went down by a 68-32 margin. This time they're asking for less money for a smaller project, so that might help proponents a little, but factors mitigating in favor of the opposition are more compelling - particularly the likelihood of a high turnout in a presidential election and the school district putting $125K in bonds on the same ballot.
The voters of Smith County have voted against three separate bond proposals to build a new jail. In 2006, the voters defeated two proposals. In 2007, the voters defeated another proposal. For some reason the Commissioners Court has yet to get the message. The voters of Smith County do not want to build a jail. They have said no to a remote jail. They have said no to a downtown jail that was not integrated with the rest of the county’s facilities and they have said no to a downtown jail that was integrated.
At every turn the Commissioners Court has proven that it is deaf to the wishes of the public. The Commissioners Court has been focused on its own personal agenda and not what the public wanted. This was prominently on display when the Commissioners Court decided to give itself a 40% raise over three years after the first bond election failed. As the public uproar against the raises rose louder and louder, the Commissioners Court dug in their heels and refused to listen. This is the moment we no longer trusted this group of commissioners. ...
This committee was born out of a complete frustration with this Commissioners Court. It appears that they do not trust the public and we know that we do not trust this commissioners court. It is time for us to take back our County Government. It is time to clean house. It is time to elect people who will listen to the voters and not develop secret plans behind our backs. We say enough is enough. We say “What part of NO don’t you understand?” The Commissioners Court has had its say in this election. It is now time for the citizens to respond.
I'd earlier predicted Smith County is headed for a jail bond rejection hat trick, and nothing I've seen since has convinced me voters will buy into this jail after they've rejected three versions before it. Grits' prediction: Somewhere between 60% and 2/3 of Smith County voters will reject the jail bonds. Again. And then commissioners will put it on the ballot again next year.