LA MARQUE — Today is the final day of early voting in the La Marque school district tax ratification election.

By the close of polls Monday, only 1,017 people had voted, a turnout of 5.2 percent

According to the Galveston County Elections Division, 19,442 people are registered to vote in the election but as of Monday evening only 964 voters had cast ballots in person and 53 had done so by mail.

The school district is attempting to close an approximately $2.9 million budget gap. The district is asking voters to increase the tax rate for routine operations by 13 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Those looking to vote early can still do so today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the city of La Marque Community Room at 1109 -B Bayou Road in La Marque.

Election Day is Saturday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. also at the La Marque Community Room. 

Campaigning for and against the increase is in full swing. 

Two ministers who previously said they would only support the tax increase if La Marque Superintendent Ecomet Burley was removed have set aside their dislike of Burley and are campaigning for the increase. 

“I’m not going to risk the legacy of this district for my own personal feelings,” said the Rev. James Daniels.

He and the Rev. D.N. Benford Sr. would be out this week urging people to vote, Daniels said. 

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or


(24) comments

Walter Manuel

"He and the Rev. D.N. Benford Sr. would be out this week urging people to vote, Daniels said".

I'm sure that's certainly going to be a sight for sore eyes, two ministers walking around the streets of LM both holding campaign fliers in one hand and a collection plate in the other in order to collect donations so that they can buy all those chickens for the chicken dinners that their going to have to sell after Saturday's election! [innocent]

Robert Buckner

Chickens? Did someone mention chickens?


A few days ago,..I criticized Reverend Daniels by saying in my opinion, his words are equivalent to words which are written on running water of a flowing river! Now I'm going to attempt to prove that.

This article quoted him as saying that he,and the other preacher are going to be out urging people to go vote. See the play on words meant to deceive? If they are going to be out there, I bet you a skinny GOAT the Prodical Son's elder brother never got, that they are not going to be out there doing a civic duty urging others to do their civic duty by participating in their American right to vote,...they are going to be out there URGING people to vote FOR A TAX INCREASE!

Back in the day preachers use to do the "THINKING" for African American families. African American back then tended to be poor, and uneducated farmers and share croppers! Well those times are gone,and is as far in the past as the EAGLE'S NEST,..but those preachers are like the Pharisees of Jesus' day who think they are still controlling the minds and hearts of the people where they practice their scams.

I think it is an insult to assume or print in the newspaper, in this day and time, that two or three people controls how a whole community of people, will THINK and vote!

God call that "WITCHCRAFT!" OMG! "JBG took the time to get professional training in God's Word!" Reverend, we are in trouble!" "Somebody knows what we're up too!" (Sure you are right,..and don't forget that!)

Walter Manuel

Bada Bing Mr. JBG!

What they are doing is no different than what once was referred to as a "snake oil salesman" back in the day.

Many people placed their faith in patent medicines, pitched by traveling salesmen who never failed to entertain the crowds before offering cure-alls.

Perhaps if they were out on the streets telling the truth about what this tax increase actually means than they could be called "ministers", however by fooling people into believing what they want them to believe they are simply common day snake oil salesmen selling their product to those who don't know any better.

But then again, these same ministers have already sold their souls to the devil in order to defend and save their friends on the school board and in the district.

Why should any of those who in fact know better be surprised by their walk to only validate their support for the future failure of LMISD?

Leonard T. Payne

Buck. I tried building a look-a-like version of Rev. D. out of the stuff I clean out of my chicken house.
Ran out of building material.

Walter Manuel

OK, everybody listen up.... since I had to change my email account to make it more convienent for registering on GDN's new online edition in order to get it on my iPhone and at work. I had to change my screen name to something else so I thought how appropriate since I've been on a mission lately with the city of LM and now LMISD that I would call myself the Missionary Man.

I wanted to post something to let everybody know that I'm not trying to hide behind any screen name, I just couldn't go back to Walter Manuel according to the GDN.

So, Walter Manuel is now Missionary Man and I approve this message!


