Tax election draws low turnout; only nine percent of Crowley voters cast their ballots
By: Howell Dennis - Editor
CROWLEY - For an election that was supposed to be so important to the future of Crowley’s infrastructure, only nine percent of Crowley’s registered voters showed up to vote for Saturday’s election. Considering nearly a third of the ballots were early voting/absentee votes (306 out of 907), the volunteers who showed up to work the booths from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday had plenty of free time on their hands. In fact, two of the voting locations (the Acadia Animal Clinic and the LSU Rice Experimental Staton) did not have a single voter show up.
Nonetheless, Crowley’s leaders were quite happy with the outcome of the election which will enable them to continue any ongoing work or any future improvements that are funded by the city. And that’s not to mention the public workers who’s jobs may have been threatened had the voters not passed the 1/2 percent sales and usage tax.
“We appreciate the citizens of Crowley who did show up to vote to help us continue all the project upgrades and the expansion of the things this tax will enable us to do rather than just street upgrades,” said Mayor Pro-Temp Steven Premeaux who sits on the city council.
Premeaux used the Ave. G bridge as an example of a project that the city is now able fund without having to free up money with layoffs.
“The repairs on that bridge alone are going to cost us in the neighborhood of $95,000,” he said. “Without this tax passing and expanding what the funding covers from streets to so much more it enables us to use this money which we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to use on bridge repairs.”
“Oh I watched it until the final results were in and was very happy to see it pass,” said Alderwoman Kitty Valdetero. “I hope the people who opposed it will see how we use this money and eventually appreciate what we do with it.”
“I give kudos to every constituent out there who went out and voted for the tax and I hope that those who opposed it understand that it was for the betterment of the city,” said Alderman Vernon ‘Step’ Martin. “I just hope that the people who voted for and against it can unite to help our city move forward and progress.”
Following the returns Saturday night, a relieved Crowley Mayor Greg Jones thanked those who supported the tax and said it was “time for the city to move forward.”
“It makes me proud to serve a city that put their community’s needs before theirs,” said Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson. “It would have been so much easier for them to vote ‘no.’
The absentee and precinct by precinct voting went as follows:
- Absentee/ Registrar Office - 200 (yes), 106 (no)
- North Crowley Elementary School - 37 (yes), 11 (no)
- Notre Dame High School - 42 (yes), 25 (no)
- North Crowley Kindergarten 3A - 47 (yes), 18 (no)
- North Crowley Kindergarten 3B - 31 (yes), 12 (no)
- Acadia Parish Courthouse Lobby - 46 (yes), 19 (no)
- Crowley City Hall - 12 (yes), 7 (no)
- Old Ross High School - 14 (yes), 14, (no)
- Rice Festival Building - 31 (yes), 36 (no)
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Hall - 36 (yes), 21 (no)
- South Crowley Elementary School - 25 (yes), 17 (no)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Center - 17 (yes), 9 (no)
- School Board Media Center 12 - 48 (yes), 16 (no)
- School Board Media Center 12A - 0 (yes), 2 (no)
- School Board Media Center 13 - 5 (yes), 3 (no)
- School Board Media Center 13 A - 0 (yes), 0 (no)
- Acadia Aminal Clinic - 0 (yes), 0 (no)
- LSU Rice Experimental Station - 0 (yes), 0 (no)
The final tally was 591 (65.16%) voted for the tax to 316 (34.84%) who voted against it.