Monday, April 26, 2010

Early Voting, April 26 - May 4

Polling places are open for early voting for the May 8 joint election. Richardson voters can vote in the Civic Center. There are two elections on the ballot. First is the $66 million city bond proposal to fund streets, parks, municipal buildings and neighborhood revitalization projects. Second are three places on the Richardson ISD board of trustees.

After the jump, a quick look at the election campaigns.

The bond election has the public support of a list of neighborhood and community leaders the length of your arm. They argue that the projects are necessary to support our neighborhoods, our youth, our quality of life and to maintain our home values. They argue that not only can Richardson afford to do these civic improvements, Richardson can't afford not to do them.

There is little, if any, organized opposition to the bond. There are a few individual anti-government critics, as always. The opponents argue that the projects are not necessary. The city should not use debt. The city should not raise taxes. Perhaps sensing that campaigning against parks, rec centers and pools is a losing strategy, their scattershot attacks on the bonds include arguing that there is not enough clarity in the city's financial business, that the bonds will fund city staff to manage the projects, that the city staff makes too much money, even that someone from the city pulled out some "Vote NO" yard signs.

The RISD election is for three seats on the board of trustees, one in which the incumbent has no challengers, one in which the incumbent has a single challenger, and the third, an open seat, with two candidates on the ballot and a third write-in candidate. The only significant difference of opinion expressed so far is one candidate's proposal to establish talented and gifted magnet schools. None of the other candidates expressed interest in such a step. One subplot in the election is one candidate's running feud with the PTA. You wouldn't think that criticizing the PTA would be a winning tactic in a school board race, at least here. We'll find out how that works out on May 8, when those of you who didn't vote early get your last chance to vote.

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