This igorant game has to stop! The players are not in this for the children. Only paychecks and egos. I do not know how they can sleep at night. That is why I resigned from the district. The preachers(who I do not know personaly )from west Texas City are very interesting. I grew up in Trinity Lutheran Church and the pastors we have had over the years were never involved with my school or city politics.


Mr. Stillson,

That was because YOUR pastors were about God's business, and were to busy helping their members to grow into spirituals things, thereby helping them to control the entry point Satan has always had into their lives, (their Souls). See when a man progresses in spiritual knowledge and growth, this then supernaturally by "TRANSFORMATION" (Romans 12:1-2),diminishing the soulish/flesh control f a man.
Go ask these preachers if they are expounding on this on Sunday morning, or is it all politics.

These WTC preachers are not interested in that, they probably don't know anything about the trinity of man, and how it functions in conjunction with the bracket of life, and the bracket of growth in the spirit. So, they take up politics! That is so much easier see. They want to CONTROL whole communities of people, control their thinking, their votes,..stuff like that! I remember a Preacher named JIM JONES who did that some years ago, and the people who listened to him and followed him, did not end of well.

Walter Manuel

Stillson, your absolutely correct! No church should be involved in politics period!

Remember there still is a law of seperation between church and state in the United States that obviously these individuals have long ago forgotten about?

Geraldine Sam had signs made up and are now posted in front of city hall that reads:

Vote For Prop #1

Strong City....

Strong Schools....

What has she been smoking dope or dog food???

The city of LM has had nothing to do with the shape of LMISD good or bad, but rather it's been her and her friends on the school board and in the administration building that has taken us ALL to where we are today so she and all the others need to leave the city out of it!

The Mayor and City Manager went to a board meeting and tried to work with them to help them out this mess only to be told in certain terms to mind your own business!

That's pathetic that someone would give someone else a backhanded slap in the face when all they did was try to help them out.

It's no different when some from our group attended a school board meeting where we demanded that they reorganize the board after illegally trying to suspend the Superintendent and Chief of Police.

I was asked to hand out a handout to those in the audience so that they could see what I presented to the board only to have the people in the audience holler and scream at me to the point that a LMISD officer bodily pushed me out of the meeting while board President Annie Burton watched with obvious satisfaction and never did her job as the president to bang her gaunlet to ask for control in the meeting which NEVER would have been allowed or happened in the city of LM's board meetings!

After Saturday December 15th when the tax increase election fails, I will proudly watch justice being served to Annie Burton and the rest of her friends on the board walk away like a whooped puppies!

Just because I was not a part of their "community" I should have NEVER been disrepected in the way that I was that night the way that I was nor should anyone else for that matter.

Come Saturday, there will be a new beginning for this school district and the children that count on us should they decide to come home in the future and WE WILL have a board that holds NO POWER!

It will be in the hands of TEA finally come Monday December 17th! Those in the administration building need to start updating their resumes and start packing their [censored]!

Robert Buckner

The voters against this proposal really need to cast ballots Saturday to put an ned to this nonsense otherwise LMISD will continue it's downhill spiral in overdrive while costing us more money. Next year we'll go through this merry go round again with the same old song and dance, then the year after and so on. The madness has to stop and the sooner the better. VOTE Against Dec.15.

The current proposal will only be a bandaid for a few months, this board and administration has proved they can't handle money. In a few months LMISD will be broke again and coming to taxpayers again for more $$$ with the same old tired "Save our schools" slogan. More money is not the answer. Vote NO. Competent, qualified, dedicated, leadership is the only salvation for LMISD.


I observed that sign! I saw a missed opportunity! What a great opportunity missed! What if that sign read like this:

Vote against Prop #1
Lets get Strong leadership like the City has.
Then we will have a Strong School System too!

I have no doubt in my mind if I COULD BY MAGIC FORCE FRIENDSWOOD'S SCHOOL BOARD TO COMMUTE OVER HERE FOR TWO DAYS A WEEK, they could have LMISD back in good shape within NINE months, because they know what the [censored] they are doing! Letting LMISD'S present board run this school district is like letting a blind man try to land an a 747 Commercial Jet! Come to think of it the blind man might do the best job!

