Saturday, July 2, 2022

November 2021 Election Information

At the August 11, special City Council meeting, the Southlake City Council called for a special election to be held on November 2.

The special election will ask voters to consider issuance of not to exceed $50,000,000 of City of Southlake, Texas General Obligation Bonds for park (including open space and passive parks) improvements.

The ballot language is as follows:

“The issuance of not to exceed $50,000,000 of City of Southlake, Texas General Obligation Bonds for park, (including open space and passive parks) improvements, and the imposition of a tax sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds.”

If approved by voters, the total bond issuance would not exceed $50 million. There would be no increase in property tax to fund the program.

 

Special and General Election Information

Early voting for the November 2 Southlake Special Election begins on Monday, October 18. As a reminder, during the period of early voting, voters can vote at any polling location within their county. On Election Day, Tarrant County voters may also vote at any polling location, but this is not the same for Denton County voters, you must vote within your precinct on Election Day. As Southlake is located in two counties, information for each is shown below:

 

Tarrant County Information

Southlake Tarrant County voters can vote early in Southlake Town Hall every day from October 18 – October 29, as shown below:

October 18 – October 22 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 23 Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
October 24 Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
October 25-October 29 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
November 2 Tuesday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For Tarrant County voters, voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2 will be at Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street, Southlake, 76092, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

Denton County Information

Southlake Denton County voters can vote early at the Trophy Club MUD No. 1 Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Trophy Club, Texas, 76262, as listed below.

October 18 – October 22 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 23 Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 24 Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
October 25-October 29 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
November 2 Tuesday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For Denton County voters, voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, will also be at Trophy Club MUD No. 1 Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Trophy Club, Texas, 76262 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

More information can be found at www.CityofSouthlake.com/Elections.

Voter Registration and Early Voting Dates for July 14 Primary Runoff Election

Voting for the Republican and Democratic Runoff Election has been postponed until Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Early voting will be July 6- 10, 2020

If you plan to participate in this election, you must be registered to vote 30 days before the election. The deadline to register is Monday, June 15, 2020.

Voting for the Southlake General and Bond Election has been postponed to November 3, 2020 from its original date of May 2, 2020, or to an earlier option as specified by Governor Greg Abbott.

Tarrant County Notice of Election Postponement
Denton County Notice of Election Postponement

Any candidate who filed for the May 2 election will remain valid and the filing period will not be reopened for the new November 3 election date.

For more information on elections, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/Elections.

The chart below outlines deadlines and dates for the July 14 Primary Runoff Election.

 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – Primary Runoff Election
First day to apply for a ballot by mail using Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM) or Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) Wednesday, January 1, 2020*
*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday. An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2020 election may be file earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January of February election.
Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, June 15, 2020
Last Day to Apply by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Thursday, July 2, 2020
First Day of Early Voting Monday, July 6, 2020
Last Day of Early Voting Friday, July 10, 2020
Last Day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, July 14, 2020 (Election Day at 7 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Wednesday, July 15, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5 p.m. if carrier envelop is postmarked by 7 p.m. at the location of  the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)

May 2 Election Postponed

On March 23, 2020 the Southlake City Council voted to postpone the May 2 General and City Bond Elections to November 3, 2020 or an earlier date, as specified by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  

Early voting in April will also not be held. The annual Candidate’s Forum is also canceled. 

Candidates who filed for office for the May 2, 2020 election are valid. The filing period will NOT be reopened for other candidates for the new election date.  

The new election date will be created and announced in accordance with the law. Click here for more information. 

To help you stay informed as this situation evolves, the City of Southlake has created an information page, www.ProtectSouthlake.com, that provides a centralized place for Southlake news and resources. It also contains links to the COVID-19 pages located on county, state and federal sites. 

For mobile phone text message updates from the City, type PROTECTSLK to 888-777. Be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other. 

May 6 Bond Proposal Includes 77 School Buses, Maintenance Vehicles

schoolbusesCarroll school officials say the May 6 school bond election includes funding to purchase 74 buses, two suburbans and a mechanic’s truck over a five-year period.

The May 6 single proposition ballot includes $208 million in projects at every CISD facility, including $1 million in renovations to the CISD Transportation Center, as well.

