By BRAD KELLAR
Local voters will have a lot to choose from on today’s election ballot.
They will be voting for City Council members, whether to approve $15 million in bonds for a new YMCA/event center, whether to approve $12.6 million in bonds to pay for the reconstruction of nine local streets and whether to approve dozens of changes to the city’s governing document.
Polls will be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. today. Polling locations and sample ballots are included in today’s edition of the newspaper and the Herald-Banner will be providing election updates during the evening at the heraldbanner.com web site.
More than 1,100 people voted early in the City of Greenville elections.
— Place 1 is the only contested City Council race on the ballot. Incumbent Council member Dan Perkins and Tyson Cox filed for the seat and James Evans was the only candidate to have filed for the Place 2 post. Incumbent Place 2 Council member Dr. Joe Perks chose not to seek re-election.
— Proposition 2 on the City of Greenville ballot asks whether voters are for or against the issuance of $15 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the construction of a facility to be owned by the City and leased to and operated by the YMCA or other public or private entity as a commercial activity community events/recreation center. The facility would be located in the Greenville Sports Park on Monty Stratton Parkway. If approved by voters, organizers of the project say they have received commitments from several entities toward the cost of the facility which could reduce the potential tax burden. Dr. Jerry Ransom has agreed to donate $1 million through 10 annual installments of $100,000 each. When combined with similar pledges from other community partners, the funds are expected to reduce the overall taxpayer burden from a previously estimated 7 cents per $100 valuation to less than 3 cents.
— Proposition 1 on the ballot asks whether voters are in favor of the issuance of $12.6 million in bonds for street improvements. The bond proposition calls for rebuilding Stonewall Street between Mockingbird Lane and the Interstate 30 frontage road, Sayle Street between Kari Lane and the frontage road, and Webb Street between Sayle and Wesley Streets during the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Stonewall Street from Park to Stanford and Wellington Street from Joe Ramsey to Lee Street would be rebuilt during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Ridgecrest Boulevard from Canton to Sayle Streets, Morgan and Bourland Streets north and west of Carver Elementary School and Live Oak Street from Bonham to Nashville would be rebuilt during the 2015-2026 fiscal year.
— A total of 30 proposed amendments to the City of Greenville Charter are also on today’s ballot. Nine of the propositions deal with the word “simple”, in terms of a defining and implementing “simple majority” votes, while 12 of the proposed changes deal with the city’s relationship with its employees — including the city manager and city attorney — including how they can be hired and/or fired. Propositions 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 deal with City Council appointees; which include the city manager, city secretary, city attorney and municipal judge Among the proposed changes is the addition of a new section, “General Definitions” to the Charter, which would specify that in terms of voting, a majority of the Council would be four out of the seven members, a “simple majority” would mean one more than half of the Council members present during a meeting and a “super majority” would be five of seven Council members. Propositions 15, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27 and 30 involve the terms as to how a “simple majority” vote would be implemented, if the propositions are approved by voters. Other propositions on the ballot would correct typographical errors and misspellings, extend the period under which citizens can file for a referendum vote from 30 days to six months after the passage of an ordinance and allow members of the GEUS board to live outside of the city limits of Greenville.