People can make all the excuses they want but in the end, all the evidence of inferiority,incompetence, arrogance, and apathy are looking us right in the face!

We can either do something about it, or we can turn a blind eye, and keep putting this failed leadership before the children they are depriving, and the district they are destroying! Let's face it, these Leaders are not up to it! If you picked up on that word "IT" probably wondered what "IT" represents. It represents Dr. King's dream fulfillment of having an equal opportunity for ALL people. In one of his speeches though, he warned those who felt deprived, or who felt left out of the American dream,..that when they finally got to the mountain top,..the hard part was staying on top! He meant we would have to do the dam job better than anyone,living, dead, or yet to be born could have performed it! "Be the best,..he said!" ( at least be in compliance.jbg)

Oh gee,...but measuring Dr. King's dream versus the job this BOARD is doing, and continuing to do, is not even close to fulfilling what this great man fought all his life for,..AND GOT SHOT DOWN FOR! He wanted deprived people to understand they would be held accountable once they got to the mountain top,..once they got the same access everybody else had!

So what should we do about LMISD'S failure? What is the right thing to do,..just LAUGH at DR. KING'S dream,..spit on the essence of his dream by saying we are going to keep these FAILED LEADERS anyway? What would he do? How many of these board members would keep a job at BP or DOW CHEMICAL with this kind of performance? Children are being deprived here! I will never vote to put more taxes in the hands of these non-performers. I therefore ask all residents and tax-payers of LM, to seized the opportunity to right the wrongs which did irreparable harm not only to our children but which devastated and ravished this once great school district! It might be the last chance we get to save LMISD! It is up to you the people now, and not two or three preachers in West Texas City,..nor an uniformed, failed school board.


Folks, I'm just an old snuff dipping, unlearned country boy from East Texas, who is a product of a sub-par, dysfunctional education. I don't have a axe to grind with these people, but somebody has to speak up! Somebody has to cast a shadow on the lies this Eagle's Nest represents. If people would speak honestly concerning that Eagle's Nest, you would know that "NEST" was not half as great as some people are lying and making it out to be!

When you go to the polls,...DO WHAT YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART IS RIGHT! If you do that, will have helped to right a great wrong done to this community.
God Bless you all!

Walter Manuel

If anyone is wanting a really good laugh this morning, go to the "LaMarque ISD needs more people engaged" article and read what one poster commented about her daughter in reference to another poster's previous comment.

It really will either make you laugh or cry... [scared]

Anne Thomas

I am looking forward to Saturday's vote on the TRE. This is another issue that has divided our city. It is time for LMISD board to hear the voters loud and clear. Their
days of lying and deceit must come to an end. Our kids futures are in the balance and it is certainly tipping the wrong way. It is time to work for our children and not for the cronies and relatives employed by the district.

We need a new board who is willing to discuss and make the hard decisions to move forward. NOT more money! We must change for the future and more money thru the TRE is not the answer. Good hard decisions, accountability,
and leadership will do the trick....not lies and deception. If the board continues to waste money there will be nothing left and our children will lose and we will lose a generation of kids.

I was asked just recently by a friend about moving to La Marque. I told her the City was on the right track, but under no circumstances would I enroll the children in its schools. Her reply "then I won't move there." Our losses will continue in our city.

The tax increase will not fix the problem. Will it buy time? No. It is time for an intervention by the TEA. To our administration, we need help and guidance and I for one have lost faith in your ability.



You nailed it, and I think you put it in multiple places in order for it to be clearly understood! You put it up HIGH, so the Giraffes can nibble on it, and you laid it down LOW, so the squirrels can feast on it! What you said, says it all.

So Saturday, we will see what kind of community we have, what kind of educational legacy we are willing to leave to future generations in this community, and if it is okay to let individuals who exemplify failure, incompetency, and being on the BOTTOM, be living examples for our young to learn from, imitate,or be affect by!

