What happened in the May 7 local election: City, school bonds up and down; state amendments pass; new mayors

SA’s $1.2 billion bond, 2 state props, city bonds pass; Medina Valley, Marion ISDs, Windcrest vote down projects

. (Graham Media Group)

Local Races that Matter

SAN ANTONIO – The May 7 election included two state propositions, several city and school bonds and some mayor and city council races.

The two biggest bond packages on the ballot — $1.2 billion for the City of San Antonio and $992 million for Northside ISD — were both approved by voters.

In Bexar County, 91,656 votes were cast, in total, or 7.6% of the county’s 1.2 million registered voters. That includes 47,866 in-person early votes, 17,936 mail-in ballots and 25,854 on election day.

Find a rundown of the election results below.

Search the drop-down menu at the top of the article or find all results at the bottom. Read more on the Vote 2022 page.

San Antonio voters approve all 6 propositions in $1.2 billion bond package

City of San Antonio voters on Saturday passed the city’s largest-ever bond program, including a first-of-its-kind affordable housing portion.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared victory before 10 p.m. for the six propositions making up the $1.2 billion bond package. At that point, each of the propositions, A through F, had between 59.9% and 72.4% approval.

The bond program does not include a tax increase.

“The statement tonight is San Antonians believe in each other,” Nirenberg told a crowd at a watch party for the Taking Care of SA campaign, which supported the bonds. “We rally around each other. We know we’ve been through a very difficult time, but we are not satisfied with the status quo. We’re working to make our city better, stronger, more equitable and resilient than ever before, and that’s what this vote represents.”

The bond includes:

  • ✅ Streets, bridges, and sidewalks - $471.6M
  • ✅ Parks and recreation - $271.9M
  • ✅ Drainage and flood control - $169.9M
  • ✅ Affordable housing - $150M
  • ✅ Public Safety Facilities - $78.3M
  • ✅ Library and Cultural Facilities - $58.4M

The housing bond, Proposition F, garnered the least support, while the propositions for streets and drainage, A and B respectively, topped the list.

Nirenberg attributed the range of support to familiarity. This is the city’s first bond to include affordable housing after voters approved a charter change in May 2021 to allow for it.

“So there’s a lot of work left to do in informing and making sure people are aware of the housing proposals and the work that we’re doing in housing,” he told reporters. “But I think, again, the numbers across the board, Propositions A through F, were all strongly supported. And that statement, as a whole, is a strong faith in the future of San Antonio and faith in each other as San Antonians.”

Some of the highlights include:

  • $103.5M for expanding the greenway trail system by another 21 miles
  • $15.7M for public art -- 1.5 percent of the whole bond (except housing)
  • $44M for two replacement fire stations (D1 and D5) and one new police substation (D3)
  • $100.5M to reconstruct failed streets around the city
  • Improvements to 30% of the city’s parks, including 9 new park properties
  • $150M for affordable housing - the housing portion of the bond does not include individual projects, but rather broad categories for using the funding, with a focus on helping lower-income households.

Texas Constitutional Amendments pass easily

✅ Two state constitutional amendments aiming to reduce property taxes were approved by a wide margin on Saturday.

Both propositions passed with more than 85% support, including one that will save Texas homeowners money on their property tax bills.

The first proposition looks to reduce the amount of taxes that elementary and secondary public schools could impose on homeowners who are elderly or disabled. The changes will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and are estimated to cost more than $744 million between 2024 and 2026.

The second proposed constitutional amendment will increase the amount of the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000. The proposal would save homeowners an average of $176 on their property tax bill, the Texas Tribune reported.

Both amendments garnered bipartisan support from the Texas Legislature and were expected to pass as property taxes have become a major issue for homeowners with property values skyrocketing in the last few years. In Bexar County, home appraisals are up by an average of 28%.

Property owners can check to see if they are claiming all exemptions they qualify for, such as homestead, over-65, and disabled veterans, by visiting the district’s website bcad.org.

School, city bonds up and down

Several area school districts and cities had bond elections on Saturday but not all passed. See a list of results below.

  • ✅ Northside ISD: The $992-million bond was approved by 57% of voters.

The bond will pay for upgrading more than 20 existing Northside ISD schools, some of which are decades old. The largest part of the proposal allots $645.5 million to be invested in schools such as John Jay, Holmes and Taft high schools.

NISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods said this bond proposal is urgent because costs are only increasing.

“Inflation is real, especially in the construction market and delaying these projects just means they cost more in the future,” Woods told KSAT 12. “Unfortunately, the need for them is not going to go away, if anything they are going to be more acute.

Woods previously explained how the bond works:

“A bond proposal for a school district is exactly the same as a mortgage for you and I. Most of us can’t afford to buy a home with cash or our normal operating dollars, so we go approach a bank and seek to borrow money, and we pay that back over time,” Woods said. “A bond issue is a very similar thing. The difference is the school district has to ask voter permission in order to do that.”

The school district has said the bond program will not include a tax increase.

Read more on the NISD bond here.

  • Medina Valley ISD: The district’s bond elections failed to pass. Proposition A, worth $383 million, would have paid for a new high school, middle school and elementary school in the rapidly growing district. Proposition B, worth $14 million, would have paid for a football stadium at a second high school but voters voted against both measures.
  • ✅ Harlandale ISD: Voters in the district passed all three bond measures. Proposition A passed with 56% of the vote. The district will use $93.5 million bonds to fund school facilities, buy land and buses. Prop B received 51% approval and will use $22 million to refund the maintenance tax obligations - money used for improvements to high school auditoriums, roof replacement and other improvements. Prop C is a $9.5 million bond to complete phase 2 of Memorial Stadium. The measure passed with 51% of the vote.
  • ✅ Boerne ISD: 52% of voters were in favor of Proposition A, which will fund a new elementary school and expansions at existing schools to the tune of $163 million. Proposition B, a $3-million project that will fund new devices for students and staff in the district, received 54% voter approval.
  • Marion ISD: The district’s bond proposition failed with 60% voting against it. The bond would have funded improvements and long-term developments within the district.
  • ✅ Ingram ISD: Voters approved a bond to pay for expansions at the district’s schools, new land for the high school and new school buses. With 941 votes cast, the measure passed with 53% voting for it.
  • City of Live Oak - An $18 million bond election for streets, bridges and sidewalks improvements in Live Oak was approved. With 100% of the vote in, 67% voted for the proposition while 33% rejected it.
  • City of Shavano Park - A $10 million bond election for streets, bridges and drainage improvements in Shavano Park was approved by voters. With 100% of the vote in, 82% voted for the proposition while 18% voted against it.
  • ❌ City of Windcrest: A $5 million bond election for a new aquatic center in Windcrest was rejected by voters. With 100% of the vote in, 59% voted against the proposition while 41% approved it.

New mayors for several cities

  • Floresville - Cecelia “Cissy” Gonzalez-Dippel
  • Grey Forest - Mandie Waldrop (123) beat Susan Darst (113) by 10 votes
  • Ingram - A runoff will occur between Bill Warren and Claud Jordan Jr.
  • Kerrville - Judy Eychner
  • Leon Valley - Incumbent Chris Riley
  • Olmos Park - Deanna Rickabaugh
  • Universal City - John Williams

The next election is the May 24 runoff. KSAT will have previews and results on the Vote 2022 page.

About the Authors

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

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