By Gilbert Hoffman
NORTH CHANNEL – Voting is currently underway in the General and Municipal election. Early Voting started Oct. 23 and ends this Friday, Nov. 3 with Election Day on Tuesday November 7. Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm on each of these days.
Voters who live in the city will be choosing a new mayor, city controller, councilpersons, and deciding on 2 propositions. In addition, city and county voters will decide on a $2.5 billion bond issue for the Harris County Hospital District, to renovate LBJ and Ben Taub hospitals, and county health clinics. A new Level 1 trauma center will be included in the new LBJ complex, which most experts agree is long overdue for a city of our size.
There are 17 candidates for Houston Mayor, with the leading candidates being state senator John Whitmire and U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee. With so many contenders, it is expected that this race will need a run-off later in November.
Sixteen city council seats are open and will be voted on, as well as the City Controller.
The ballot will have two City of Houston Propositions. Prop. A enables 3 council persons to place an item on the Agenda for consideration. Currently only the mayor can do this.
Prop. B would ban the City from participating in the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) unless it gets representation on HGAC’s board in proportion to its population. See the discussion on Page 4. Our columnist believes this proposition should not pass, and would not be effective if it did.
The 14 amendments to the Texas Constitutional are generally housekeeping type of proposals. Proposition 3 would prohibit a wealth tax in Texas, purely political posturing. Proposition 4, increases the homestead exemption for school districts to $100,000 and reimburses school districts for lost revenue.
Our columnist says that Proposition 7 will not help the energy industry, and they have indicated they don’t need it to build more power plants. Proposition 14 will have a definite impact on quality of life in Texas, creating and maintaining more park spaces for everyone’s benefit.