Local Elections

Opinion: I Will Vote No on the Richardson ISD TRE

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Submitted by Murphy McNutt

My husband and I recently moved to Richardson. I enjoyed growing up in the Richardson Heights and Canyon Creek areas. When we finally decided that we outgrew our home in the Bishop Arts area, we decided to start looking for houses in Richardson to be closer to family. We already discussed that we’d like to have our first child in the next few years, so we decided it would be best to make schools a higher priority in our hunt for a new home.

We looked long and hard for a home that fit within our budget and determined that the Reservation neighborhood in Richardson was where we wanted to plant our roots. It felt quite nostalgic being back in a city where I had many fond memories as a little girl. It was perfect.

Like most responsible adults, we live within our means, which means creating an accurate and sustainable budget. Ultimately, we could’ve spent a little less on a house, but we also would’ve been confined to underperforming schools or expensive private schools. After a lot of consideration (and a hard sell to move here by my family that’s lived here for decades,) we spent a little bit more on our house so our future kids could attend Mohawk Elementary and eventually JJ Pearce High School.

We figured out what our long-term budget needed to be to make this work. We turned our previous property into a rental property to generate additional income (which was a scary leap of faith to have TWO mortgages,) and we determined what we needed to save and invest, so that we are prepared for our future family. As it stands, my husband’s salary alone will not cover our family for when I become pregnant, so we needed to account for that by saving.

We knew property taxes would inevitably go up because of the market we are in, and we made sure to account for that, in addition to health insurance and general inflation on nearly everything else. What we didn’t account for was the school district proposing a MAXIMUM property tax increase of 12.5% upon moving into our new home.

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Shocking Video – School District Electioneers at Early Voting Parties

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“A joint investigation by Direct Action Texas and Empower Texans reveals Lancaster ISD employees advocated for a tax rate proposition at “back to school” parties inside polls.”

Article by Erin Anderson of Empower Texans

“A North Texas school district used controversial, and possibly illegal, tactics to help ensure passage of a property tax rate proposition that will result in more tax revenue for the district and higher tax bills for taxpayers.

A joint investigation by Direct Action Texas and Empower Texans took a look at “back-to-school” parties for parents held inside campus polling locations in Lancaster Independent School District. The parties were on the same day, at the same time, and at the same schools as the early voting polls.

Lancaster ISD used what’s called “rolling polling” during early voting for its August 25 tax ratification election, moving polling locations to different district campuses each day.

Early voting began on August 8, the day after district teachers and staff returned to campus. Back-to-school parties coordinated with early “mobile voting” sites were held August 13-18.

Tony Ortiz of Empower Texans and Robert Montoya of Direct Action Texas visited three campuses during their rolling polling parties — Rosa Parks Millbrook Elementary, George Washington Carver, and Lancaster Middle School — and recorded what they saw on video.

School employees in the video admit the parties were held to get parents to vote. The parties gave free food to parents. The parties were held at schools, on taxpayer-funded government property. At each polling location visited, multiple school employees said on video to vote for the tax rate proposition.

State law makes it illegal for school districts to use taxpayer resources for electioneering. And government employees at work are prohibited from telling voters how to vote in an election.

The video shows what look like violations of both statutes:

 

And no person in Texas can electioneer to voters inside a polling location. They must be 100 feet away from the entrance to the building where the poll is located.

School employees appear to have violated those limits as well. They electioneered inside the polls and on the taxpayer’s dime.

The district’s questionable tactics paid off. Lancaster ISD voters approved the tax swap 62-38 percent, with a dismal 2.5 percent voter turnout. In-person early voters, including those who cast ballots at the early voting parties, voted for the tax swap proposition by a 269-65 margin. Election Day voters, who cast ballots at a local library, were more closely divided, 124-100.”

Grassroots Coalition Calls Upon Governor Abbott to Verify Voter Citizenship

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DAT Calls Upon Governor Abbott to Begin Verifying Citizenship in the Voter Registration Process.

Requests Gov. Abbott take executive action, issue an administrative order, and mandate citizenship verification for voter registration by the Secretary of State.

 (North Richland Hills, TX) A Texas Grassroots Coalition sent a letter to the Governor and help a press conference today demanding the Governor direct the Secretary of State to verify citizenship of voter registrations. Below are Aaron Harris comments as well as a copy of the letter send to Governor Abbott.

