You’d be hard pressed to find a campaign sign.
No debates have been scheduled, no campaign finance reports filed. In fact, were it not for the open door at the Denton Civic Center’s polling site or the occasional mailer, you might not even know an election is underway.
But that would be a very bad thing for our community.
For though there are no candidates appearing on the ballot in Denton County, the implications, for the city of Denton in particular, could be far more lasting and impactful than most city or county elections.
Appearing on the ballot for Denton voters are 10 proposed constitutional amendments from the state (these also appear on all other ballots throughout the county) but also a $221.5 million bond election to pay for roads, police department needs, parkland and public art. Again, the impact on your daily commute, where you and your family spend your weekends — even how prepared city police are in ensuring your safety — could all be determined by the outcome of this election.
Proposition A would dedicate $154 million to road improvements, with $70 million of that earmarked for city streets in the neighborhoods around Denton High School in central Denton, around Ginnings Elementary School in eastern Denton and in Southeast Denton. The rest would go toward such major city roads as Bonnie Brae Street in western Denton and Ryan Road and Hickory Creek Road in southern Denton.
Proposition B would allocate $61.9 million toward renovating the Denton Police Department’s building on East Hickory Street and building a new police substation on the south side of town and an indoor firing range.
Proposition C would provide $5 million for the city to purchase open space for parks, while Proposition D would allocate $619,000 for public art.
Big changes obviously if the propositions win voter approval — but judging by the results so far from the first week of early voting, either everyone is planning to cast a ballot on the day of election, Nov. 5, or not enough voters are aware of the stakes at hand. Through the first four days of early voting, less than 1% of registered voters countywide had cast a ballot, while in Denton, 1,260 Denton voters had cast ballots, for a turnout of 1.5%.
With so much on the line for the future growth and appeal of the city, it is critical that every registered voter do his or her part to learn more about the ballot propositions (and amendments) and then follow through by casting a vote.
Voters can get more information about the bonds on the city’s website, cityofdenton.com, or on the bond campaign website, buildingabetterdenton.com. As well, more information on the election administration can be found at votedenton.com.
Early voting continues through Friday at two dozen county locations, with election day the following Tuesday, Nov. 5.