Liberty County voters will be asked to decide the outcome of seven important elections on Nov. 2, including funding for a new hospital in Liberty and a new clinic in Dayton, bond funding for new schools in Cleveland and the creation of a new municipal utility district.
“A typical November constitutional election does not see very many voters, and this election, there are five districts proposing tax rate changes and creation. With anticipated voter interest high, we are treating this as a full-scale election,” said Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush.
To make sure that people who are eligible to vote are ready to make their voices heard, Bush is reminding residents that the last day to register to vote in this election is Monday, Oct. 4.
To be eligible to vote, a person must be a United States citizen, must be 18 years of age or older before Election Day, cannot be a convicted felon unless they have completed their sentence, probation and parole, and cannot have been declared by a court to be either completely mentally incapacitated or partially incapacitated. Voters are assigned to precincts within the county based on where they claim their residence.
PLUM CREEK MUD #1
One of the more curious elections for Liberty County voters this November involves Plum Creek MUD #1 south of Plum Grove, located within Pct. 23.
“I don’t have any registered voters in that district to date, so I don’t know who will be eligible to vote in that election. The bulk of that district is in Harris County and Montgomery County. Right now, when I run a voter list for Liberty County, no one is in it,” explained Bush.
In the notice of election for Plum Creek MUD #1, the first proposition will be the confirmation of the creation of the district. Subsequent second propositions relate to the issuance of hundreds of millions in bonds for infrastructure within the district. To see the full notice of the election, go online to https://bluebonnetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Notice-of-Election-Plum-Creek-MD-1A.pdf.
Another important election – this one impacting a huge number of voters – is Cleveland ISD’s $150 million bond referendum. If approved, the zero tax rate increase bond will fund a new high school in the Grand San Jacinto community south of Plum Grove. Cleveland ISD remains the fastest-growing school district in the state and now has surpassed the 10,000 student milestone.
Cleveland ISD will hold steady at the tax rate of $0.375 per $100 valuation. The proposed new high school will be located on Grand San Jacinto Boulevard, directly across from Elementary No. 6 and Middle School No. 2. It will have its own mascot, colors and traditions. If Cleveland ISD voters approve the bond, creation of the new high school should also ease traffic woes in Cleveland at the start and end of school days.
HOSPITAL DISTRICT #1
Voters in Liberty County Hospital District #1 are being asked to support a referendum to build a new 51,000-square-foot Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, as well as a separate freestanding clinic north of downtown Dayton. The referendum involves two separate propositions – one that will increase taxes to a rate not to exceed $0.18 per $100 valuation and one that will allow the District to obtain general obligation bonds not to exceed $43 million to pay for the purchase, construction, repair and renovation of buildings, and quipping the buildings for hospital purposes. To see the entire notice of election, go online to https://bluebonnetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Hospital-Order-Calling-for-Election.pdf
Liberty County Emergency Services District #2, which serves the Hull and Daisetta area, is calling an election that will allow a adopt a sales and use tax that will help fund emergency services within the District. More information can be found at https://bluebonnetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/LCESD-2-Resolution-and-Order.pdf
Faced with sinking property valuations associated with Boomerang Tube, Liberty ISD is asking voters to consider setting the tax rate of $1.35131 for the 2021-2022 school year. While this is a higher tax rate than it was in 2019 and 2020, it is lower than rates in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Failure to adopt this tax rate will result in a deficit budget of $1.2 million dollars for 2021-2022 and each year thereafter. To read more about this referendum, go online to https://bluebonnetnews.com/2021/08/23/sinking-valuations-force-liberty-isd-to-seek-property-tax-increase/ or https://bluebonnetnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Liberty-ISD-order.pdf.
TEXAS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Here is a breakdown of each of the eight amendments:
Proposition 1 (HJR 143)
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.”
Proposition 2 (HJR 99)
“The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”
Proposition 3 (SJR 27)
“The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”
Proposition 4 (SJR 47)
“The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.”
Proposition 5 (HJR 165)
“The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”
Proposition 6 (SJR 19)
“The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”
Proposition 7 (HJR 125)
“The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.”
Proposition 8 (SJR 35)
“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 or fatally injured in the line of duty.”
REMEMBER YOUR IDENTIFICATION CARD
When you go to vote, make sure to bring a photo ID card. The ID should be up to date or expired within the last four years. Voters 70 or older can bring a photo ID that has been expired for any length of time. If you had trouble getting an ID and can’t get one, here are some alternatives:
- government document showing your name and an address, such as your voter registration certificate
- current utility bill
- bank statement
- government check
- birth certificate
If you use one of these, you’ll have to sign a form that says you had a reasonable impediment to getting an ID.
Polling locations will be announced in a separate article.