Canyon Lake Voters Head to Polls May 6 to Elect Comal ISD Trustee, Decide Fate of School Bonds

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Election Day is Saturday, May 6.

Early voting ended Tuesday. Turnout was low. Some 10,185 people or approximately 7% of registered voters showed up at the polls.

Saturday, Canyon Lake residents will elect a Comal ISD trustee and weigh in on three bond propositions presented by the district.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Voters can cast their ballot at any Vote Center or polling location in Comal County:

VC #1 – New Braunfels City Hall Foyer, 550 Landa St., New Braunfels
VC #2 – Mammen Family Public Library, Meeting Room A, 131 Bulverde Crossing, Bulverde
VC #3 – Tye Preston Memorial Library, 16311 South Access Rd., Canyon Lake
VC #4 – Oak Run Middle School Choir Room, 415 Oak Run Point, New Braunfels
VC #5 – Startzville Elementary School Main Entrance Hallway, 42111 FM 3159, Canyon Lake
VC #6 – Emergency Services District No. 4 Fire Station #4, 215 Rebecca Creek Rd., Canyon Lake
VC #7 – County Line Elementary School Cafeteria, 1200 County Line Rd., New Braunfels
VC #8 – Cibolo Creek Community Church, 30395 Ralph Fair Rd., Boerne
VC # 9 – NBISD Transportation Building, Employee Lounge, 2621 Klein Way, New Braunfels
VC #10 – Christ Our King Anglican Church, 115 Kings Way, New Braunfels
VC #11 – Comal County Offices, Bulverde Annex, JP 2 Courtroom, 30470 Cougar Bend, Bulverde
VC #12 – Garden Ridge City Hall, Municipal Courtroom, 9400 Municipal Parkway, Garden Ridge
VC #13 – Bulverde/Spring Branch Fire & EMS@Johnson Ranch, 30475 Johnson Way, Bulverde
VC #14 – Westside Community Center, Gym, 2932 S. IH 35, New Braunfels
VC #15 – Columbus Club Hall, Meeting Room, 111 Landa St., New Braunfels
VC #16 – New Braunfels Library, Large Meeting Room, 700 E. Common, New Braunfels
VC #17 – Comal County Offices, Goodwin Annex, Training Room, 1297 Church Hill, New Braunfels
VC #18 – New Braunfels Christian Church, Fellowship Hall, 734 N. Loop 337, New Braunfels
VC #19 – Eden Hill, Town Hall, 631 Lakeview Blvd., New Braunfels
VC #20 – St. Francis by the Lake Episcopal Church, Large Room, 121 Spring Mountain Dr., Canyon Lake
VC #21 – North Shore United Methodist Church, 23880 N. Cranes Mill Rd., Canyon Lake
VC #22 – Gruene Methodist Church, Mission and Outreach Building, 2629 E. Common St., New Braunfels
VC #23 – Rebecca Creek Baptist Church, 11755 Hwy. 281 N., Spring Branch
VC #24 – Hoffman Lane Elementary School, Main Entrance Hallway, 4600 FM 306, New Braunfels

Comal ISD Single-Member District (SMD) 4

Canyon Lake-area voters will decide whether to reelect incumbent Comal ISD trustee Russell Garner or vote in newcomer Garrison G. Maurer for Single-Member District (SMD) 4.

SMD 4 covers portions of the Smithson Valley and Canyon Lake high-school feeder patterns and includes partial attendance zones of Bill Brown Elementary School, Johnson Ranch Elementary School, Mountain Valley Elementary School, Mountain Valley Middle School, Smithson Valley Middle School and Startzville Elementary.

To watch a candidate forum with Comal ISD Council of PTAs, click here.

Russell Garner

The father of five current and former Comal ISD students, Garner has served on the school board since May 2020. He served in the U.S. Air Force. Garner believes developers should give Comal ISD good prices on land since they are using the district as a selling point with homebuyers.

