The political world is already looking ahead to next year’s elections, particularly presidential primaries. But voters have a chance to affect their communities right now. Early voting is over, but you can cast a ballot Tuesday. Here are our recommendations on some of the major ballot items Tarrant County voters will see.
STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Ten proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution are on the ballot.
Proposition 1: For. This amendment will help rural parts of Texas ensure they have municipal judges by allowing elected judges to serve more than one area.
Proposition 2: For. Texas Water Development Board bonds will help bring water and sewer projects to areas that need them, particularly in border counties.
Proposition 3: For. Texans hit by a disaster deserve a temporary property tax break.
Proposition 4: For. If Texas ever creates an income tax, it’ll never go away. So the bar to doing it should be as high as possible, which this amendment would ensure. (Avoid confusion: If you’re against an income tax, you’re voting “for” the amendment, not “against” the tax.)
Proposition 5: For. Our state parks deserve a dedicated revenue stream, and this amendment will strike a small blow for truth in budgeting.
Proposition 6: For. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas can do a lot of good with $3 billion more in bond leeway.
Proposition 7: For. This will allow state officials to draw more money from the Permanent School Fund for technology and instructional materials.
Proposition 8: For. Regional flood control projects will get a boost from this amendment.
Proposition 9: Against. A property tax exemption for bullion stored in a state depository is unnecessary. Bullion isn’t taxed as property now.
Proposition 10: For. Law-enforcement animals should be allowed to retire with the handlers they’ve known throughout their lives.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Hey, who writes these editorials?
Editorials are the positions of the Editorial Board, which serves as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s institutional voice. The members of the board are: Cynthia M. Allen, columnist; Steve Coffman, executive editor; Bud Kennedy, columnist; Juan Antonio Ramos, editorial director of La Estrella, the Star-Telegram’s bilingual publication; and Ryan J. Rusak, opinion editor. Most editorials are written by Rusak and edited by Coffman. Editorials are unsigned because they represent the board’s consensus positions, not the views of individual writers.
Read more by clicking the arrow in the upper right.
How are topics and positions chosen?
The Editorial Board meets regularly to discuss issues in the news and what points should be made in editorials. We strive to build a consensus to produce the strongest editorials possible, but when we differ, we put matters to a vote.
The board aims to be consistent with stances it has taken in the past but usually engages in a fresh discussion based on new developments and different perspectives.
We focus on local and state news, though we will also weigh in on national issues with an eye toward their impact on Texas or the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
How are these different from news articles or signed columns?
News reporters strive to keep their opinions out of what they write. They have no input on the Editorial Board’s stances. The board consults their reporting and expertise but does its own research for editorials.
Signed columns by writers such as Allen, Kennedy and Rusak contain the writer’s personal opinions.
TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE BOND
For. Tarrant County College is an economic engine for our area. It fills a vast range of needs for reasonable costs. This $825 million bond, the first the district has sought in a generation, will modernize each of the college’s campuses and help it continue to educate future students and workers. All in all, it’s a bargain.
FORT WORTH SCHOOL BOARD
District 4: Daphne Brookins. In this special election to replace longtime trustee T.A. Sims, southeast Fort Worth can elect a candidate with extensive experience on education matters and a strong sense of what students need to be ready for the workforce. Brookins, a youth administrator for Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, deserves the nod over Johnny Cook-Muhammad and Terry D.T. Miles.
ARLINGTON ISD BOND
For. The school district’s $966 million bond will help reshape the district to serve the population better. District officials have smart plans to replace certain school buildings and renovate others and to invest in pre-kindergarten career education, athletics and arts.
KELLER ISD BOND
For. This bond proposal, at $315 million, has drawn questions about whether the district should take on more debt, especially to build extracurricular facilities at high schools. But the district has smartly prioritized construction and renovation projects.