It’s been a hot topic for months that’s now headed to a courtroom. On Monday night, several people in Big Spring made a decision to go up against the City Council. They’re even bringing in watchdog groups from as far away as Virginia. On Monday night, the Concerned Citizens Council met at the Howard County Library and voted to file a lawsuit against the City of Big Spring for what they call an illegal meeting. They claim city leaders used an emergency meeting about valuations to dismiss their petition - calling for an election.

Those were the words of Shannon Thomason of the Big Spring, TX Concerned CitizensNews 9 Council. Trevor Ford and I traveled to Big Spring this week to find out why the city council went so far as to violate Texas public meeting law to hold an emergency meeting to prevent a tax rollback from making the citywide ballot.

Howard County, TXWhen we heard about the trouble that folks in Big Spring, Texas were having with the city council stifling their petition rights, we decided to head down to the Lone Star state and see if we could help out.

A citizens group in Big Spring is threatening to sue the city after the City Council found a tax rollback petition was invalid. The Concerned Citizens of Big Spring had circulated a petition around town calling for a tax roll back election. The Big Spring City Council voted back in September to raise taxes to build a new pool, but the Concerned Citizens want the issue to got to a vote.

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Attorneys ordered into mediation over the red light cameras agreed to follow the will of the College Station voters during a hearing Friday. The decision won’t be official until the City Council votes Monday at a meeting where the remaining legal details are expected to be finalized. Visiting District Judge Suzanne Stovall said if the promised action isn’t taken, she’s holding a slot open at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 4 The decision came after the Stovall opted not to make a decision at Friday’s hearing.

So how would transportation issues fare in Texas or Dallas if placed before voters? Convention wisdom is that transportation does well on the ballot, and this week’s elections kept that trend alive.

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With more than 1.7 million military veterans in Texas and just nine Veterans Affairs hospitals, long drives are not uncommon in the Rio Grande Valley and some other parts of the state with large veteran populations. For decades veterans along the U.S.-Mexico border have had to travel five hours to San Antonio for many medical procedures.

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Early voting begins next week

Fri, Oct 16 2009 — Source: Daily Sentinel

Early voting begins Monday in the Nov. 3 state constitution and city charter amendments elections. For the two weeks, voters throughout Nacogdoches County will join others across the state to decide 11 amendments to the state constitution. City voters will also determine the fate of 10 amendments to the Nacogdoches city charter.

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Alcohol sales delayed in Lubbock

Thu, Aug 20 2009 — Source: FOX 34

It might be several months before alcohol can be sold across Lubbock. The TABC today issued the statement below, declaring the challenge to permit applications will head to the court system.


Citizen Protests Delay Processing of TABC Permit Applications in Lubbock County

A countywide local option election was held in Lubbock County on May 9, 2009, legalizing the sale of:

Opponents of the city’s plan to offer domestic partner benefits to municipal employees may seek a ballot measure to try to overturn the decision. On Thursday, July 30, the El Paso City Council voted 6-1 to offer health benefits to the unmarried partners of employees, both gay and straight. El Paso would become the third city in Texas to offer DP benefits, joining Dallas and Austin. But on Tuesday, Aug. 4, about 25 people reportedly attended a council meeting to protest the decision, which still must be finalized as part of the budget later this month.

Texans will decide on a constitutional amendment limiting the use of eminent domain and 10 other propositions when they go to the polls in November. Secretary of State Hope Andrade held a drawing Tuesday to determine the ballot order for the propositions and to call attention to the upcoming election. The proposed amendments were approved by at least two-thirds of the Texas House and Senate in this year’s legislative session. “I hope Texans will recognize the role they can play in our state’s future and head to the polls this fall,” Andrade said.

A petition to bring red light cameras to a vote in College Station, TX has successfully collected enough signatures to make it on the city ballot. Activist plans to present his petition to the city council in mid-July. Banning red light cameras, which critics claim are merely revenue generators for local governments, has been approved by 3 to 1 margins everywhere it has been voted on.

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A measure to allow beer and wine to be served in restaurants in Doña Ana County outside of municipalities appears to have passed by a significant margin in Tuesday’s election. In all, 1,128 votes, or 84 percent, were cast in favor of the measure, while 208, 16 percent, were against, according to final results that did not include 33 provisional ballots.

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Texas farm and ranch groups are glad lawmakers have taken steps to revisit eminent domain law but say it’s “nowhere near” what’s needed in a state where most land is privately held. Texas Farm Bureau spokesman Gene Hall said that if voters approve a constitutional amendment in November, it would bring “improved but still bad eminent domain law” to the state.

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A red-light camera fight in College Station has the backing of a state representative. Sunday Representative Fred H. Brown (R) signed Jim Ash’s petition to take red-light cameras before the voters.

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