By Chris Edwards
TYLER COUNTY – The unofficial results of the special May 7 election came in, and two ballot measures affecting parts of Tyler County both passed.
A proposal for a $47.8 million bond for district-wide improvements at Woodville ISD passed by a 51.20% majority.
“It means the work gets started now,” Woodville ISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg said after the results were made public.
The bond proposal came on the recommendation of a district task force comprised of residents, business leaders and WISD staff members. The improvements to WISD on the table include the construction of a new Pre-K through fifth grade elementary school building, which would be housed under one roof, as well as additions to the Career and Technical Education Center.
Meysembourg said the district hopes to have the design process started soon, and the building completed by December.
Once construction begins, there will be no disruption in the routine of WISD elementary students, as the new elementary campus will be built close to Woodville High School and the middle school campuses.
The other localized ballot item that passed, according to the results, is the Tyler County ESD #5 proposal, which adopts a local sales and use tax within that Emergency Service District at a rate not to exceed one and one-half percent in any location in the district.
The measure passed by a 79.53% majority and will benefit the Dam B community and its volunteer fire department.
At present, Dam B is the only area in Tyler County without an 8.25% sales tax. It is currently 6.75%.
Two proposed statewide constitutional amendments passed, overwhelmingly. The two measures will provide property tax relief to homeowners.
Proposition one, which authorized the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of property taxes that may be imposed for general public school purposes on elderly and/or disabled taxpayers. Proposition two raises the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 starting this year.
Tyler Countians voted “for” both propositions by large percentages, as with the statewide trend. According to the unofficial statewide results, 87% of voters voted “for” Proposition 1, and 85% in favor of Proposition 2.
The next opportunity for voters to make their voices heard at the polls comes May 24 with the runoff races.
Several statewide races are slated, including attorney general and land commissioner, in both parties. In Tyler County, there are several races up to grab the Republican primaries.
An early voting period for the runoffs lasts from Monday May 16 through Friday, May 20. Several races, including that of county judge, went to runoffs in the GOP primaries.
Melissa Riley is facing Milton Powers in the runoff. The winner of the primary will face Democratic challenger Wesley Whitman in the November general election.
The race for county treasurer has challenger Maegan Rains Odom facing incumbent Leann Monk in the primary runoff. That race is unopposed by a Democrat for the general election.
Incumbent Pct. 2 commissioner Stevan Sturrock is facing challenger Doug Hughes.
One more county race, that of Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace, went to the runoff, with incumbent Jim Moore facing challenger Henry Sawyer, Jr.