Thursday, April 27, 2017

San Antonio TX 2017 Bond Election Ballot - Are You Confused?


When you go to vote for the multi-million dollar 2017 San Antonio TX bond election you might be confused with how politicians and bureaucrats put the ballot together. You are asked to vote for or against a bond that will cost taxpayers more than its face value. Yet as it is presented, it makes it hard not to get frustrated and say “Sure…why not…I’ll vote ‘FOR’ since I have no idea what I’m voting for or against!”

The city scribes try to make it simple for voters to decide on what we want to pay for when the city bond is sold to investors. The bond is broken up into “propositions.” Each proposition tells the voter what part of the bond it will pay for but with few facts given about the proposition listed.

The problem I see is how the propositions are presented to the voter. Unless you’ve done some homework on the bond election, you may not know the details of the specific proposition. The political/lawyer speak may also be perplexing to some folks. Your eyes may want a “do over” after looking at the information clumped into what looks like one big run-on sentence. To make it a bit more confusing, the ballot is in English and Spanish so as to be politically correct. I thought English was the official language of the United States!

Below (in capital letters) is a sample ballot for the city of San Antonio bond issue…please note that I’ve inserted spaces and left out the Spanish to make it a little clearer to the reader. I hope it helps you decide how to vote.


STREETS, BRIDGES, AND SIDEWALKS IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 1 “THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $445,263,000 FOR STREETS, BRIDGES, AND SIDEWALKS IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF”

DRAINAGE AND FLOOD CONTROL IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 2 "THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $138,988,000 FOR DRAINAGE AND FLOOD CONTROL IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF"

PARKS, RECREATION, AND OPEN SPACE IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 3 “THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $187,313,000 FOR PARKS, RECREATION, AND OPEN SPACE IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF”

LIBRARY AND CULTURAL FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 4 “THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,025,000 FOR LIBRARY AND CULTURAL FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF”

PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 5 “THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $34,411,000 FOR PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF”

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS (2017 URBAN RENEWAL PLAN IMPLEMENTATION) PROPOSITION

PROPOSITION NO. 6 “THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $20,000,000 FOR FUNDING COSTS OF AND IMPLEMENTING THE CITY'S 2017 URBAN RENEWAL PLAN AND LEVYING A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF”

If you would like more information on each proposition, got to the North Central Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association website and check this link…http://www.nctona.com/node/171