I'm exerting my faith out there for the people to do the right thing at the polls, to do the right thing for the children and their parents of this community. This is the opportunity we have been waiting for,..and which might not present itself again!

Anne Thomas

Thanks JBG for the compliment, but I am not a wordsmth like you!
Keep up your great posts and your smack![beam]

Walter Manuel

Great post Mustangammy and Mr. JBG!

Well it's now in the hands of the voters and it's their decision whether they like what they've been seeing in the district or whether they are now ready for a change and allow this district to finally move in a positive financially responsible direction?

Should the voters decide to pass this tax increase then I'm ok with their decision, that's why we live in this wonder country that we do because of our right to vote.

However, the voters will see that even though they approved a tax increase we will be at this same spot next year needing more money because of further loss of student enrollment.

Where will they get the money from then other than further cuts in their administration, school closing/consolidation, furlough days, salary reductions in which they are going to have to do this year anyways in order to make up the $1.1 million deficit.

The choice is quite simple,,,, why give this board any more money because they are still going to have to make cuts and everything that I mentioned above?

If someone feels the need to just throw away their money, why not donate it to the homeless or feed the hungry? At least you know where your money is going there?

Walter Manuel

We've got great news to report!

There's been 1,243 people who have already voted in the early election along with mail in ballots and things are looking awesome, but the battle isn't over yet by any means!

I've been trying to research the numbers that voted in the mayors race where Mayor Hocking beat Geraldine Sam and because of the GDN's new upgrade their articles are no longer available.

I remember that he beat her with 1,100 and something votes to like 463 so which means we are on track come Saturday to bring it on home!

When we fought to recall Geraldine Sam there were 1,288 votes "for" and 653 votes "against" for a total of 1,941 ballots being casted, I am certain that we will probably come close to the same number with Saturdays results as we did with Geraldine's recall.

No matter what this group does whether legal or suspicious, we will prevail! I can't expound on it now, but these people are sooooo stupid that what they have done is so thin that even Ray Charles can see through it!

Perhaps desperate people do desperate things that they think others are just too oblivious to it or dumb enough to know what they are doing, but I got news for them....

If I thought for one second that the election was so close that it warranted complaining and asking that the election be cancelled I'd complain, but from what we're seeing and hearing I'd be stupid to even mutter a word.... it can wait until after the election for preventing it in future elections!

We're looking really good, however we need to really bring it on election day and show these people that we mean business because I can assure you that they are pulling ALL strings legal and some things that are questionable in order to get this tax increase passed!

I was born at night, but these people need to know that it wasn't last night!

Get the word out there that we need to give them a huge showing on Saturday because we ain't done NOTHING SUSPICIOUS to win this election!

The children and taxpayers of LMISD is counting on you! [thumbup]

Anne Thomas

Great news, Walter! Thanks for the update![beam]

Walter Manuel

I didn't mention this in my last post, but I think it certainly warrants mentioning to those in the "community", as well as, those on the school board and those sitting comfortably in their jobs in their roles as district officials in the administration building.

This is not my nor my families first time at the rodeo, we've seen the likes of people like you come and go for many years, it's just now that your time of being in charge has run out!

You wonder why now? It's because we were eventually made aware of the problems that were going on within the school district that YA'LL WANTED TO KEEP A SECRET!

My Mother has been involved in politics since she was 15 years old, my Dad became involved in politics with the city of LM because he knew he had to take care of those who had no voice. My Uncle Gus Manuel fought the battle as Mayor of Galveston for the "little people" who felt they had no voice and was loved by so many until his unfortunate death with brain cancer.

I too have been molded by such high ethical standards and the proper way to run an election win or lose. My Mother has always instilled in me to never take on a battle that you weren't prepared to put everything you have in it, but you give people the facts and let them decide for themselves. For this election I think that I've done that!

I find myself easily becoming frustrated with what I have learned investiagting those in charge of LMISD and the school board members and their supporters because often times it goes against everything that I've been taught otherwise.

