Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Want Economic Development – Buy Local

With the news that Bitmain is “Scaling Back Operations,” many in Milam County are asking what’s next? Everyone is looking for the Homerun that will put Milam County back in the positive as far as tax base goes and help lower the tax rate that threatens to still go higher in the near future.

As reality starts to set in, it’s important to realize that a tax base and county-wide gravy train like ALCOA only comes along once in a long while. To continue on with the baseball analogy, and truth be told, any good baseball coach will tell you that homeruns rarely win you the game. It’s when a team puts together the base hits and solid overall offense that the game is won.

ALCOA was a homerun and every since they folded up shop, Milam County has been looking for the next grand slam. It’s time to get serious about economic development in Milam County and that starts, like all things political, at the local level. So, in short, the local level is where we have to start if we truly want to build a stronger Milam County.

I’ve looked around and there really isn’t anything you need, or want, that can’t be found right here in Milam County. From groceries, to clothing, to household supplies, to building materials, to auto dealers, to furniture, to any list of items you could need; It’s all right here in Milam County. I hear the arguments all the time; from it’s too expensive to there’s not enough selection, you make the argument and I guarantee you I’ve already heard it. So what’s the truth?

It’s your money, do what you want with it, but when businesses fold in Milam County we all lose. You might spend a bit more to shop at home and you might not be able to get that exact designer brand you had your heart set on, but when you shop local you are supporting you neighbors, friends, and your own pocket book over the long run. And when you leave the county to do you shopping, the county loses out on the tax money generated by the sales, and in turn so do the Milam County Tax-payers.

When you buy in Temple, Bell county enjoys the windfall of your purchase, Milam County gets nothing. If you buy in Bryan, Brazos County wins; buy in Austin, Travis County gains; buy in Waco and McLennan County adds to their coffers. See the trend?

When you shop out of county for items and stores fold in Milam County, the tax base shrinks. When Milam County citizens leave the county to find work, the county loses a tax-payer and the tax base shrinks. When the tax base shrinks, the tax rate has to go up to pay for county services.

I hear all the time, ”if there was an HEB here in Milam County I’d shop there, but I have to go to Temple/Taylor/Bryan/Waco to use HEB?”

GUESS WHAT…. If we all “sacrificed” some and shopped locally for a while, HEB would notice and build in Milam County. BUT… HEB doesn’t build in Milam County because they know you’ll make the 25-45 minute trip to the nearest HEB. They don’t need to come to Milam County because Milam County will come to them.

We have three car dealerships in Milam County and several used car lots, yet how many people take the trip down the road and buy a car and give their tax money to other counties. That’s a lot of money every year that leaves Milam County.

Home improvements are an always an ongoing occurrence, yet every hardware store and lumber yard in Milam County struggles while you drive to the next county over to shop at the big chain store. I’m not sure, but I think most of the local stores employ local Milam County folks and help sponsor a great deal of the charitable works throughout the county. You don’t see too many of the big chain stores helping around Milam County.

Patronizing local businesses are the base hits that win a game. Sure it would be nice to hit the homerun, but the base hits and the full team press of a shopping local are what makes for a strong tax base, a lower tax rate, greater overall economic development, and a more prosperous Milam County. We might not be able to draw the Home Run, but each of us can make the base hits it takes to keep Milam County Strong.

Batter Up,
Bill

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Another Limp List of Primary Ballot Propositions!

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to work my way through the ballot propositions passed by our State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). I find a few that are pretty good, a few that are the same old rhetorically proposed platform issues that we continually feel we need to reassert ourselves on and then some of the issues that are driving a wedge in us as a party.

I have a few weeks to go over these, so I won’t overwhelm anyone with my take on them all at one time. But I thought it would be good to put them out there. I would like for those of us who will vote on them to have some idea of what it is that the SREC thinks are the important issues for Texas Republicans to weigh in on.

I’ll keep from ripping the SREC on the issues they left off.

