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Roanoke mayor worries about liquor store approvals

Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch is none too pleased that voters cleared the way for liquor stores in the city, which straddles Denton and Tarrant counties.

"I don't think it's that positive a thing to happen in Roanoke," Gierisch said. "There are a lot of families here and a lot of churches as well. I had one call this morning right off the bat from an individual who was quite distraught at the result. I was pretty upset, too."

Voters on Tuesday approved the measure 52 percent to 48 percent.

The City Council will look at establishing areas where liquor stores will be allowed, Gierisch said.

"We have to sit down as a council and determine whether that's what we want to do. You don't want to saturate the city and have one [package store] on every corner," he said.

He said some of the spots could be along Texas 114 and Texas 170, away from downtown, which has become a hot spot for diners, featuring popular restaurants such as Cowboy Chow and Babe's Chicken Dinner House.

Gierisch said he and other residents are concerned about the effect liquor stores could have on the community's hometown feel.

City Manager Jimmy Stathatos speculated that voters approved the proposition more for the convenience than for a perceived economic impact on the city, 95 percent of which is in Denton County.

"It won't be a major financial boon to the city, just another type of economic development we can attract," he said. "We're fortunate that we're attracting a lot of economic development projects."

Haltom City bond package

Voters in Haltom City rejected three of six bond propositions Tuesday, and Mayor Bill Lanford acknowledged that asking residents to approve $39.2 million in debt was too much.

"I thought all of [the propositions] were worthy, but $39 million may have been a little steep all in one bite for most of our citizens," Lanford said.

Here's what propositions passed:

Proposition 1, $12.2 million for street maintenance.

Proposition 2, $3.7 million for a new fire station.

Proposition 6, $5.4 million for park improvements.

Failing propositions were:

Proposition 3, $8.5 million for a new law enforcement center.

Proposition 4, $6.4 million for a new city hall.

Proposition 5, $3 million for expanding and remodeling the recreation center.

Bond chairwoman Sharon Sherley-Mylius said she is "not disappointed in the outcome by any means. I feel the citizens were faced with a very difficult situation because of the economic climate and budget issues. They told the council what their priorities are right now."

Alvarado school bond

Alvarado school district voters rejected a $44 million bond proposal that included a new junior high school.

The package also had various upgrades, such as a new high school auditorium and an improved parking lot at the football stadium. The measure failed 55 percent to 45 percent, according to unofficial results from the district.

"Citizens have the right to vote whichever way they feel," Superintendent Chester Juroska said in a release. "That's one of the great things about our country. However, I am disappointed that our students in Alvarado will not have the same resources and opportunities as others in our area."

School officials said they will re-evaluate and try to better educate the public on the district's needs.

Weatherford charter

Weatherford voters approved all five proposed charter changes.

Proposition 1 increases council terms from two to three years.

Proposition 2 redefines offices of the city manager, city secretary, city attorney and the administrative departments.

Proposition 3 simplifies ordinance procedures and makes them comply with state law.

Proposition 4 replaces taxation article with a budget and finance article.

Proposition 5 simplifies and makes the charter language gender-neutral.

Cleburne sales tax

Cleburne officials were disappointed after voters rejected a proposition to levy a quarter-cent sales tax for street maintenance and repairs.

In unofficial returns, almost 60 percent of voters denied the proposition.

Mayor Justin Hewlett said Wednesday that the City Council called the election in early September, a day before the deadline to include the proposal on the ballot.

"I think it was the mood of the people that had something to do with it," Hewlett said. "There was a negative connotation because it involved a tax."

The council plans to discuss whether to call another sales tax election at its next meeting.

Staff writers Elizabeth Campbell and Eva-Marie Ayala contributed to this report.

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