Constitutional amendment poll

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seamusTX
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Constitutional amendment poll

#1

Post by seamusTX » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:11 pm

Early voting begins today. Every voter in Texas can make a choice on the proposed constitutional amendments that the legislature sent to us.

Here is a guide that seems reliable, IMHO: http://www.lwvtexas.org/2009VG/2009CAVG%5BFINAL%5D.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have opinions on the following proposition:
  • Proposition 2 will require homesteads to be appraised for taxation based only on the value of the property as a residence. This means that the appraisal district cannot decide that your home would be worth more as a gas station and set the value accordingly.
  • Proposition 11 solidifies the prevention of abuse of eminent domain.
- Jim
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#2

Post by Rex B » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:37 pm

From what I read I'll probably vote for all of them.

Anyone see any negatives that did not occur to me?
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#3

Post by seamusTX » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:43 pm

I don't understand where Prop. 1, allowing municipalities to borrow money to create buffer zones around military bases, comes from.

Let the feds do it. The U.S. Constitution puts that responsibility on them.

- Jim

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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#4

Post by Purplehood » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:43 pm

Senator Cornyn sent me a letter asking me to vote for all of them (favorably).

Jim,

I am not sure where the Constitution does that. The point of the amendment appears to be an effort to improve the benefits of a Military Base to the surrounding community.
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#5

Post by seamusTX » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:54 pm

Article I, Section 8, which defines the powers of Congress:
To raise and support Armies,...
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States,...
I really don't understand what would be accomplished by that proposition.

- Jim


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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#6

Post by Rex B » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:59 pm

With all the base closings over the last couple decades, perhaps this allows a city to take steps that might help them retain a base
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#7

Post by seamusTX » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:07 pm

I'd like to know for sure what is intended.

This proposition could affect me directly. Galveston Island has a Coast Guard base that is currently surrounded by undeveloped land controlled by the feds. The future of that land is a very contentious issue.

We have an unusually high volume of land that is owned by entities that can't be taxed (federal, state, local government, and non-profits), which drives up the tax rate for the rest of us. We need more private homes and businesses.

The establishment and closing of military bases is extremely political. IMHO, it's more of a pork thing than valid national defense needs. For instance, there was a naval air base in Glenview, Illinois, north of Chicago, for decades. What was that supposed to protect us from? Canada? Wisconsin? (Those cheese-heads can become vicious during football season.)

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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#8

Post by Rex B » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:24 pm

Yes, it's a pork thing, but those bases have to be somewhere, and for strategic and other reasons they can't all be on the coasts.
And once a base is established, it becomes an integral part of the local economy. In some cases it IS the local economy.
And when one like that closes, the town withers.

But enough speculation. i'm writing my rep.
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#9

Post by seamusTX » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:32 pm

There may be towns that rely on economic activity from military bases, but I've observed several examples where closing bases was a net win. The former site of Fort Crockett in Galveston is now the site of some of the most productive businesses (San Luis complex). The base in Glenview, Illinois, used to be surrounded by bars and houses of ill repute. Now it's an upscale residential neighborhood. San Antonio does not seem to have suffered from the scaling down of bases there.

- Jim

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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#10

Post by Purplehood » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:36 pm

I thought I kept the newsletter explaining why Senator Cornyn was in favor of all the proposed Amendments, but I did not. I seem to recall that his main reason for supporting HJR 132 (Amendment 1 - the Military Installation Buffer-zones) was purely economic.
I got the feeling that many municipalities that allow uncontrolled growth right up to a Military facilities boundaries and/or impose stringent restrictions in those zones tend to force the DoD to eventually abandon those bases as untenable.
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#11

Post by LaserTex » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:41 pm

The buffer area issue is mainly for San Antonio area around Camp Bullis. The military services (Army, Navy and Air Force) will all be using that area for Medic training. (BRAC 2005 made the change for all Medic training to be out of Ft. San Houston - which exclusively uses Camp Bullis for that training.) The suburban crawl in that area (North San Antonio) has been completely out of control for years...to the point that it was causing mission impacts to the training. It is extremely important to "train like you fight" and that is impossible when the flood lights fromt he neighborhood park is blasting into your training area.

There may be more areas than that but it has been an issue San Antonio has been working on for a while.

