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October 22, 2012

Early Voting Starts October 22, 2012 for November 6, 2012 Election
Don't Forget City Bond Referendums and Charter Amendments at Bottom of Ballot
METRO, HISD, HCC Also Have Ballot Initiatives

In addition to the presidential, federal, state and local elections, at the bottom of the ballot are a number of important Bond Referendums and Charter Amendments that need your input. Please be sure to cast your vote on all of the decisions that need to be made. Below is information about these matters.

Propositions A - E

These propositions comprise a city public improvement bond package totaling $410 million. This will not require a tax increase and it is the smallest request in more than 30 years.

Traditionally, the city goes to the voters with a bond proposal every five to six years. The last three referendums occurred in 1997, 2001 and 2006 and ranged from $545 million to $776 million. The city is asking for a new authorization to allow for continued maintenance and improvements at public facilities for the next five years. The needs include: roof and foundation repairs, new police and fire stations and improvements to parks, libraries, health, solid waste and recycling facilities. The specific funding categories are:

$144 million for public safety improvements
$166 for park facility improvements (This includes $100 million that will be matched by an equal amount of private funds.)
$63 million for public health, sanitation and essential general government improvements not covered by the other categories
$28 million for library improvements
$15 million of housing bonds that will be used to demolish blighted properties to make way for new affordable housing

Proposed City Charter Amendments

Proposition 1 will remove language in the charter that is either out-of-date or superseded by state or federal law. These sections of the charter reflect a bygone era when less favorable treatment of the disabled was allowed, the city was responsible for operating and funding the public schools and had the power to set the price for certain goods, such as a gallon of milk.

Proposition 2 will modernize the process for recall, initiative and referendum by repealing out-dated sections that do not recognize the city's current election practices or the existence of single-member city council districts.

More information on the city ballot initiatives is available at http://www.houstontx.gov/2012bondreferendum.html.

METRO, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and Houston Community College (HCC) also have propositions on the ballot. Information on these three initiatives may be found at the following websites:

http://www.ridemetro.org/AboutUs/Referendum/Default.html
http://blogs.houstonisd.org/2012bond
http://sites.hccs.edu/forums/2012/10/hcc-bond-referendum-2012-ballot-language/

The list of early voting locations is available at http://www.harrisvotes.com/EarlyVoting/EVL.aspx?L=E or by calling 713.755.6965. Note early voting begins Monday, October 22 and ends Friday, November 2. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.


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Council Members: Helena Brown • Jerry Davis • Ellen R. Cohen • Wanda Adams • Mike Sullivan • Al Hoang • Oliver Pennington • Edward Gonzalez • James G. Rodriguez • Mike Laster • Larry V. Green • Stephen C. Costello • Andrew C. Burks, Jr. • Melissa Noriega • C.O. “Brad” Bradford • Jack Christie
Controller: Ronald C. Green