Carroll ISD transports about 3,500 students a total of 2,000 miles back and forth to school daily. In addition, the district logs about 1,500 extracurricular trips during the school year. The district operates its own bus transportation system and employs about 67 drivers and monitors.

CISD currently has 19 buses that are 13 years or older and another 48 that are 9 to 10 years old. CISD Transportation Director Ranjan George said a 2017 77-passenger school bus is estimated to cost $95,000.  If legislation requiring seat belts on buses passes, school officials expect the cost of each new bus to increase by about $12,000 each. The use of seat belts on buses has been debated through the years. According to the American School Bus Council, school buses are the safest way to transport students to and from school, and are carefully designed on a different transportation and protection model than the average passenger car.

“The children are protected like eggs in an egg carton – compartmentalized, and surrounded with padding and structural integrity to secure the entire container,” according to the ASBC website. “The seat backs are raised and the shell is reinforced for protection against impact.” The site goes on to explain that bus seats must accommodate different sizes of riders, from preschool to teens and involve “passive restraint.” Although there is a strong movement to include seat belts on school buses going forward, there is also a prevailing thought that one driver could not help free all student passengers trapped in a seat belt if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Seat belt use on a fully-loaded bus would also be difficult to enforce.

Carroll ISD officials are monitoring legislation and will purchase buses with seat belts in the future if the law passes.

As a property-wealthy district, Carroll ISD does not receive transportation funding from the state. Instead, CISD charges a bus rider fee to transport students. There is a family maximum provided to those with multiple riders. The district spends about $2.3 million on bus transportation each year.

During their year-long review, the Capital Needs Planning Committee (CNPC) heard presentations from the Transportation Department on current bus and vehicle inventories, fleet age, route counts, student rider trends and the pros and cons of buying diesel buses. The $208 million bond proposition before voters includes $7.5 million to phase in bus and maintenance vehicle purchases. An additional $1 million is included in the bond estimates for work on the Transportation Center which opened in 2001. The transportation center work would include restrooms, lighting, electrical, alarms, parking lot, fencing, and technology.

Bus purchases would be phased in over the five-year life of the bond program. The proposal includes purchases of special education buses and maintenance vehicles, as well. Future route buses would be unleaded and all buses purchased for trips would be diesel models.

busproposal

The complete PowerPoint presentation to the Capital Needs Planning Committee is available on the Capital Needs Planning Committee page. Simply click on the Transportation Presentation to see more details. Early voting in the 2017 School Bond Election ends at 7 p.m. today, May 2. Early voting takes place on the third floor of Southlake Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 1 and May 2. More than 2,000 voters have participated in early voting since April 24.

Election day voting is by precinct from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Click here to see voting precinct locations.

 

Early Voting Begins Monday, April 24

Early voting in the Carroll ISD School Bond Election will be held Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2 at Town Hall in Southlake Town Square (third floor) and all other Tarrant County designated locations. Click here to find early voting locations near you.

See the available times for early voting below:

  • Monday, April 24 – 8 am to 5 pm
  • Tuesday, April 25 – 8 am to 5 pm
  • Wednesday, April 26 – 8 am to 5 pm
  • Thursday, April 27 – 8 am to 5 pm
  • Friday, April 28 – 8 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday, April 29 – 7 am to 7 pm
  • Sunday, April 30 – 11 am to 4 pm
  • Monday, May 1 – 7 am to 7 pm
  • Tuesday, May 2 – 7 am to 7 pm

Art in the Square will also be taking place in Southlake Town Square, across from Town Hall, from Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30. This will not affect the voting time or place for early voters.

The City of Southlake offers reserved parking around the Town Hall building during early voting hours.

Any additional questions on early voting may be directed to City Secretary Lori Payne, at lpayne@ci.southlake.tx.us or 817-748-8016.

Details about the $208 million Carroll ISD bond election, including the financial analysis and proposed payment schedule, explanations about taxable values, project list and cost estimates, etc. are available on CarrollBudget.com

 

May 6 School Bond Ballot Includes Band, Music Building Domino Project

Carroll school officials say the $208 million bond proposition on the May 6 ballot includes a proposed band and choir building that has a “domino effect” on other programs.

