Smith County election preview

SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - East Texas voters will head to the polls Saturday to decide on several important issues.

Tyler parents and teachers are saying it's time for a $160.5 million dollar school bond.

Rallies have been held across Tyler to encourage people to vote "yes" on election day.

"It's just going to overall be a great benefit to the Tyler community," said Betsy Jones, TISD parent.

Tyler ISD wants to use more than 160 million dollars to remodel Rice and Dixie elementary, build three middle schools, and a career and technical education center.

Business leaders and higher education leaders in the community have shown their support.

"The stronger they can be, the farther they can move students along, the greater their retention rates in keeping students in school. All that helps the university. But mostly, it helps this region," said Dr. Rod Mabry, UT Tyler president.

But, there's opposition to the $160.5 million dollar school bond.

Grassroots America and the "No more excuses, Tyler ISD" coalition say spending more money is not the solution for poor academic results.

They say they are not against new buildings if academics within the district will improve.

"We have two high schools that are rated unacceptable, that's an "F" if you want to put it on a report card. We have high school graduates, a majority of which who have been shown not to be college ready, and we have a bunch of new buildings in place already," said Rick Eisenbach.

In Whitehouse, voters will decide whether or not they want beer and wine sales in their community. In 2010, they said no. But this time, could they say yes?"

"We don't need any beer and wine in Whitehouse. We've got too many children here in Whitehouse. We're trying to raise them right," said Thelma Bain.

Thelma Bain said no in 2010 and she's saying no again.

But, Chairman of the Whitehouse Committee for Growth, Phil Rogers, says it's time to "yes" to alcohol sales at stores, especially now that Tyler and Smith County precinct 2 are wet.

"This town could do nothing but benefit from the income from the sales tax of the beer and wine," said Phil Rogers.

About 600 registered voters in Smith County municipal utility district number one will consider a $2 million bond project. The bond will pay for capacity and infrastructure improvements.

Troup, Lindale and Winona voters will decide school board positions.

Hideaway voters will choose a mayor and council trustees.



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