Voters start balloting for key local elections

Posted Sunday, Apr. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Early voting for May 10 local elections begins Monday and continues through May 6.

With city council elections from Arlington to Watauga, a $292 million bond election in Fort Worth, proposed city charter amendments in Bedford, sales-tax financing for a grand recreation center/water park/playground in Grand Prairie, a $663.1 million school bond election in Arlington and nine school board elections across Tarrant County, voters have an opportunity to make their voices heard on races and issues close to home.

The Star-Telegram Editorial board has interviewed candidates and studied the issues in several key elections and offers these recommendations for consideration as voters make up their minds.

Arlington

The school district bond proposal is the election’s biggest feature, both in dollars and its potential impact on Arlington residents. The package covers a variety of projects and programs, but it is listed on the ballot as a single $663.1 million proposition.

The Editorial Board recommends a vote for the proposition. It presents a vision of excellence for the school district that’s well conceived and thoroughly planned.

One seat is open on the Arlington school board. The Editorial Board recommends Kecia Mays for that seat based on her prior service to the district.

There are contested elections for two Arlington City Council seats. The Editorial Board recommends the two incumbents, Robert Shepard in District 6 and Jimmy Bennett in District 7.

The Editorial Board also recommends a vote for continuing Arlington’s one-fourth-cent sales tax for street maintenance.

Euless

In a milestone moment for Euless, Mayor Mary Lib Saleh has decided not to seek re-election after 21 years in the city’s top elected office. She served four years on the council before that.

The Editorial Board recommends Linda Martin, a council member since 2004, for mayor of Euless.

Fort Worth

It’s a big election year for Fort Worth despite being an off-year for City Council elections.

The council has proposed a $292 million bond package broken down into seven propositions covering specific expenditure areas. The largest is $219.7 million for neighborhood streets, major roads and other transportation improvements.

Other propositions target expenditures for parks, recreation centers and community centers; the library system; fire safety; municipal court; municipal service facilities and animal care and control facilities.

The Editorial Board recommends voting for all seven propositions.

Voters will decide whether to continue Fort Worth’s half-cent sales tax to pay for crime-fighting programs. The Editorial Board is for that proposal.

Finally, Councilman Joel Burns has decided to resign his District 9 seat a year early to enroll in a program at Harvard. From a field of worthy candidates, the Editorial Board recommends six-year Zoning Commission member Ann Zadeh for the District 9 position.

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