JUDGE: Milam County - Go Vote!
This week’s article is going to be very direct – GO VOTE!!
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about voting and how important it is; not only to our society as a whole, but most definitely right here in Milam County. As of Monday, we are 6 days into this voting cycle which ends on Saturday, May 6th and of the nearly 15,000 registered voters in Milam County, only 992 have voted. That is roughly 6.5% of the voting population of Milam County.
In my previous article I pointed out that these mid-year elections are usually decided by about 15 percent of the population and we are safely headed to that level. Do we really want just 15 percent of the voters to decide the future of Milam County? I didn’t think so.
We have to get out the vote. There are some significant issues on the ballots throughout the county, and they need your attention. Most of the school districts have contested races for the school boards. These are the people who shape the direction your school districts are headed, how our children are taught, and they set the school district budgets. And remember, on average, a school district’s taxes make up around 55 percent of your property taxes. As another extra in Rockdale, there is a $30 million bond issue to be decided. I would think this alone would be reason enough for an above average turnout at the polls in Rockdale.
In the cities there are multiple contested races on city councils. Like the school board members, these are the people who set the agendas and priorities for the cities. Priorities that affect how your roads are managed, how the cities are policed, how city services are controlled, and how the budgets are set. Budgets that can be as high as 20 percent of your property taxes. These positions are often overlooked, but so important and often affect our lives on a more regular basis than our state or national representatives.
At the county level, we are voting on a county-wide Emergency Services District (ESD). This ESD vote is your opportunity to help decide how we will manage the Ambulance issue here in Milam County. If you would like more information on the ESD please contact my office at (254) 697-7000 and we can get you in touch with the individuals overseeing this. But this is also another matter that on its own is a significant issue that will affect every person in Milam County and should warrant more than just 15 percent of the voting public’s attention.
In closing, go out and vote. We are a free society, but freedom has some requirements. Voting is a right we all enjoy and is required for a free society to function properly. I hear people say all the time that “my vote doesn’t matter.”
Last year, the Cameron ISD bond issue passed by one vote. Think of it this way, had two more people decided to go vote against that bond it would not have passed. Truth is that every vote counts. Please get out and vote.