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Voters Block Beat Three Road Bond

As election results were tabulated, Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney (right) read them to a small crowd in the Yalobusha County Courthouse in Water Valley.

Tuesday’s record turnout kept voting booths busy all over the county including these cardboard privacy screens at the National Guard Armory.

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY – Sixty-eight percent of the 9,966 registered voters in Yalobusha County voted in the general election casting 6,778 ballots, according to figures from Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney.

    “We had a record turnout,” Burney said as he hustled up the courthouse stairs headed for the courtroom to handle the final details of the election process.

    More than 60 percent of Beat Three voters cast their lot against the $250,000 General Obligation Road and Bridge Bond Issue, defeating the measure in Tuesday’s General Election. The measure required more than 60 percent of the electorate to vote in favor of the bond in order for it to pass, according to state law.

    Tuesday’s unofficial vote count showed 737 Beat Three voters were against floating the bond, compared to 470 voters in favor of the bond.

    The issue landed on the ballot after 489 people in District signed a petition asking for a vote. The petition was presented to supervisors in September and placed on the ballot after the signatures were verified by Burney and election commissioners.  The issue only affected Beat Three, and only residents from this district could vote.

    District Three Supervisor Butch Surrette first broached the bond issue during an August meeting, when he told supervisors he would like to borrow up to $250,000 for his Beat. Pointing to the increased assessed value of the county and the current low interest rates, Surrette said the timing was right for the transaction. Surrette said the money would be repaid with the current 1.9 mill assessment for a 1992 road and bridge bond in his district that was repaid. This would mean the millage rate in District Three would remain the same.

    After the August meeting Surrette, who is serving his fifth term as supervisor, told the Herald he did not plan to seek re-election after this term and the decision to borrow the money to improve the roads in his district was not politically motivated.

    The bond issue was the sole Yalobusha-only measure on the ballot. In another closely watched race, Jimmy McClure won the Cirucit Court Judge Dist 17 Position 2 seat with 22,766 over Smith Murphey with 16,296.

    In this race, McClure faced Murphey after McClure was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour last year to fill the unexpired term of Ann Lamar.

    In the Presidential race, the McCain/Palin ticket took 53 percent of the Yalobusha County vote to beat the Obama/Biden ticket 3604 to 3104.

    Complete election reports, showing precinct results will be in next week’s Herald. 


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