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Voting is a right and a responsibility


A La Vernia News analysis

Apathy is rampant, it appears. Each election cycle, it seems fewer people turn out to vote.

But after elections, everyone has an opinion, and many like to complain about every elected official, from dogcatcher to the White House, and every issue, from health-care to loose livestock.

If you want the right to complain, exercise your right to vote!

If you are a Wilson County taxpayer, this election is for you! If you are a resident of the Lone Star State, this election is for you!

The ballot may not include a presidential race, but it’s pivotal for the future of the county and our state. Not to cast a ballot in the Nov. 5 election is to abdicate responsibility.

Your right to vote, to have a say in what our government does, is worthless if you don’t exercise it.

Hundreds of Wilson County residents successfully petitioned the Wilson County Commissioners Court to give voters their say on whether taxpayers agree to the proposed debt to repair the courthouse unstable and fenced off for more than a year now and to renovate the buildings currently supporting county functions and provide larger, improved library space.

People questioned the amount of the proposed debt $8.5 million along with the cost of the repairs and renovations, the methods in choosing to go into debt, and what the proposed funds would be used for.

If you pay Wilson County taxes, the $8.5 million will affect you.

Also on the ballot are nine proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. These include proposals for property tax relief for disabled veterans, funding of water issues with state savings funds, and reverse-mortgage protection measures for senior citizens, to name a few.

Young voters may not think the reverse mortgage issue is about them, but voting on this issue now will make a difference when you follow the natural path and grow old.

Water is one of the single most important issues on the ballot, especially in the wake of the ongoing drought and the state’s unprecedented population growth.

Proposition 6 concerns funding critical water resources, but is moving money around the right answer? Supporters say that moving $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund will prevent an increase in taxes to support water funding.

Opponents caution that, as written, this amendment will not provide additional sources of water. There also is the fear that this amendment gives additional clout to big-city needs at the expense of rural agricultural needs. Funds are already available through the Texas Water Development Board, and moving money from savings will limit the state’s ability to respond in a disaster or other emergency.

Whatever your opinions, if you live in Texas or pay taxes in Wilson County, the items on the Nov. 5 ballot will affect you.

The efforts of our Founding Fathers gave us representative government.

As taxpayers, we have the right to say how our tax money is spent.

We have the right to petition our government to change its course.

We have the right and a responsibility to vote.

For a list of the nine amendments, go here: Early voting continues through Friday.

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