Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


November 6, 2013

JISD bond package, statewide propositions garner voter approval


 The $22.8 million Jacksonville ISD bond package squeaked through to passage Tuesday night – with as few as 49 votes making all the difference in whether a new West Side Elementary School, eight new classrooms and a band hall at Nichols Intermediate School would ever see construction.

Meanwhile, all nine proposed state constitutional amendments saw statewide passage by a much larger margin.

It took Cherokee County election workers over three hours to tally election totals. The final count showed 831 votes cast in favor of the Jacksonville ISD bond package and 782 votes against.

The margin of success for the Jacksonville ISD was much higher in early voting results, which saw 490 early votes cast for and 324 against for a total of 814.

Jacksonville ISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell sat with several members of his JISD staff and reporters in an adjacent room at Cherokee County Election headquarters in Rusk as county employees processed election results. The JISD staff members broke into cheers when learning of the election success.

Just short of three hours into the waiting, a surreal "Truman-Dewey" moment presented itself when a TV station incorrectly reported the JISD bond election had already passed, prompting laughter from the JISD-employee filled room.

That erroneous news report, believed to be mistakenly based on early voting results, was quickly recanted by that station, although the same results became true roughly 45 minutes or so later.

In the first real-time comment offered after learning of the bond package's passage, Dr. Wardell thanked the members of the political action committee that helped promote the bond election. He said the voters have, essentially, spoken.

"It's a great day for Jacksonville schools and for the kids," Dr. Wardell said. "We have always had great community support …  A lot of this reflects our academic success.  … We really appreciate that."

Meanwhile, the passage of Proposition 6 and its emphasis on water rights drew praise from Lone Star-strong organizations such as the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

In a news release, TSCRA President Pete Bonds said  funds made available by the vote will help finance priority water projects for the state, including rural and agricultural conservation projects.

“Ranchers know firsthand that because of drought, water has been a scarce resource," Bonds said. "Proposition 6 is a necessary step in providing a mechanism to help finance our state’s water needs, so we can all can continue to have safe and reliable sources of water."

Following are the unofficial state amendment election results as of 11:44 p.m. Tuesday:

1. Proposition 1 – (HJR 62) 86.95 percent FOR and 13.04 percent AGAINST: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed in action.

2. Proposition 2 – (HJR 79) 84.69 percent FOR and 15.30 percent AGAINST: The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.

3. Proposition 3 – (HJR 133) 57.70 percent FOR and 42.29 percent AGAINST The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.

4. Proposition 4 – (HJR 24) 85.10 percent FOR and 14.89 percent AGAINST: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.

5. Proposition 5 – (SJR 18) 62.56 percent FOR and 37.43 percent against: The constitutional amendment to authorize the making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property and to amend lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.

6. Proposition 6 – (SJR 1) 73.32 percent FOR and 26.67 percent against: The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources. 

7. Proposition 7 – (HJR 87) 74.37 percent FOR and 25.62 percent against: The constitutional amendment authorizing a home-rule municipality to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.

8. Proposition 8 – (HJR 147 and SJR 54) 72.34 percent FOR and 27.65 percent AGAINST: The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.

9. Proposition 9 – (SJR 42) 84.63 percent FOR and 15.36 percent AGAINST: The constitutional amendment relating to expanding the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. 


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