Commentary

More thoughts on election propositions

November 3 will be your last opportunity to have an effect on the future direction of Texas. That is the final day to vote on the proposed constitutional amendments. I have mentioned several of what I feel are the more important proposals, but want to take time to mention the facts about several others that will also affect Texans.

I have previously shared propositions 2, 3, 4 and 11. The outcome of propositions 5, 8, 9 and 10 will also result in consequences for the taxpayers and citizens of Texas. Prop. 5 would allow the creation of a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining counties. I sometimes wonder why the propositions are not more citizen friendly. Board of equalization is commonly known as appraisal review board.

This amendment would help small and rural counties that have a difficult time finding qualified citizens willing to serve by allowing them to join with adjoining counties to combine their resources and create consolidated appraisal review boards.

The argument against this proposal is that if passed the amendment could be detrimental to a county's taxpayers who might have little or no effective recourse against a consolidated appraisal review board.

Prop. 8 pertains to the state being able to contribute money, property and other resources for the establishment of veterans hospitals in the state. If passed this amendment would allow Texas to contribute to the construction or operation of VA hospitals in the state so that the VA would be more likely to construct and operate hospitals within the state. The argument against is that the state should not have to contribute to pay for a federal project.

Prop. 9 is one that really should interest sportsmen and folks that like to stroll the beaches of Texas. This proposed amendment would protect the right of the public to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico. This amendment would add language to the Texas Constitution that would define "public beach."

Those in favor of this amendment cite the Open Beaches Act that already exists in this state, and insist that defining public beach would protect the public's access to public beaches from interference by private individuals or developers. Those opposed say the current Open Beaches Act already addresses public access and use of public beaches. Any additional language will make it more difficult to enact appropriate policy changes.

Prop. 10 would expand the terms of members of governing boards of emergency ser v ice districts from two years to four years. Currently the Texas Constitution limits the terms of state offices to two years unless otherwise specified.

Those supporting this proposition argue that board members could better ser ve the needs of the district by the valuable experience that they would gain through the longer term. On the other side opponents argue that emergency service districts are authorized to levy taxes and are an integral part of community emergency services. The twoyear term provides for improved public oversight compared to a four-year term.

As you can see, all of the proposals have pros and cons depending on whom you want to believe. Take time to educate yourself on the proposals, and take time to vote. Your vote for or against the proposals is the only way to make your voice heard.

You can obtain more information on the proposed amendments at www.capitol.state.tx.us. Educate yourself, make a decision on your stance that then do what is right for Texas; cast your vote.

fsummers@milamcounty.net


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2009-10-29 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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