On Nov. 3 Aransas County voters sent a clear message to local elected officials - we want a say in how tax dollars are spent. Fifty-three percent of the 11,633 voters voted against the $17.3 million bond for a Courthouse. Now Judge Mills is exploring the option of issuing a $13 million Tax Note instead of bringing a reasonable bond back to the voters in May.
He learned this trick from the Rockport City Council. They approved a Tax Note as a means of circumventing the certified petition to bring their $20.75 million CO bond to the citizens for a vote. Tax Notes are intended for emergency use – think of a bridge that is compromised. There is not enough time to go through the election process in May or November to restore basic services, so a tax note is the most expedient and prudent way of funding the repair or replacement of that bridge.
Building the county courthouse is not an emergency. The county is providing all services as expected in its current location. It has time to do this right. Conduct public meetings to review the space utilization. Conduct public meetings to review the financial picture – money from the insurance company, money from FEMA, money from other grants, etc. Conduct public meetings to gain support for the vision. The Judge’s Tax Note must be paid back in seven or 10 years instead of 20 years for a bond and this will result in a higher tax rate. The against voters on Proposition A gave a clear call to action to their elected representatives – Let Us Vote!
Katherine L. Kane
We try to teach young children it is wrong to bully. And we wind up with a blatant bully in the White House. The spineless satraps in the Republican Party are terrified to stand up to him for fear he’ll unleash a verbal barrage of insults upon them. They fear it will hurt them with his supporters and jeopardize their chance in 2024.
Everyone hoped that once he assumed office, he would adopt a more presidential demeanor. However, a tiger cannot change its stripes. He has no filter on his tongue or volume control on his rants. Disparaging handicapped people. Slinging insults at anyone who asks a tough question or gets in his way. Denigrating soldiers. “I like heroes who don’t get captured.” Calling members of the military suckers and losers. My father was at Pearl Harbor, my husband was in the Air Force during Vietnam, and my son was on the U.S. Theodore Roosevelt supporting missions over Turkey into Iraq. They are heroes; he is a coward.
And his dishonesty during this election cycle has not only been appalling; it also undermines our democracy and poses a serious threat to our national security. Our former allies are looking forward to a calmer, more reasoned approach to diplomacy. Maybe we can gain back some of the respect we lost during the “Make America Grim” regime. And maybe we can look forward to civility and respect toward our fellow citizens.
We know the times are bad.
We know the outlook is grim.
We’ve been there before.
We’re going there again.
We have everything we need
To get us through the bad.
Keep our nose to the grindstone.
Better days may lie ahead.