The project was recommended by a 40-member committee made up of representatives from every Carroll ISD school attendance zone. A smaller subcommittee studied extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities such as athletic fields, gyms, Dragon Stadium, Aquatics Center, visual arts, band, choir and theatre. Their work included tours of existing Carroll ISD facilities, as well as tours of neighboring school districts.

The proposed $24 million performing arts facility would include band and choir halls, classroom space, offices, storage space, practice rooms and a 700-seat auditorium for band and choir performances. School officials say that multiple programs have been sharing one auditorium at Carroll Senior High School since the facility opened. The auditorium was constructed in 1992 when CSHS was a Class 3A high school. Over the past 25 years more students and more programs began utilizing the auditorium space, which includes 999 seats, an orchestra pit and a black box theatre.

Carroll students are now performing against other Class 6A high schools, and members of the Capital Needs Planning Committee believe that the construction of the proposed band/music building will free up space for programs like theatre, journalism/broadcast studio, language labs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Currently, there are 315 students involved in 11 band classes and 175 students in six choirs. The proposed facility under consideration to house these programs would be built on the Carroll Senior High School site, just west of the art building facing FM 1709. Currently, band students travel to Carroll High School for practices and learning marching routines. Band students practice marching on the concrete north student parking lot. The CNPC recommended the bond include a band and choir hall at CSHS so the band program could be housed at the 11/12 campus.

The proposed project list also calls for turf to be installed on the field just west of the indoor workout facility so that members of the Dragon marching band can practice routines on the campus of CSHS on a turf football field, moving off the concrete parking lot area at CHS. Turf for other fields has been proposed to help with safety of athletes and to save maintenance and watering costs associated with real grass. Members of the CNPC said they made recommendations that would shift maintenance and operating costs to debt service costs because expenditures using debt service funds are not subject to Robin Hood recapture.

Citizens on the CNPC proposed a smaller, more intimate auditorium for band and choir performances so that it could also be utilized by APEX, Southlake Community Band and other groups. Although students would have priority when scheduling the facility, CNPC members said there is the potential for facility rental income to support the district’s maintenance and operations budget, which is currently operating at a deficit.

Construction of the proposed band/choir facility would allow the current CSHS auditorium to be renovated and repurposed for expanded theatre arts offerings and facilities. The existing band hall would be renovated into a larger black box theatre, the jazz room would become a dedicated classroom, and the scene shop would be expanded to allow for set construction and design. The renovated area would also give theatre more storage for their productions. Currently, there is only one dressing room and male/female actors must take turns using the dressing room. The renovation project on the May ballot would include offices, a green room and dressing rooms for both male and female actors.

Renovations at the auditorium call for seating, lighting, sound and acoustic treatments specifically designed for theatrical productions. The renovation to the auditorium, school officials say, would be recommended regardless if the proposed band/choir facility is built. In addition, the space freed up by moving band and choir out of this area would allow for a journalism/broadcast studio to move into the renovated space.

Back at Carroll High School (9/10 campus), the band area could be renovated to make room for the STEM program to move off the third floor and down to a facility specifically designed to provide the ventilation and space necessary for students involved in hands-on STEM activities. Relocation of the STEM program frees up classroom space on the third floor of CHS. There are currently 12 foreign language teachers at CHS utilizing the same lab. Under the proposed domino project, the ratio of teachers to language labs would be 4:1 districtwide.

The May bond election also includes uniforms, equipment, instruments, furniture and technology for the district’s art, theater, choir and band programs, to include middle school band and choir programs. Renovations to Dragon Stadium and the CISD Aquatics Center – both 16-year-old facilities – are also outlined in the bond proposal.

Voters will begin casting their ballots on the $208 million bond proposal Monday. To learn more about the projects recommended by the CNPC and include din the May ballot proposal, visit CarrollBudget.com.

Special Elections for City, Carroll ISD Voters Scheduled May 6

On May 6, Southlake voters will be able to vote on two ballot measures affecting Carroll Independent School District.

Although the city and school have separate ballots, voters who reside in both will help decide the future of the 2017 School Bond Proposition and the 1/8 sales tax that funds crime control and prevention programs, which includes funding for the School Resource Officer (SRO) program.

