There are two local initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot that could affect some property owners. The people promoting them are hosting town hall meetings this month to discuss the hows, whats, whens and whys of these proposals. The Register hopes voters will avail themselves of these opportunities to learn more about the ballot initiatives before Election Day.

For the first proposal, officials are asking for approval to create an Emergency Services District for the Lake Kiowa area – a change that has been in the works for several months. Indian Creek fire officials have lobbied the public and the Cooke County Commissioners Court for its support, asserting that ICVFD can’t continue to provide effective service without a greater and more predictable source of income.

Should voters in Indian Creek’s coverage area approve the ESD, they could pay up to an extra 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation every year on their property – for a $100,000 property, that’s an extra $100 per year.

Indian Creek officials have one remaining town hall meeting scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Weaver Ranch, Belar Farm, 8213 FM 902.

The second ballot initiative is for voters who live within the Gainesville Independent School District. GISD is hosting public meetings every Thursday this month to discuss plans to finance and build a new, $70 million middle school on the grounds of the aging Gainesville Junior High.

The present building is more than 60 years old and the district wants to replace it with a modern space that could be more easily upgraded in the future to keep up with the times. According to GISD officials, the plan would raise the total tax rate 27.75 cents per $100 of property valuation – for a $100,000 property, that equals $277.50 more per year.

All meetings are open to the public and will include presentations by Superintendent Dr. DesMontes Stewart and question and answer sessions. The meetings will take place 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the GISD Auditorium, 1201 S. Lindsay St. For more information, visit www.gainesvilleisd.org/bond2021.

The Register will examine these proposals in much more detail in the coming weeks; however, we may not think to ask the questions on your mind; there- fore, we won’t get the answers you in particular may seek. It happens.

It would better for you, your neighbors and the readers of the Register if you turned up to one of these meetings to ask questions, listen to the answers and speak your mind.

Off-year elections are notorious for poor turnout, but we hope this year is different. The people we’ve entrusted to run our schools and put out fires are asking for more tax dollars. The Register doesn’t say they need them or they don’t need them; however, ALL of us should hear them out and think about where our money is going. We, the voters, get the final say-so and it would be terrible to forfeit that, only to blow up later because our taxes went up $100 or $200 per year.

One evening this month, and a 15-20 minute trip out of your way on Election Day can’t be that much work, can it?

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