Early voting starts, education dominates local ballots - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Early voting starts, education dominates local ballots

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Amarillo, TX - Early voting starts today (Apr. 29), and education is one of the most contested issues in this year's city elections, with area school boards up for re-election. And Canyon residents could change the way their own government is elected and how those elections are financed.

Probably the single most talked-about issue on this year's ballot is Amarillo ISD's $99.45 million bond to expand existing schools and build a new one to accommodate the area's growing population.

And on Canyon's ballot, Proposition 7 would change the city's election years to coincide with the county's, which they hope will save taxpayer dollars.

"The City of Canyon taxpayers were paying taxes to Randall County, and that money was being used to own and operate election equipment," explains city manager Randy Criswell.  "So it's kind of like we'd be taxing them double so that we could have the equipment so that we could continue to have elections in even-numbered years."

Under state law, amendments to city charters must be approved by the public to take effect.  And Criswell says that kind of public accountability is how good government operates.

"'We are a government of the people, by the people, for the people,' in the words of Abraham Lincoln - all government, from the local level on up," says Criswell.  "Personally, I think that local government is much more for the people, by the people, and of the people."

Early voting will continue through next Tuesday, May 7th.  Regular elections will be held on May 11th

If you'd like to learn more about the bond or see some local sample ballots, follow the links attached to this story.