On Tuesday, 11 percent of Liberty County’s eligible voters turned out to the polls and voted “NO” to every tax increase requested by our current government.
Liberty County even voted down a statewide proposition that would allow county governments to finance certain infrastructure through bonds. Just seeing the words “finance” and “government” in the proposition’s wording caused voters to say, “No thanks.” That speaks volumes.
Why? The answer is easy. Normal, hard-working citizens are saying, “It doesn’t matter how worthy your project may be, “I literally have no more money to give you.” The response should not be one of talking down to the voters or expressing disappointment that an unrelated second tax increase didn’t pass, throwing in the “but it’s for the children” line for good measure.
No one is against healthcare.
No one hates the kids.
What people are unhappy about is the seemingly tone-deaf nature of our leaders – from local boards to the White House. As I, and others, told the Liberty City Council and the Liberty County Hospital District #1, families have to set priorities when money is tight; and so does the government.
What should have occurred in our community is for area elected leaders to have gotten together, acknowledged the pain caused by Boomerang’s decreased valuations, and then identified what should be the priority for the next year to improve life of Liberty County citizens. Was it a new hospital? Was it keeping the school district on budget? Was it bailing out Cleveland ISD? Was it road improvements, or the upcoming county-wide tax for a new drainage district? The answer, quite simply, cannot be “all of the above.”
Voters aren’t dumb. They’re pastors. They’re small business owners. They’re parents. And over the past two weeks, they rose up and said, “Whoa, wait a minute, what exactly is everyone doing?”
What our elected leaders can take from this lesson is this: Work together, across city lines and across the river. The days of fiefdoms are over.
Liberty, Texas attorney