The Lead Nov. 7, 2022: We tackle a big City Council meeting on Tuesday; Peterson Gala raises some big dollars

The election is looming and what can we learn from the turnout? Well, that depends on how you read the data.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We are headed for a pleasant week with a cool down coming for the weekend. There is a chance of rain today, but we're not holding our breath on that one. Most of the week will see highs in the 70s, but by the weekend, we could see temperatures fall by 20 degrees — that's right, highs in the 50s.

On today's The Lead Live!

We're starting today's show at 8:30 a.m., with die-hard Astros fan Tom Fox will regal us in the alleged joy of their World Series win. At 9 a.m., we delve into the first day of our week of Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing's Salute to our Heroes week with Laura Renner, President at Freedom Makers Virtual Services; Gary Noller, Kerr County Veterans Services Advisory Committee member; Together with Hill Country Veterans. At 10 a.m. — Don Frazier, The Texas Center at Schreiner University.

Just a reminder about Tuesday's voting locations:

  • Precinct 101 — Southern Oaks Baptist Church, 122 Valley View, Kerrville
  • Precinct 107 — Thunder Hills Biker Church, 111 Camino Real, Kerrville
  • Precinct 109 — Northwest Hills Community Center, 200 Northwest Hills Dr., Kerrville
  • Precinct 113 — St. Pauls Methodist Church, 135 Methodist Encampment, Kerrville
  • Precinct 118 — River Hills Mall, 200 Sidney Baker South, Kerrville
  • Precinct 119 — Riverside Church of Christ, 625 Harper Rd., Kerrville
  • Precinct 202 — American Legion Hall, 300 FM 480, Center Point
  • Precinct 211 — Union Church, 101 Travis St., Kerrville
  • Precinct 215 — Hosanna Lutheran Church, 134 Camp Meeting Road, Kerrville
  • Precinct 220 — Faith Christian Church, 1205 Sidney Baker S, Kerrville
  • Precinct 303 — Calvary Temple Church, 3000 Loop 534, Kerrville
  • Precinct 308 — Covenant Life Fellowship – Hill Country, 6650 Hwy 27, Comfort
  • Precinct 312 — Zion Lutheran Church, 624 Barnett St., Kerrville
  • Precinct 314 — Cailloux Theater, 910 Main St., Kerrville
  • Precinct 404 — Mountain Home Fire Department, 5475 Junction Hwy, Mountain Home
  • Precinct 405 — Hunt School, 115 Hunt School Rd. Multi-Purpose Room, Hunt
  • Precinct 406 — Citywest Church, 3139 Junction Hwy, Ingram
  • Precinct 410 — Divide Chapel, 121 Divide School Road, Mountain Home
  • Precinct 416 — Kerrville KOA Community Center, 2400 Goat Creek Road, Kerrville
  • Precinct 417 — Western Hill Baptist Church, 2010 Goat Creek Road, Kerrville

Some short-take stories

  • The Powerball Lottery will top $1.9 billion for tonight's drawing. You have a 1 in 292 million chance of winning, but I'm sure all of you have that money spent.
  • Tivy High School's football team finished 5-5 after a 42-28 defeat by Lockhart, which snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Antlers. Tivy will be on the road Friday night at Alamo Heights in the first round of the playoffs. Photos from Friday's game:
  • Schreiner University's women's soccer team finished its season with a 5-0 loss at the hands of Trinity University on Friday. The loss came in the semifinals of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinals. The men's golf team, Schreiner's only program to win an NCAA championship, is ranked 16th in the NCAA Division III.
  • Center Point welcomed the opening of Central Provisions, a new market that sells beer, wine, food and antiques. The store was packed with visitors who browsed the antique and re-sale items and drank local beer and wine.
  • For the second time in about a month, Kerr County residents have demonstrated their generosity at another fundraiser. On Saturday night, the Peterson Health Foundation raised about $190,000 for a new mammography machine. Peterson's annual gala was a sold-out affair at Schreiner University. Here are the pictures to prove it:

What early voting turnout tells us

Well, it's hard to tell because early voting may favor Democrats statewide, but low turnout generally favors Republicans — at least, that's the theory. In Kerr County, the main issues are Proposition A, B and C — the bonds that would improve county government facilities.


With the close of early voting on Friday, Kerr County's turnout was 39% — among the highest in the state. What does that mean for the bond's opponents and proponents? Finger-biting, most likely.

John Harrison, who led the committee that developed the requirements for Kerrville's public safety building, crunched the numbers from the Secretary of State's office and found that the median age of Kerr County voters is 68.

"The old people are again making the decisions," Harrison wrote in an email.

Since those older voters won't feel the pain of the $27 million in bonds, it may suggest a win for the bond, but it's never that simple. The other way to look at it is that older voters could unapologetically be saddling younger voters with new taxes. Voters under 40 accounted for less than a quarter of the early voters.

Here's a look at recent Kerr County bond elections:

  • 2022 Ingram Independent School District General Obligation Bond, 53%-46% approved.
  • 2022 Kerrville Public Safety Bond, 54%-45% approved.
  • 2018 Kerrville Independent School District General Obligation Bond, 67%-32% approved.

Early voting was the anchor for successful passage in all three bond elections. However, in the last two bond elections, the day-of voting narrowed the results, with both bonds losing the election-day vote. There is speculation that more conservative voters wait until election day to cast their ballots.

Overall, Kerr County's 2022 early voting turnout was down from 2018 — when more than 17,000 cast their ballots. This year, more than 15,000 voted.

Once again, the top 10 counties made up 57% of the early voters. The bad news for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke is that some key Democratic strongholds, like his home county of El Paso, had poor turnout — about 20%. In 2018, the early turnout in El Paso was 30% when O'Rourke was running against Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate. So, it seems like there will be a red wave in Texas.

But what does it mean statewide? Even harder to predict, but the polls suggest the Republicans will gain control of the U.S. House and Senate on Tuesday.

Speaking of Tuesday

The Kerrville City Council will be full of fury and distractions on Tuesday, and those who want to scream about library books will have a lengthy wait to speak their minds.

The key to the wait — is short-term rentals, which will dominate the early Council conversation. The City Council will consider approving eight short-term rentals and then hear a report from the short-term rental committee that oversaw the creation of new permitting guidelines. That report was not made available in the agenda packet.

The City Council meeting is full of topics — not involving "library porn" — that will significantly impact the city in the years to come. Just some of the other topics:

  • The City Council will review the eight bids to construct the new public safety building, narrowing that list to five.
  • The City Council will consider adopting the water and wastewater master plan — a long-term (and costly) plan to maintain and improve the city's water and sewer lines. This is a multi-million dollar plan that tries to keep Kerrville's water system current, and it includes provisions to improve sewer connections to Ingram.
  • Kerrville could crack down on excessively noisy vehicles within the city's limits. A proposed ordinance says that any vehicle louder than a regular vehicle is in violation.

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