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Tue May 1, 2007
Commerce political forum
By Bill Oliver
Commerce, TX –
The Commerce political forum, held May 1st and heard on KETR, had no shortage of supporters for the bond issue to replace A.C. Williams Elementary School.
Favoring the bond issue were place 1 Commerce City Council candidate Janice Harrison and place 2 candidate Richard Hill. Wyman Williams, speaking for supporters of the bond issue, said the time was never better to do this. That's due to action in the Texas Legislature to reduce school finance property tax rates.
A mailer sent to Commerce school district voters stated if the bond issue failed, money would be taken from the operating budget to buy and operate portable buildings. Williams said it would be up to the school board to decide when and how much would be taken from teacher pay and supplies.
Questions asked of the council candidates included what to do about getting people who work in Commerce to live in Commerce as opposed to being commuters. Janice Harrison said more family and youth oriented businesses need to be created. Richard Hill, a former president of the Commerce Economic Development Corporation, said the council is prohibited by state law from directly helping retail businesses. However, Hill pointed out building the tax base with new and expanding business and industry will bring in additional employees who will spend at least their money in Commerce even if they choose to live elsewhere.
In other comments, Hill talked about increasing communication between the city and the university in order for both to participate more in the other's activities. And Harrison joined Hill in pledging to be new voices and bring new ideas if elected to the council.
Early voting for city, school, and state issues is currently taking place ahead of the May 12th regular election.