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Registration ends Tuesday for Nov. 8 city, state election

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

Less than a week remains for would-be voters to register to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8, 2011, Constitutional and municipal election.

According to Secretary of State Hope Andrade, Tuesday, Oct. 11 is the last day for voters to register to participate in the upcoming election. Voters may register locally at the Caldwe

ll County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office, or by downloading an application and mailing it to the Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office at 100 E. Market St., Lockhart, Texas 78644.

In the State of Texas, voters must be U.S. citizens and residents of the county of registration, and all voters must be over the age of 18 years (although registration is available to voters beginning at 17 years and 10 months).

Additionally, voters must not be convicted felons, unless their sentence – including all probation and parole requirements have been completed – and they must not have been declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.

City of Lockhart voters are being asked to choose three members of the Lockhart City Council, including the city’s new mayor.

Incumbent Mayor Ray Sanders, who returned to office in a landslide victory during a May 2010 Special Election has decided not to seek re-election. Four local residents have stepped up in hopes of filling the position.

Longtime city councilmember Lew White, who is currently seated in the District Three single-member position, will square off local entrepreneurs Homer “Papa” Shaw and Joseph “JoJo” Bruch, and former LISD Trustee John Manning.

Former At Large City Councilmember Richard J. “Dick” Wieland, who narrowly missed re-election in November 2010, will face Doug Shomette in an effort to fill White’s District 3 seat. The race will mark the second time Wieland and Shomette have raced together, the first time being the November 2010 At Large election.

Incumbent District 4 Councilmember Richard Banks, who originally threw his hat into the mayoral race, has decided instead to seek re-election within his district. To return to the council table in November, he will have to best former District 4 Councilmember and former Lockhart Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram, as well as political newcomer Steve Johnson.

If you are unsure about your City of Lockhart district location, find out here

Residents of the Caldwell County Emergency Services District No. 2 (ESD2), in the Maxwell area, will be asked via ballot initiative to decide whether ESD2 will annex a considerable portion of property, stretching generally from the Maxwell area to Highway 80. A map of the property proposed to be annexed is available here.

In addition to the local elections, ten initiatives proposing to amend the Texas Constitution are on the ballot this November. Those propositions are:

Proposition Number 1 (SJR 14)

SJR 14 would amend the constitution to authorize the legislature to provide the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran with an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the surviving spouse’s residence homestead as long as the surviving spouse has not remarried, the property was the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the qualifying veteran died, and the property remains the residence homestead of the surviving spouse.

Proposition Number 2 (SJR 4)

SJR 4 would amend the constitution to authorize the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds on a continuing basis for one or more accounts of the Texas Water Development Fund II, with the restriction that the total amount of bonds outstanding at any time does not exceed $6 billion.

Proposition Number 3 (SJR 50)

SJR 50 would amend the constitution to authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successors to issue and sell general obligation bonds on a continuing basis for the purpose of financing educational loans for students, subject to certain constitutional restrictions, including a restriction as to the maximum principal amount of bonds outstanding at any one time.

Proposition Number 4 (HJR 63)

HJR 63 would amend the constitution to authorize the legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the county, and to pledge increases in ad valorem tax revenues imposed on property in the area by the county for repayment of such bonds or notes.  The amendment does not provide independent authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.

Proposition Number 5 (SJR 26)

SJR 26 would amend the constitution to authorize the legislature to allow cities and counties to enter into interlocal contracts with other cities and counties without having to assess an ad valorem tax and set aside a specified amount of funds for the payment of costs under the interlocal contract.

Proposition Number 6 (HJR 109)

HJR 109 would amend the constitution to increase the amount of principal that is available for withdrawal from the permanent school fund each year and would also clarify certain references to that fund in the constitution.  Increased access to the principal of the state public education trust fund would be based upon HJR 109 granting the authority to consider alternative market calculations when determining the amount of principal that is available for distribution to the available school fund.  HJR 109 would also provide authority to distribute to the available school fund annual revenue from school fund land or other properties up to $300 million per year.

Proposition Number 7 (SJR 28)

SJR 28 would amend the constitution by adding El Paso County to the list of counties authorized to create conservation and reclamation districts to develop parks and recreational facilities financed by taxes.

Proposition Number 8 (SJR 16)

SJR 16 would amend the constitution by requiring the legislature to provide for taxation of open space land devoted to water stewardship purposes on the basis of its productive capacity.

Proposition Number 9 (SJR 9)

SJR 9 would amend the constitution to authorize the governor, on the written recommendation and advice of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, to grant a pardon, reprieve, or commutation of punishment to a person who successfully completes a term of deferred adjudication community supervision.

Proposition Number 10 (SJR 37)

SJR 37 would amend the constitution by extending the length of the unexpired term that causes the automatic resignation of certain local elected officeholders if they announce candidacy or become candidates for another office from one year to one year and 30 days.

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