulled up before the no signs were even out. So if anything the yes croud learned it from you. You did excersise your right to vote and thats a good thing, but unfortuneatly thats where it ends for you.



GISD plainly gave out the information and the facts, as well as tried to get the information out to as many people as possible. If anyone is skewing the facts it is ignorant people like you.



There is by mail voting where official ballots can be mailed to the voter and mailed back to be included in the polls, so no elderly people were unneccarily harmed in this election. Some people might actually think it is convenient to have remote voting sites at school functions like at the elementary or football games, since well, thats were they were going to be anyway. The PAC against the Bond Election didn't think it was wrong to set up tables in front of those remote voting sites to tell people to vote no, so im not sure what your argument is there.



If you had any idea of the election process you would know that the ballots are locked and sealed by county officials. There is no ethical issue with GISD transporting the ballots to the courthouse from the polls. I'm sorry you documented complete ignorance and would ask that next time please know what you are talking about before you post.



The no crowd constantly has called Mr. Albritton names and even brought up his family in poor taste. If you want to talk about ethics, why don't you go back to the basics and recieve some good old fashioned home training. I would hope if someone threw your children in your face in a negative way it would offend you, but it probably wouldnt.





I will be curious to see the turnout at the polls for the next Board election. Pretty sure anyone running against you or what you support couldn't pick your nonsense apart in a debate in about 30 seconds.



Anyway, please don't publish any more ignorance, and if you are going to bash and talk negatively about people litarally by saying they are bashing and talking negatively about people, you sound so stupid!
1supporter
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November 06, 2013
There are no winners in this outcome, and most importantly the future our community, our children, are the losers. So sad that we adults, leaders and supporetrs don't value their education.
anonymous
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November 07, 2013
They still have a school. Maybe it has to do with to much government involvement. But, I forgot all the liberates in upshur county want bigger government. more hand outs. While they line their pockets and the rest get the shaft.
1supporter
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November 07, 2013
I am not sure what big government has to do with a school building, nor is it related to a handout, political sides are a nonfactor on this one.