1. Texas should replace the property tax system with an appropriate consumption tax equivalent.

2. No government entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter
approval.

3. Republicans in the Texas House should select their Speaker nominee by secret ballot in a binding caucus without Democrat influence.

4. Texas should require employers to screen new hires through the free E-Verify system to protect
jobs for legal workers.

5. Texas families should be empowered to choose from public, private, charter, or homeschool options for their children’s education, using tax credits or exemptions without government constraints or intrusion.

6. Texas should protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas Schools and government buildings.

7. I Believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.

8. Vote fraud should be a felony in Texas to help ensure fair elections.

9. Texas demands that congress completely repeal Obamacare.

10. To slow the growth of property taxes, yearly revenue increases should be capped at 4%, with increases in excess of 4% requiring voter approval.

11. Tax dollars should not be used to fund the building of stadiums for professional or semi-professional sports teams.

So there they are. All 11 propositions in all their glory.

Read them, love them, hate them, debate them… WHATEVER…

I will be diving into these in the coming weeks, but with all that’s listed, I can’t help but wonder, where are the propositions for a balanced federal budget, addressing the current issues with the CPS system, the tax-payer funded boondoggle that is wind-generated power…. Geez!!

Those are just three off the top of my head, but I did say I’d keep from ripping the SREC – FOR NOW!!

Anyway, take a look at them and we can get into more details in the days to come.

Good Night!!
Bill

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Republican Women of Milam County Meeting!!

Come join us for the Republican Women of Milam County’s first meeting for the Fall as we prepare for the 2018 Election Season.

We’ll meet on Tuesday, August 19th at 6:30 in the conference room of the Budget Host Inn & Suites in Cameron.


There’s a lot going on this year and some changes in store for the upcoming year so come on and out and get involved.


See You There!!
Bill

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Election Filing Starts TODAY!!

If you are thinking of running for office this year in the GOP Primary or serving as a member for the county Executive Committee then here are some important dates for the upcoming March 2018 Primary Election.

September 12, 2017 – First day to file for office for the positions of Precinct Chair.

November 11, 2017 – First day to file for a place on the 2018 Primary Ballot.

December 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm – Last day to file for a place on the 2018 Primary Ballot.

January 1, 2018 – First day to apply for a ballot by mail.

February 5, 2018 – Last day to register to vote in the 2018 Primary Election.

February 20-March 2, 2018 – Early Voting for the 2018 Primary Election.

February 23, 2018 – Last day to apply for a ballot by mail (received, not postmarked).

March 6, 2018 – Primary Election Day.

Along with the state and federal elections, this years slate of local Milam County Offices up for elections are as follows:

County Judge
Commissioner, Pct. 2
Commissioner, Pct. 4
County Clerk
District Clerk
County Treasurer
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4

If you have any questions or concerns just contact me at williamwhitmire@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Bill

Thursday, November 3, 2016

BREAKING RECORDS!! 2016 Early Voting – Week 2 – Day 3



Here are the early voting totals to date and it’s official…. WE BROKE OUR OWN EARLY VOTING RECORD….


Here are the totals following yesterday’s voting.

For November 2, 2016
Location – Voters (2012 Voters)
County Clerk’s Office – 161 (105)
Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center – 147 (132)
Buckholts Community Center – 18 (28)
Thorndale VFW – 62 (36)
Ballot by Mail – 12 (13)
Limited – 3 (0)
Military – 0 (0)
Total – 403 (314)


Up-To-Date Totals
Location – Voters (2012 Voters)
County Clerk’s Office – 1948 (1722)
Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center – 1579 (1218)
Buckholts Community Center – 208 (170)
Thorndale VFW – 631 (359)
Ballot by Mail – 491 (295)
Limited – 19 (3)
Military – 19 (16)
Total – 4895 (3783)

The 2016 to-date total of 4895 has already broke the 2012 total number of 4752 early voters and we still have two days of early voting left. To add to those already high totals, we also have maintained pace at 30% ahead of 2012 numbers, and as of yesterday, over 33% of all the eligible voters in Milam County have already voted.

