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The Lead Oct. 24, 2022: When it comes to opposing Kerr County bond facts are inconvenient

A right-wing political group is determined to stop the bond, but it stretches the truth to do it.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We're supposed to get some rain today, but how much is unclear. If it's anything like our last storms, prepare to be underwhelmed. The National Weather Service expects a high today of 80 and less than a quarter-inch of rain. However, the rest of the week looks mild, with temperatures in the 70s and lows in 40s.

On today's The Lead Live!

We will have another big week on The Lead Live with a slew of great guests. Today, BCFS Family and Human Services Monica Allen will be our guest to discuss the need for adult mentors for children in their program. Andrew Gay and Gilbert Paiz will be in the studio to update us on the economy. The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Leslie Jones will join us with a weekend recap and a preview of the week ahead. However, here's the rest of the week's lineup:

  • Tuesday: Robert Earl Keen, Landon Lloyd Miller. Both are performing and chatting at Arcadia Live on Friday.
  • Wednesday: Rachel Fitch of Fitch Estate Sales and Gold Cup Pawn; Riverside Nature Center, to discuss their fantastic number of events.
  • Thursday: The Hill Country Crisis Council joins us to discuss Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
  • Friday: Dancer Libbie Horton joins us as we visit the Monolith House in Hunt.

Things to do today


  • Habitat For Humanity Golf Tournament — Riverhill Country Club, 11 a.m. Information: The details: American music legend Robert Earl Keen will kickoff the start of Monday afternoon's Habitat for Humanity Kerr County's 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Riverhill Country Club. The 1 p.m. start time features 30 players in the sold-out event. However, one of the big highlights is when a KPUB bucket truck drops numbered balls on the tenth green. The numbered ball closest to the hole wins. The ball drop winner will win a Robert Earl Keen personalized, autographed guitar. Habitat for Humanity Kerr County partners with local companies and community leaders to demonstrate their dedication and love for Kerrville, all while helping Habitat for Humanity Kerr County address the much-needed affordable housing in our community.

It was a weekend of events across Kerr County!

We journeyed out across Kerr County to see events and take pictures of all the activities. It was exhausting but satisfying. Here's a look at the events we visited:

Early voting starts today!

The 2022 midterm elections are finally here. Start voting at the Hill Country Youth Event Center and West Kerr Annex.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday

  • Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Texas 27 in Kerrville
  • West Kerr Annex, 510 College St. in Ingram

8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday

  • Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Texas 27 in Kerrville
  • West Kerr Annex, 510 College St. in Ingram

Of course, the key race locally is the Kerr County bond elections. The county is asking for $27.5 million in bonds to pay for courthouse improvements, replacing the animal shelter and modernizing the aging dirt-floor ag barn at the Hill Country Youth Event Center.

Statewide, all eyes are on the race for governor — and the polling is all over the map. The Texas Tribune and the University of Texas's poll suggest a bit night for incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 8, with an 11% edge against Democrat Beto O'Rourke among likely voters. It's the largest polling lead for Abbott during the campaign.

If anything, the polling suggests a definite red tsunami for Texas Republicans. The poll found:

Political polling website FiveThirtyEight suggests Abbott has a 97% chance of victory. Much of that confidence rests in polls from early in the month that also showed Abbott pulling away from O'Rourke.

Misleading, pretty much a lie

When it comes to stretching the truth, there's no one better in Kerr County than We The People, Liberty in Action. The ultra-right-wing group mailed out a ton of misinformation to Kerr County voters regarding three bond measures to pay for improvements at the county courthouse, the Hill Country Youth Event Center and the Kerr County Animal Services Center.

The headline catcher from the mailer, which doesn't identify itself as a registered political action committee, offers this startling revelation: "The city bond passed in May doubled the city debt and resulted in a 20% property tax increase. We definitely cannot afford more debt leading to even higher taxes!"

So, the claim here is that Kerrville's $45 million bond to construct the new public safety building is that it's raising property taxes by 20%. There's no sourcing on how the group identified the 20% number, but it's fuzzy math at best. Even if you looked at the city's overall revenue from property taxes, it's about a 7% increase in the next year. Of course, those over 65 aren't going to pay that tax, burdening everyone else. The increase in property tax rate is about 13%.