I'm OK with the battle with this school district, I'm not OK knowing that the challenge that I have taken on with those that don't think the same way that I was taught to respect others in my community has been my biggest challenge, but that's my problem not any one elses.

I think at the end of the day I hope that I made my parents proud that nothing that I have done in this election with LMISD has neither been unethical or questionable, but rather I gave the voters of our community the truth and it's now up to them how they will vote?

Mom and Dad, thanks for giving me such great values in life to give not only give to others but do to it in such a way that win or lose I did my best...


Yes sir! It It is high time for somebody to stand up to a bunch of bullies. Terrorizing teachers,..depriving students, the best way to perpetuate these type things are to use "fear" and work it from the inside. However, when a bunch of old silly tax-payers like the ones who are kicking up dust and raising [censored] get involved, it becomes a new ball game. Tax-payers need to stay involved, because today's public servants need to be observed, and watched.

With the help of this community's tax-payers, it is going to be a radical turnaround for the better with LMISD. We are going to demand efficiency and accountability, and no more of this BS which has been going on over there! We want professional conduct in place over there, like it is in place everywhere else! We are tired, and we are fed up! We want fiscal responsibility and I believe we are going to get it! The next chore will be to LOOK up, then to GET up, and from there we will never GIVE UP, in our pursuit of accountability, excellence,quality, and being first class! Any big contract raises will come by MERIT and not by brown-nosing, and dividing the board against itself! Ohhh, I know all about it!

I have a vision,..that LMISD can fight it's way back to be one of the best again. This vote Saturday will determined weather others feel that way too, or if they want to remain on the bottom of the heap, LOOKING nowhere but down,..while others step all over us! We've given those who are in Leadership their chance, they have failed over and over again! it is time to show by this vote that we want them gone, and we want accountability at LMISD! I know e will do it. Tomorrow I'm going buy a case of diet coke and I'll get my BBQ, from that now place on HWY 45 over in LM.
They have the best pecan pie too.

My girl friend and I are going to party down! I'll have THIS IS YOUR NIGHT playing by none other that Bobby Hocking playing. I'll be rejoicing with the rest of the concerned citizens who want to see justice for these kids and LMISD teachers!


Ohh don't yall run over there and buy up all that pecan pie! I probably should have....

Walter Manuel

Mr. JBG, I know exactly what you are saying. When I get in the car to come home, before I back out of the drive I say a prayer toprotect me in my travel home, next I always put Bobby's tape in with the song on it "My Old Home Town".

For some reasom from the first time that I ever heard him sing that song it has brought me comfort going home and I feel safe while alone on the road.

I just got a text from my boss that's really unusual for him because it's way past his bedtime, but perhaps he felt the need to share with me a message that he received for me. I'll share what his text said.

"Watch your step for he that would be kept from harm must keep out of harms way". Read Psalm 1:1-6 Amen! I believe! Larry...

So I went to see what this message that he sent me said and here is what it said:

"Psalms 1-41
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers".

Wow, on that I have to say good night to each and everyone and I pray prosperity and peace on each of you, may our city withstand the division that one day soon will eventually be resolved....

To my boss, I now say get back to bed! I didn't need to hear that before going to bed because now I will dream about it all night! LOL Just kidding...

Kevin Walker

Who is being held accountable for the malaise of this school district? Prove who has betrayed the public trust and that should be grounds for change. Now comes a referendum that effectively says "let's overlook the sins of the past" so we can continue to mismanagement of your tax dollars, hiding behind " Let's save La Marque School."

Fool me once, shame on me. The Temptations sung a song, Ball of Confusion and in it the politicians say ' more taxes will solve everything, Vote for Me and I'll set you free.' This School Board is here to set us free of more of our $. They have refused to address what they will change to better our schools.

Usually in life, when you spend money, you get something of value in return. Let's see; the public has been shown that the schools are sub par, the administration is top heavy and parents have dwindling faith in the district to properly educate its children, and somehow more money will solve everything.

By all means exercise your right to vote, but exercise your mind in how to.

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