Someone made the point to me that some of those voters might be voting for the other side and there is truth in that; however, with the rather lethargic voting turnouts we’ve had the last few years, I am excited to see us moving in the right direction.

Keep up the awesome work!!

Two more days of Early Voting left, so get out there a vote. 

As a note, the polls will close early on Friday to allow everyone the opportunity to attend services for Porter Young. Our condolences go out to his family and many friends.

Thanks,
Bill


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 Early Voting – Week 2 Day 2



After the Tuesday’s Early Voting polls closed, we are closer to going over the 2012 mark but still a bit shy; however, what a huge leap in voter turnout we are having overall this year. I got a call today from on the folks at the state party and they have taken notice of the vote here in Milam County. They are very impressed at our voter turnout considering there are no contested races on the local slate.

I told them, “that’s because Milam County Voters pay attention to what’s going.”

Here are the totals following yesterday’s voting.

For November 1, 2016
Location – Voters (2012 Voters)
County Clerk’s Office – 133 (147)
Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center – 153 (115)
Buckholts Community Center – 23 (20)
Thorndale VFW – 53 (36)
Ballot by Mail – 2 (8)
Limited – 0 (0)
Military – 0 (0)
Total – 364 (326)


Up-To-Date Totals
Location – Voters (2012 Voters)
County Clerk’s Office – 1787 (1617)
Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center – 1432 (1086)
Buckholts Community Center – 190 (142)
Thorndale VFW – 569 (513)
Ballot by Mail – 479 (282)
Limited – 16 (3)
Military – 19 (16)
Total – 4492 (3469)


Pretty good stuff folks. Well over a thousand more have voted in this year’s election than at the same time in 2012. Hopefully that holds steady.

I have received some more calls about faulty voting machines and such. Let me say once again that we have not had any erroneous votes, nor have we had any machines changing votes. I would offer that we all should check our ballots before we press the “Cast Ballot” button. As always, if you are not sure about something please ask one of the election officials to help you out, they are there to help you.

We have had some reports of voters coming to the polls with less that helpful attitudes and I would just ask each of us to take the time and give the election workers a chance. They are all hard-working folks who are out here to help us vote, not take any abuse.

Early Voting continues through Friday, November 4th, followed by Election Day this coming Tuesday, November 8th.


Thanks Again,
Bill

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Sign of This Election!

Sign found recently in Rural Milam County.


For a while it was a chore to get some Trump/Pence signs but we finally did. As a matter of fact, in past years we have only ordered about 200 yard signs for the presidential race and usually had some left over. This year we have had to order them twice and are still running low.

Part of the reason is the demand, but part of it is the blatant vandalism by those who do not agree with the Trump candidacy.

Now as many have been keen to go after the Dems for this sort of shenaniganry, I will not do as my local county Dem counter-part habitually does and resort to some namby-pamby name-calling rant about how the other party is the most terrible thing incarnate of the world.

NOPE!!

I’ll just tell you this is the worst year on record for GOP signs to be vandalized in all sort of manner. I’ve seen people paint on the signs as shown above. But this year they have resorted to drawing some items that would be more appropriate for a sign belonging to a Democrat like Anthony Wiener.

Heck, some of these hooligans had the time to steal a Trump sign, cut it into the shape of Anthony Wiener’s favorite body part, and then put it back where they got it.

Honestly, if it wasn’t so vulgar, the cutting on the signs might be worth leaving since the cutting draws added attention to the signs – But we are better than that.

But we are better than that……AND, even if someone wanted to vandalize a Dem sign…...GOOD LUCK FINDING ONE!!!

Anyway, it’s been a tough year on signage…. Unless you’re a sign maker.

Signing Off,
Bill