It's right there in the city of Kerrville's budget book.

The problem with Liberty In Action is they're taking a play from the current right-wing playbook — just make-up stuff. They offer no solutions, no guidance other than to sew fear that the county faces hordes of illegal immigrants, out-of-control debt and, weirdly, short-term rentals.

When it comes to the bonds, the group relies heavily on Kerr County Commissioner-elect Rich Paces' nonsensical approaches to modern construction, government and administration. But even Paces' arguments, posted on his campaign blog, aren't exactly dismissive of some of the bonds. He supported some security measures but blamed county employees for not taking care of records properly.

Paces aimed at the Kerr County Animal Services shelter by saying he could fix it for less than a million. So, here's the nonsensical part when you compare it to other things under construction:

  • The Kerrville-Kerr County airport is trying to build new hangars — those will cost more than $1 million. These are four hangars with no real amenities.
  • The Kerrville Independent School District needs a new storage facility, simple storage. It's going to cost more than $600,000.

To justify their argument, the group uses an unnamed "shelter employee" to say there's no need for the project. However, the capital improvement committee unanimously agreed upon the need to replace the shelter.

The Hill Country Youth Event Center was built by volunteers 40 years ago and shows its age. The problem with the Hill Country Youth Event Center is that it's a heavily-used facility, which plays a crucial role in Kerr County life and as a tourism economic driver, and it's probably not big enough. If you could fault the work done by the capital improvement project committee, they didn't provide enough of a return on investment for the "Ag Barn" to justify the expense.

Paces, who will represent Precinct 2, is busy campaigning against the bond.

News and notes from the weekend

  • Schreiner University's board of trustees unanimously approved restoring the intercollegiate football program on Friday. This is just the second part of a multiphase effort to bring football back to the university for the first time since the late 1950s. Schreiner's leadership now faces the daunting task of raising the millions needed to start the program, which could add more than 100 students to the university.
  • We published the announcement that Schreiner was bringing back football, and it was our most-liked post on Facebook. The post had 126 likes, 22 loves and almost no negative reactions. One commenter noted that Schreiner hasn't exactly been a success story on the field in its men's sports.
  • The Kerr County Commissioner's Court meets today with an agenda that doesn't include discussing the Butt-Holdsworth Library. The court has a long agenda, but nothing staggering.
  • With two games remaining, Tivy High School's football team righted itself with a 35-10 homecoming win over visiting Cedar Hill on Friday night. The Antlers face a difficult game on Friday at San Antonio Veterans Memorial, which sits in second place in the district. Tivy's regular season ends when it plays host to Lockhart on Nov. 4.
  • After a promising 4-1 start, Ingram Tom Moore's football fortunes have faltered with three consecutive losses. The Warriors are 1-3 in the district, and their playoff chances are slim.
  • Center Point kept its playoff hopes alive with a 32-30 win over La Pryor.

The Second Annual Christmas Lights Tour

Dec. 1-12

Last year, we photographed 200 homes with some of the best Christmas Lights in Kerr County. This year we're doing it as a tour, and there may be some prizes along the way. KPUB is the presenting sponsor of this year's tour, and other sponsorship opportunities are available. However, if you want your house included in the tour please RSVP here:

We will be photographing homes from Dec. 1 through Dec. 12. Some of our award-winning categories will be best overall, best use of the Bumble, and best use of color.

Want to see what we did last year?

Also, are you interested in sponsoring one of our award categories, these are just $75:

  • Best use of the Grinch
  • Best use of Santa Claus
  • Best use of the Bumble
  • Best use of the Nativity
  • Best use of Critters (not real)
  • Best use of Color
  • Best use of White Light
  • Best use of Luminarias
  • Best use of Music
  • Best use of Inflatables
  • Best use of Christmas Tree
  • The Buzzie Hughes Memorial Most Unusual Decoration, sponsored by Buzzies Bar-B-Q

For more information, please email

The great Holiday treat contest

Dec. 15

We've discovered we've got some great home bakers here in Kerr County, and nothing says Christmas like cookies, candy and other treats. So, we're challenging our home bakers and candy makers to enter our first-ever contest. There will be a $25 entry fee, but all that we ask is that you RSVP first. This event will be streamed live on Dec. 15 at Pint and Plow.

Please RSVP here:


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