Early voting for GISD, Waelder bond issues begins Monday

Ballot also contains 14 constitutional amendment propositions


Early voting begins this coming Monday, Oct. 23, and continues through Friday, Nov. 3 for the Nov. 7 general election, which features bond issues at two local school districts as well as 14 constitutional amendments approved earlier this year by the Texas Legislature.

Gonzales ISD

Gonzales ISD voters will be deciding the fate of two bond propositions totaling more than $95 million. The first, Proposition A, is for $50.6 million and includes renovations and upgrades, especially for safety and security as well as infrastructure improvements, at all five school campuses, the administration building, maintenance and transportation and the construction of a new CTE building and Ag barn on land the district owns on Stieren Road.

The second, Proposition B, is for $44.48 million, will fund a new athletic complex featuring a 7,000-seat lighted artificial turf football and soccer stadium as well as new facilities for tennis, baseball, softball and track and field, concessions and ADA-compliant bleachers, partial locker rooms, restrooms, parking and scoreboards, all to be built on the land off Stieren Road as well.

Waelder ISD

On the ballot at Waelder ISD will be two propositions totaling just under $7 million — more than $3.3 million less than the district sought in its last failed attempt in May.

Proposition A, which would call for the issuance of $5.826 million, would have four main components:

• Remodeling the existing old gym, which cannot be used as a gym and is currently being used as storage, into a cafetorium that would seat all students in two lunch periods, provide a stage for the district for fine arts and theatre arts, and an auditorium for school and community functions.

• Renovations and improvements to the Middle School that includes replacement of 17-year-old carpet, replacing leaking windows, providing a monitored fire alarm system, and other renovations and improvements.

• Classrooms for fifth and sixth grade students that would provide permanent classrooms, eliminate portable buildings, and save the district the annual cost of renting portable buildings, a savings of $76,222 per year.

• High school upgrades that include replacing 13-year-old carpet, provide an entrance safety vestibule, more efficient lighting, and interior and exterior painting, and other building improvements.

Proposition B, for $1.1 million, calls for renovating the open pavilion into a climate-controlled gymnasium that will serve as many as 14 different student groups that utilize gym facilities in the district. Total cost of the project is $2.1 million, with the district using current tax maintenance notes to pay $1 million toward the project.

Constitutional amendments

Fourteen amendments to the Texas Constitution are being proposed on the Nov. 7 ballot. Some, like Proposition 4, would raise the homestead exemption for homeowners from $40,000 to $100,000, while others would create tax exemptions for child-care facilities (Prop 2) or medical or biomedical equipment (Prop 10) or ban the imposition of so-called “wealth taxes” without voter approval (Prop 3) or make it tougher to restrict farming, ranching, timber and horticulture in certain areas (Prop 1).

Others would create or alter funds to support higher education research (Prop 5), water infrastructure (Prop 6), natural gas-fueled power plants (Prop 7), broadband infrastructure (Prop 8) and maintenance and creation of state parks (Prop 14).

There are also amendments that would raise the mandatory retirement age for judges (Prop 13) and provide a cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers (Prop 9) as well as specific amendments which impact El Paso County parks and recreation and the Galveston County treasurer’s office.

How to vote

Early voting in person will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 2-3 at three locations:

• Randle Rather Building, 427 Saint George St., Ste. 100, Gonzales.

• Nixon City Building, 302 E. Central St., Nixon.

• Waelder City Hall, 300 Hwy 90 W., Waelder.

Voting precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 7) at the following locations and for the following precincts:

• Randle Rather Building — Precincts 1, 14 and 15.

• Emmanuel Fellowship & School, 1817 Saint Lawrence, Gonzales — Precincts 2 and 11.

• Gonzales City Building, 820 Saint Joseph, Gonzales — Precincts 3, 5, 7 and 8

• Nixon City Building — Precincts 4, 6, 10 and 13.

• Waelder Community Center, 311 Hwy 90 W., Waelder — Precinct 9

• Riverside Community Center, 200 Saint Lawrence, Gonzales — Precinct 12.

Applications for ballot by mail should be mailed to Gwen Schaefer, P.O. Box 1753, Gonzales, TX 78629 or emailed to ea@co.gonzales.tx.us and can be found at www.co.gonzales.tx.us/page/gonzales.Elections.Admin. Applications for a ballot by mail must be received no later than close of business Friday, Oct. 27.