Voters check ‘yes’ to amend Texas constitution

Texas voters asked to approve liquor sales, bond measures and other local ballot proposals during statewide elections on constitutional amendments were generally agreeable to the initiatives. Voters in the Houston area passed bond measures for the Spring Independent School District, the city of Richmond, Missouri City, the Brazos Independent School District and the Huffman Independent School District. In the Dallas suburb of Duncanville, voters approved the sale of beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. But in the northern Collin County town of Anna, sale of all alcoholic beverages was rejected, with 47 percent of 813 registered voters going to the polls. Citizens for More Shopping and Less Taxes spent the summer collecting petitions to put beer and wine sales on the ballot. Group members said approval would bring the city much-needed sales-tax revenue. Collin County has no liquor stores, although beer and wine are sold in Frisco, Melissa and parts of Plano. “It’s pretty discouraging,” Dan Lovitt, who initiated the Anna petition drive, said late Saturday. “I worked hard and did what I could.” The laid-off telecommunications worker, who went door-to-door collecting signatures, said he had planned to open a liquor store. But Anna resident Jim Jake Templin said, “I think people decided that Anna needed to be a family-friendly community.” For the Spring ISD in north Harris County, voters approved three propositions totaling $257 million to be used for new schools, renovations and equipment purchases. Most of the package, $210 million, will fund construction of four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.Voters in the Allen Independent School District approved $71.5 million in bonds to pay for two new elementary schools, expansion of Allen High School and technological upgrades. About 13,800 students were enrolled in Allen schools this year, a 10 percent increase from last year, and educators said the bond package was needed to accommodate the growing population. In Argyle, voters approved two quarter-cent sales taxes that will fund a crime-control and prevention district and pay for street repair and maintenance. City Administrator Mike Webb said higher voter turnout than the last sales-tax election, in May 2002, resulted from the state constitutional amendments, even though voters had to go to two different polling places and cast two different ballots.

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