Voters pass Props & Aldine bond; HERO dead, mayor in runoff

HARRIS COUNTY – Local voters showed support for their elected officials and passed every proposition in the state, county, last Tuesday, November 3.

Aldine voters approved a $798 million bond proposal for the construction of new schools, renovations, enhancements and other projects to meet the growth needs of the school district over the next five years.

In Harris County, all seven Propositions passed. Proposition 1 for road improvements at about $700 M. passed by 73% to 27%.

Proposition 2 about funding improvements to parks passed 64% to 36%.

Proposition #3 for an improved animal shelter passed 62% to 38%, the lowest of all county percentages.

Proposition 4 for flood control work passed 74% to 26% So the county can spend $64 M. to drain the areas.

One Proposition that did not pass was the City of Houston, Proposition 1, the HERO proposition was voted down 39% to 61% on election day.

For Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner had 32% and Bill King had 25% while Adrian Garcia had 15%. Turner and King will face each other again in a run-off election in December.

According to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, “Texans have spoken loud and clear by voting all seven propositions into law today from property tax relief to transportation.

“Rest assured, today’s vote on property tax relief is only the first step in providing property owners real tax relief. I wanted a huge margin victory to give us the clout to do more property tax relief next session. I think today’s win should end the opposition by some who opposed reducing property taxes last session.

“Texans have also spoken to significantly improving transportation funding for Texas’ roads and highways. Government transparency will be increased as well as veteran benefits and our right to hunt and fish will be placed in our constitution. These are all steps in the right direction. However, we’re still not done.

“All seven constitutional amendments are important and affect us all. Thanks to everyone who voted today: as a result, Texas is a better place.”

Many initiatives were predicated upon property taxes and keeping them low. The county tax rate remains the same but as the county population grows the demand is higher so the evaluations will grow as properties sell for higher amounts. The valuations will also grow so by that factor taxes may also grow. Nobody talked about that.

Aldine voters overwhelmingly approve $798 million bond referendum

Aldine ISD officials said 9,640 voted for the proposal and 3,663 voted against it. The referendum passed by a 72% margin.

“We are delighted with these results and want to thank the Aldine community for its support in passing the bond referendum in such an overwhelming fashion,” said Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg. “I am excited and grateful for the community’s support as we plan for the future in Aldine. I also want to thank the Steering Committee members who helped us plan for the bond and provided input during the planning process.”

The bond referendum will provide funding for major renovations at some campuses including Carver High School, Aldine High School, Anderson Academy and MacArthur High School.

The referendum will also provide technology upgrades throughout the district and the installation of WiFi at all Aldine campuses to improve Internet access.

The bond referendum will also address safety and security with security camera additions and upgrades at all facilities, the installation of GPS on all buses, the installation of automated door lock systems and additional fencing.

Other improvements include the renovation of Smith Stadium, the renovation of middle school auditoriums, swimming pool upgrades, the construction of a north side transportation facility, parking lot expansions, and land purchases.

The district will sell bonds as needed for the construction of new schools, renovations, purchases, replacements and improvements that are outlined in the proposal.

The bond referendum should have a minimal impact on taxpayers because voters in Texas approved Proposition 1 in the November election.

Proposition 1 changes the homestead exemption amount for school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000, which means a house valued at $100,000 in Aldine would be taxed at $75,000 in the future.

Four incumbents returned to AISD Board positions

Voters in Aldine ISD returned four incumbents to their respective seats on the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, November 3.

Patricia Ann Bourgeois returned to the Position 1 seat, Paul Shanklin returned to the Position 2 seat, Merlin Griggs returned to the Position 6 seat and Dr. Viola M. Garcia returned to the Position 7 seat. Griggs and Dr. Garcia ran unopposed for their respective seat.

Bourgeois defeated Tony Diaz for the Position 2 seat. She received 5,818 votes to Diaz’s 5,813 votes.

Shanklin defeated Carleen “Jinx” Kerr in the Position 2 race. Shanklin received 6,937 votes to Kerr’s 3,451 votes.