Things are heating up in Texas this month, and no I don’t mean the weather, thank goodness! This is an election year nationally and statewide and important dates are coming up.
First, the deadline to register is October 11th. Don’t wait to register at the last minute or you may miss this one out. Head over to election central at www.votedenton.gov for all the information you may need from rules, dates, locations and sample ballots. Dates, locations, times and where you need to go differ based on whether you vote in early voting or on Election Day. Make a plan and get it done. Mail-in ballots take time so get those started soon. Early voting starts Monday, October 24.
The legislature is taking up critical issues this cycle so who we send to Austin will have some real opportunities to make our lives better or worse. Redistricting has changed the makeup of all our precincts so new groups of voters are making choices for our areas. Many state races are competitive so your vote can make more of a difference than you may have thought. Make sure they hear your voice!
Recently, disappointment with the appraisal district in Denton County reached a peak when 2/3rd of the taxing entities denied their budget request, including the Northlake Town Council. This was a severe action intended to send a wake-up call that across the county schools and towns had lost faith in the district to perform their duties.
At the time, we didn’t know just how badly Northlake was about to be disappointed in their performance. For two years, the district has delivered certified estimates (educated guesses) for our tax rolls instead of certified totals. That was poor enough performance. This year however, while they delivered a certified total, they made a significant error which changed the Northlake rolls by 20% after we completed our budget and rate setting meetings. A change of this magnitude is egregious and could have had serious consequences for funding the town. Thankfully, we are stable and financially sound and able to make adjustments that won’t impact our ability to fund required services this year. This does mean that we will have to meet in a special session and redo our tax hearings and reset our rates.
This is the complete failure for the appraisal district and warrants a complete overhaul of the organization. We have expressed our displeasure at this failure and expect any new leadership stepping up to address this seriously and completely. It is fortunate that our staff were able to quickly respond and help us reset our notices and hold a meeting in time to meet our state deadlines. We will be looking for aggressive changes and following them closely over the next year to see needed changes take place. As our County Judge said about this situation when he called for change a while back, “we will not fund failure.” Northlake concurs completely.