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BREAKING NEWS: Court Rules Against Plano in Harrison Case

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Today the 401st District Court Ruled in favor of Tom Harrison, canceling the scheduled recall election against him.

Earlier this year democrats and city officials sought to recall Tom Harrison from the City Council. They used as their motive a controversial Facebook post by Mr. Harrison, however the real motivation is Mr. Harrison’s insistence on being a conservative voice on council and refusing to simply rubber stamp the wishes of the mayor and city manager. A recall petition was carried out, however they used an erroneous calculation for the number of signatures needed to gain ballot access.

At issue was whether one needed to use the “last” election turnout or some other nebulous random election’s turnout as the basis for calculating the number of signatures needed. The city chose to use a 2015 election turnout numbers instead of the most recent election turnout.

In the ruling the presiding judge stated “The Court finds based on clear and convincing evidence the the word “last” is included” [in the City charter]. During the trial Mr. Harrison’s attorneys uncovered multiple different versions of the city charter, causing confusion as to which was the accurate copy.

Mr. Harrison’s attorney, Art Martinez DeVara stated he was very pleased with the decision by the court. Mr. DeVara was particularly pleased that the judge disallowed the city from adding to the charter by “interpretation”, as using the 2015 election numbers was a “creative” interpretation the city was attempting to get away with.

By following the city charter and using the last election’s turnout as the basis for calculating how many signatures were needed for the petition to be valid, the petition against Tom Harrison came in short. The election is called off by the order.

Not only did the judge rule against the City of Plano, he also ordered the city to pay Mr. Harrison’s attorney’s fees within 30 days.

Congratulations Tom Harrison.

 

READ FULL COURT DECISION HERE.

CITIZENS AREN’T TIRED OF WINNING IN COLLEYVILLE – An Open Letter by Steve Waltens

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All across our great nation for the last year and a half, legions of sore-loser liberal elites have been pitching a non-stop fit, refusing to accept the fact that our country has soundly rejected their tired narrative and policies that are just plain bad for Americans.

An interesting (and more relevant) observation is that very same pattern of behavior is going on right here in our very own Colleyville.  The last seven elections for Mayor and the six City Council seats have been very spirited races, to say the least.  Every one of the candidates in these seven races have been supported by the same passionate group of volunteers and the opposing issues have basically remained the same in each race.  And that leads me to the puzzling part of this story.

Since every one of these seven races was decided by landslide victories during record voter turnouts, why on earth does the Protect Colleyville crew cling tightly to their seven-times failed campaign strategy?

Is everything in Colleyville rainbows and unicorns? Of course not. But in the two years since the new Mayor and majority citizen-advocates took office, this list of positive citizen-requested changes have become reality:

  • Lowered the tax rate TWICE.
  • Made up the unbelievable $600,000 shortfall of pay to our first responders.
  • Stopped the practice of price gouging and profiting off water sales.
  • Saved over 400 trees along Glade Road that were destined for demolition.
  • Established a plan to improve Glade Road with engineered drainage, turn lanes, and sidewalks saving taxpayers millions of dollars as compared to the previous plan.
  • Negotiated land purchase deals along Glade Road, instead of stealing land for trails.
  • Instituted a new, more transparent bidding processes to ensure taxpayer money was being spent in the best possible way.
  • Asked the citizens to adopt term limits for elected officials, which we passed with an overwhelming 82% of voters voting in favor.
  • Stopped the race towards transforming Colleyville into a high-density urban jungle by setting the land development code straight.
  • Asked the citizens to adopt more stringent disclosure and transparency rules for both elected officials and staff heads which passed by an overwhelming majority.
  • Passed a long overdue resolution to move forward with a new storm water master plan.
  • Beautifying and enhancing our medians and roundabouts.
  • Repairing major streets that were crumbling due to a decade of neglect.
  • Established a record number of citizen committees to leverage the knowledge, expertise, and input of our citizens
  • Created community events such as the farmers market, live bands, and movie nights.
  • Established a second ambulance service to eliminate high out-of-city ambulance fees and save taxpayers money.
  • Repealed the anti-free speech policy that prohibited citizens from criticizing City Council members when addressing the council.

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