If you reside in the City of Houston and if you are registered to vote, the Nov. 7 ballot will include five important city items.
Early voting started Monday, Oct. 23. During the early voting period, eligible voters can vote at ANY voting station in their county. (City precincts are in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties).
On election day, Nov. 7, voters must cast ballots at the polling place for the precinct in which they are registered. Due to flooding, some regular polling places will not be used.
Here are some fast facts about what’s on the ballot:
- There will be no candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 7 Houston municipal election, for which early voting starts Oct. 23.
- Voters will be asked to say yes or no to five propositions, funds from some of which may be used to improve city facilities such as police and fire stations and replace aging first responder vehicles. The outcome of this bond election could set the city's financial course for years to come.
- Passage of any or all of the propositions won't trigger any tax increases. The city urges registered voters to participate in the election.
- Proposition A relates to a law the State Legislature recently passed to address the city's unfunded pension liabilities. Under the new legislation, the city will reduce the future retirement benefits it offers to city employees, shrinking the City's pension liability by almost $3 billion dollars. Additionally, the city must make payments to the pension systems that had been deferred in the past. Proposition A will allow the city to issue bonds to make these payments without increasing taxes to Houston residents.
- Proposition B, the Public Safety Improvement Bond, would provide about $159 million for improvements at neighborhood police stations and fire stations citywide.
- Proposition C, the Parks Improvement Bond, would provide $104 million for improvements at parks citywide. These include pavilion replacements, swimming pool upgrades, ball field lighting upgrades, and replacement of aging playground equipment.
- Proposition D, the Public Facilities Improvement Bond, would provide $109 million for renovations to health facilities, sanitation/recycling and essential improvements at city facilities.
Proposition E, the Library Bond, would provide $123 million in funds for library improvements. These include replacement and/or rehabilitation of existing neighborhood libraries.
- Approval of the bonds will not raise taxes.
Many reliable, objective resources about what is on the ballot and how to vote are available to voters online, particularly at http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/, harrisvotes.com, lwvhouston.org and http://www.houstontx.gov/2017election.htm1 These resources provide content in multiple languages.