What’s encouraging is the election wasn’t contentious. As the polls show, voters considered the issue thoughtfully, and expressed their views. A small, but significant difference between the votes on the two propositions demonstrate that East Texas voters remain careful and discerning, reading each ballot measure before making their choice.
As past referendums (and general obligation bond elections, for that matter) show, as well, our voters don’t particularly like change. But Smith County residents are ready to embrace change, when it’s presented in a well thought-out manner.
Much of what comes next will have to do with how the ordinances and rules governing their sale are implemented.
Those who opposed the propositions, on the basis of the quality of life in Tyler and Smith County, now have a chance to get involved at the City Council level, to help ensure that quality doesn’t suffer. That’s what’s beautiful about our system. It’s participatory.
We can’t encourage those opponents to file legal challenges to the petitions that brought about the referendum. The voters have spoken, clearly and distinctly.
As for that other significant election last night, perhaps a drink is in order, for some. Smith County Republicans saw the states falling into line for President Barack Obama early on, and as the trend continued, their mood darkened.
Don’t like the outcome of this one? Then roll up your sleeves, and work harder next time.
But in the meantime, we have major challenges ahead — many of which must be dealt with before January, when Gov. Mitt Romney would have taken office anyway. We’re hurtling toward a fiscal cliff. Both parties must put aside the acrimony that marked this election and deal with issues each side has ignored for far too long.
Closer to home, there are many issues where we can make a difference, regardless of Tuesday night’s outcomes. We need better schools. We need more accountability from our elected officials (and more praise for them, when appropriate).
And we need to realize that personal responsibility is the key to our success in the workplace, in our community and in our relationships. What happens in Washington is still far removed from most of the things that truly affect our quality of life.
So let’s rebuild those relationships that may have suffered during this contentious campaign. That means, even, “re-friending” some of those folks we might have become frustrated with for their opposing views in recent months.
And we all agree: Thank God, the election is over.