OUR OPINION: Vote yes on all ballot measures on Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2007

Voters in Marengo County will face two or three key votes on Tuesday. For those who live within the city limits of Demopolis, you will decide the fate of three important measures. For those who live anywhere else in the county, you hold the fate of two constitutional amendments in your hands.

Our front page details the three votes that will appear on ballots. The first two are proposed constitutional amendments. One proposal would allow the state to borrow more money to pay for economic development incentives. The other proposal protects state funds earmarked for the health care benefits of state and education employees.

The final measure &8212; the one that will only appear on ballots within Demopolis &8212; will renew a three-mill leverage that provides additional funding for the Demopolis City Schools.

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We feel that all three measures are vitally important to our state and our area, and we urge voters to vote &8220;yes&8221; on each measure.

Amendment 1 will give Alabama the leverage it needs to be competitive with other states in attracting large industries. If this amendment fails, then we will likely lose the ThyssenKrupp plant, and that will adversely affect the longterm future of Marengo County.

Amendment 2 protects money already earmarked for health care benefits for state and education employees. This measure simply protects vital funds from being used by lawmakers in risky investments or to pay for other shortterm obligations.

The three mill local levee provides $300,000 in funding each year to our public schools. This is not a new tax but a renewal of a program that started in 1977. It must be renewed every 10 years for the funding to continue. We cannot impress upon voters the dire urgency in passing this measure.

Because of the lack of candidates on the ballot, voter turnout is expected to be low. That said, we encourage everyone to go to the polls and cast their votes.