Information on the school bond election can be found at CarrollBudget.com. Only CISD residents may vote in the school bond election. Because the boundaries of the city do not completely align with the boundaries for the school district, there are CISD residents who live in west Grapevine, Westlake, Colleyville and Keller who can vote in the school bond election, but not in the City of Southlake crime tax election. If you are uncertain which city or school district election in which you are eligible to vote, contact the Tarrant County Elections office.

The Southlake Crime Control and Prevention District has been in place since 1997. During the past 20 years, the sales tax has funded the construction of the City’s three public safety facilities and the purchase of necessary equipment such as radio upgrades, body and dash cameras, SWAT equipment, security cameras, rifles, technology upgrades and Town Square security. Since 2013, the crime tax funds have paid for uniformed, trained officers at every Carroll ISD campus. These School Resource Officers are not CISD employees, but rather work for the City of Southlake.

The city ballot asks voters whether they support or oppose continuation of the 1/8 sales tax that is already in place. It does not create a new sales tax. All voters are required to present an approved form of identification in order to vote in any Texas election. Election Day takes place Saturday, May 6. Southlake voters must go to their county precinct polling location on election day. For many City of Southlake residents who also reside in Carroll ISD, that site is the Carroll Senior High School art building.

Early voting, however, is April 24 through May 2 at any Tarrant County early voting site, which includes the third floor of Southlake Town Hall in Southlake Town Square.

As a side note, CISD Trustees all ran unopposed, as did the city candidates, so the elections for School Board Trustee and City Council have been canceled.

No Tax Rate Increase Proposed For May 6 School Bond Election

Carroll Independent School District has called a May 6 bond election that does not require a local debt service tax rate increase. This will be the third such election in recent years where school officials have proposed a no-tax-rate-increase ballot measure.

In 2006 and 2009, voters approved bond elections that did not require a tax rate increase.  In fact, Carroll’s school tax rate has dropped 54.5 cents in the last decade.

That hasn’t stopped rising home values and ultimately, higher tax bills. School officials have been clear during public meetings and bond presentations that just because the school tax rate remains unchanged, doesn’t mean a homeowner won’t see a higher tax bill. The Tarrant Appraisal District sets the property value of homes, not Carroll ISD.

Just this past week, local residents received their property value notices from the Tarrant Appraisal District.  Many were shocked to experience significant property value increases. The arrival of these annual notices tends to generate more questions and confusion than answers. Some, no doubt, will want to protest their values.

As a reminder, the local school district tax rate makes up just one portion – although be it the greatest portion – of your local tax rate. Also included are county, hospital and city tax rates. The rates for individual groups are set annually by the elected or governing officials of that entity. And although you may disagree with the final appraisal sent to you by TAD, the figure is based on the square footage of your home and/or the comparable values in your neighborhood.

The rate, then for each of the taxing entities, is applied to your home value. Therefore, for Carroll ISD residents, you pay $1.39 per $100 assessed value. The higher the value of your home, the larger the bill. CISD Trustees, however, have actually lowered the local debt service tax rate by a penny over a two-year period.

School officials remind voters that Carroll ISD has the fifth lowest school tax rate of the 21 Tarrant County school districts. No one likes to pay taxes, but this is the system in place to provide public services like fire, police, roads and schools. Carroll ISD is working to help educate local residents about the projects earmarked in the May 6 election, how Robin Hood has affected the district’s ability to pay for ongoing maintenance and construction items and how a local citizen’s committee worked to identify projects for voter consideration.

CISD enrollment has increased 438 students in the past decade and 1,917 students since 2000. Demographers project an enrollment increase of 372 students over the next five years and 669 students over the next 10 years. Despite adopting an operating budget deficit as a Robin Hood Chapter 41 recapture district, Carroll ISD has managed to give teacher raises and accommodate steady growth through short-term use of portable buildings. The district is expected to pay $19.2 million under the state’s Chapter 41 recapture formula this year.

School officials say that increases in property values benefit the other taxing entities, like the city, county and hospital district, but because of the way the school funding formula works, CISD sees very little operating budget benefit from rising property values. Public schools do benefit, however, on the debt service side of the budget. With voter consideration, this is how schools pay for construction, maintenance and life cycle projects, school buses, etc.

CISD is one of only 16 school districts in the state to receive two stars for financial transparency. The district not only has provided information about the tax rate history, student growth, the proposed bond election, and the work of a 40-member citizen’s committee to study capital needs, it also provides a thorough financial transparency website for the public – one that the state has recognized and honored.