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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#12

Post by srothstein » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:03 pm

Lasertex hit on part of the problem, with the new development affecting Camp Bullis. One of the other problems they are citing is that the development is impacting the endangered species in the area. As the development destroys nesting areas for the golden cheeked warbler, the birds move onto Camp Bullis. As they are spotted on the base, those areas now become off limits for training.

I have my preference for dealing with idiots who build next to a military base and then complain about the noise. I also have my priorities for which is more important, birds or military training. But the courts seem to feel the opposite to me.

So, in order to keep Ft. Sam Houston and Lackland AFB as viable training bases, San Antonio is trying to cut down on development in the area. Since developers were smart and filed plans years ago, they have vested rights to develop and the only way the city can stop them is to buy the land. I think the DoD could buy the land, but they might decide to close the bases and move the training instead. So, San Antonio is looking for ways to keep what they see as a strong eceonomic generator, and possibly improve relations with the military for future expansion.
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#13

Post by Rex B » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:22 am

I emailed my rep, Vicki Truitt, and got this response from a staffer:

Rex,

There seems to be a lot of misinformation being disseminated recently. I have included several helpful resources below to help you better understand the background and purpose of each amendment as well as what opponents and supporters say. Please see below.

The text of the amendments (from the Secretary of State's Office):

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/vo ... lang.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Statements explaining the intended effect of passage of each amendment (from the Secretary of State's Office):

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/vo ... texp.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A more in-depth analysis of the amendments (from the Texas Legislative Council and the House Research organization, non partisan legislative resources) :

http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/pubsconamend ... yses09.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ; http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/focus/amend81.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Again, I hope you find this helpful. This may be more information than you were hoping for! If you know of others that may have concern about the proposed amendments, please share this information with them. Please let me know if you still have questions after reading this and I will certainly do my best to help answer your questions.

Also, I might add that Representative Truitt is planning to hold a meeting this Saturday, October 24 at the Colleyville Library (second floor) to try to clear up questions and concerns of constituents about the proposed constitutional amendments. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10am and is open to the public.

Terra Taylor
Representative Vicki Truitt
District 98
(512) 463-0690
(512) 477-5770 Fax
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#14

Post by Dudley » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:06 pm

LaserTex wrote:The buffer area issue is mainly for San Antonio area around Camp Bullis. The military services (Army, Navy and Air Force) will all be using that area for Medic training. (BRAC 2005 made the change for all Medic training to be out of Ft. San Houston - which exclusively uses Camp Bullis for that training.) The suburban crawl in that area (North San Antonio) has been completely out of control for years...to the point that it was causing mission impacts to the training. It is extremely important to "train like you fight" and that is impossible when the flood lights fromt he neighborhood park is blasting into your training area.
If it's a problem for the military, then the military should buy the buffer zone.
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Re: Constitutional amendment poll

#15

Post by Purplehood » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:59 am

Dudley wrote:
LaserTex wrote:The buffer area issue is mainly for San Antonio area around Camp Bullis. The military services (Army, Navy and Air Force) will all be using that area for Medic training. (BRAC 2005 made the change for all Medic training to be out of Ft. San Houston - which exclusively uses Camp Bullis for that training.) The suburban crawl in that area (North San Antonio) has been completely out of control for years...to the point that it was causing mission impacts to the training. It is extremely important to "train like you fight" and that is impossible when the flood lights fromt he neighborhood park is blasting into your training area.
If it's a problem for the military, then the military should buy the buffer zone.
It is a problem for the community when the Military ups and leaves because of all the restrictions that arise when there is no buffer-zone.

Look at it this way...the Military builds a massive reservation somewhere out in the middle of nowhere so that they can conduct training without any interference. Businesses spring up outside the base. A community forms and starts to grow larger and closer to the reservation. Now the members of that community start complaining about noise, wildlife, and whatever else they perceive is a problem with living next to a base. The Military cannot expand the base to create the buffer-zone, as the community is right up against its physical confines.

So the base shuts down or downsizes (effecting the economy of the community either way). To avoid this, the community imposes its own buffer-zone to prevent further encroachment against the base. With the option of "the military should buy the buffer zone", any existing community would have to be physically displaced. Do you want to be the victim of some sort of eminent domain act?
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