Some attendees at the school bond presentations have asked how the district will pay for proposed projects if there is no tax rate increase involved. The answer has been transparent and consistent. Because home values continue to increase, CISD is able to pay off old debt and layer in new debt using the tax collections on the rate set by Trustees.  When CISD is able to take advantage of lower interest rates or pay debt off early, the district does. Conservative financial bond planning counts on an average increase of 6 percent in property values next year with 3.5 percent growth for the following three years and no growth thereafter.  The average increase has been 6 percent over the last 10 years, with an 11 percent increase last year.

There are only a few sources of revenue for public schools and local taxpayers bear most of the burden to fund their public schools. Local revenue accounts for 89 percent of the district’s revenue in the 2016-2017 operating budget. State funding as a percentage of the district’s revenue has decreased from 25 percent to 9 percent in the past 10 years.

While a tax rate increase is not planned if the bond passes, some residents have asked what happens if the bond fails?  School officials say the debt service tax rate could decrease. Some projects identified by the committee may not get completed. Although CISD is already working under an operational deficit, school officials would have to fund maintenance and operation projects within the current budget or face cuts in programs and staffing. The district also has the option of calling another election in November or May 2018.

For more information about the district’s finances, visit CISD’s Financial Transparency Website.

For more information about the district’s proposed bond election, visit CarrollBudget.com

For more information about Tarrant Appraisal District and your home value, visit TAD.org

 

May 6 Bond Election Includes Additional K-4 Classrooms

The May 6 school bond election includes classroom additions at each of the five elementary schools to address the steady increase in kindergarten through fourth grade students projected over the next five years.

Rocky Gardiner of Templeton Demographics was hired to update the district’s enrollment projections. He presented a report to Trustees February 6 showing the district’s elementary enrollment projection of 177 additional students over the next five years. This steady increase in K-4 students means at least four of the district’s elementary schools will be over their Functional Capacity by the 2021-2022 school year. CISD has already placed portable buildings at Johnson and Carroll Elementary Schools, and closed in common spaces at Walnut Grove Elementary as a short-term solution to accommodate enrollment.

A Capital Needs Planning Committee of citizens and employees studied the district’s growth patterns over the next 10 years. The group recommended classroom building additions in years 1-5 and encouraged CISD to consider opening a sixth elementary in years 6-10. CISD currently has 2,883 elementary students across the five campuses; that number is expected to grow to 3,060 by 2021-2022 and 3,186 by 2026-2027.

ElementaryEnrollment

“Ideally CISD would open a sixth elementary school but there are concerns right now that because of the school finance system and the Chapter 41 Robin Hood money the state takes from us, we wouldn’t have the money to operate the school,” said Superintendent David J. Faltys. “Their recommendation is to construct building additions at each elementary school now and continue studying the option of a sixth elementary school down the road.”

School officials say because of the CNPC’s recommendation, the May 6 bond election includes four classrooms for Walnut Grove Elementary School, and six classrooms each for Johnson, Carroll, Old Union and Rockenbaugh Elementary Schools. The master plan at Old Union would allow for an additional 10 more classrooms in the future should the district need additional space or decide to house the preschool program on that campus.

If the district experiences relief from the state finance system or is able to recoup maintenance and operations funds through energy savings or use of interest and sinking funds, then it might be in a better position in the future to consider a sixth elementary. At that time, school officials say the classroom additions could be used for collaborative learning spaces for K-4 students.

Voters will consider a $208 million bond proposition on the May 6 ballot. The measure includes technology infrastructure and devices, building additions and renovations, extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities and projects to address maintenance, transportation and safety/security.

School officials say about half of the bond package total covers maintenance/life cycle projects such as HVAC, carpeting, painting, tile and more. The election does not require a tax rate increase based on conservative forecasting by CISD’s bond advisors. Early voting begins April 24 and ends May 2 at any Tarrant County polling place. The most convenient location for Carroll ISD voters is third floor voting at Town Hall in Southlake Town Square. Election day voting will take place by precinct, with a majority of Southlake voters casting a ballot at the art building at Carroll Senior High School.

To learn more about the May 6 election, visit CarrollBudget.com