In an April interview with the Republican Club of Comal County, he said he:

  • Understands concerns of conservatives who feel the Texas Association of School Board is too partisan/progressive and would favor withdrawing from TASB provided there was a resource-sharing plan with other districts. He does not want to add any resource burden to Comal taxpayers. However, the current board utilizes the TASB resources and training but is not influenced by its progressive/partisan aspects. “Our board shares the common values of the community and we are united in our beliefs to do the best for all students.”
  • Believes parents should be involved in the educational process and have the right to speak at board meetings.
  • Believes parents have the right to question the curriculum, which is guided by the Texas Education Agency’s curriculum standards called Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  • Believes parents have the right to view books in the school library and the district has a process in place to review library materials.
  • Believes parents should be involved in strategic planning for the school district. Comal ISD formed a Collaborative Vision Committee that’s singularly focused on strategic planning. “Parents must be personally involved in their specific child’s education but also informed and involved on the direction of the district.”
  • Would oppose Pride Week, which does not advance Comal ISD’s strategic goals as a school district. Events like these are not in the best interest of all students.
  • Would seek to perform a third-party audit of district finances to ensure Comal ISD is fiscally responsible and to find any possible areas of excess spending.
  • Believes the Texas legislature will fund schools at a higher level while providing relief to taxpayers. While the possibility of removing the Maintenance & Operations portion of property taxes is a possibility it would be very difficult to replace these funds without some other forms of tax, which will have other consequences for Texas residents.
  • Is open to ideas to make schools safer. But the School Protection Force now under consideration in a bill before the Texas legislature would need to be fully integrated into the district’s organization and security apparatus. “I am completely comfortable with the direction of Comal ISD Supt. Dr. John Chapman with respect to school safety and security, which does not currently include a School Protection Force.”

Garrison Mauer

The Smithson Valley High School graduate owns a towing company and works on a family cattle ranch in Smithson Valley. The Mauer family sold land to Comal ISD to build the high school. He is a lifelong Comal County resident and has volunteered as a firefighter and EMT for the Bulverde Fire Department. Two of his four children are still in Comal ISD schools.

On his website, Mauer said he will:

  • Advocate for improved pay for teachers.
  • Work on behalf of the taxpayers to ensure transparency and responsible spending.
  • Listen to the concerns of teachers, parents, students, and taxpayers.

“I’m running for school board because I’m passionate about volunteering and I would like to improve Comal ISD,” he said on his Facebook page. “I will represent everyone equally, just like any other elected official does when they are Democrat or Republican, they are supposed to represent people from both party’s (sic).

“I am running my campaign on a conservative platform because I believe there are critical social issues that many people want to know where their school board members stand, my conservative views are also important to your taxes, I believe in a strong successful school system however I don’t believe in writing a blank check and seeing so much wasteful spending.”

He opposes the Comal ISD bond propositions also on the ballot.

“There will be more bonds after this one, and another bond after that and generations after,” he said in a Facebook post. “Taxpayers are concerned about the wasteful spending, over-the-top architectural designs the schools have become, once they can show they share these concerns of unnecessary cost, we can get the taxpayers to support future projects.”

Comal ISD 2023 Bond Proposal

Comal ISD trustees have approved a bond package to address continued enrollment growth, campus safety and security, student technology, and expansions and improvements at existing campuses. There will be no change to the district tax rate.

Proposition A
Growth & Reinvestment – $560,564,861

Adds three new elementary schools to provide capacity relief to Bill Brown, Johnson Ranch, Oak Creek and Freiheit elementary schools and a middle school to relieve Canyon Middle School. Also funds a new Life Bridges campus for young adults with disabilities to increase independence and family and community settings.

More than $17 million of the proposition will fund safety-and-security projects throughout the district including capital projects at existing campuses that support student programs, facility infrastructure projects such as roofs and HVAC systems to maintain the operational integrity of the campuses, buses to replace aging units, and land for future schools.

New Facilities

  • Elementary School #21 (BBES relief)
  • Elementary School #22 (JRES relief)
  • Elementary School #23 (OCES/FES relief)
  • Middle School #9 (CMS relief)
  • Life Bridges

Safety and Security

  • Access Control: Canyon Lake High School, Startz Elementary School
  • Fencing: Davenport High School, Pieper High School, Pieper Ranch Middle School, Startz Elementary School
  • Public address system refresh at multiple locations
  • Outdoor cameras at multiple locations
  • Door hardware replacement (non-classroom) at multiple locations
  • Emergency Operations Center
  • Video intercoms at the main entry and food service
  • Video surveillance system
  • Active-threat notification system
  • Intrusion detection upgrades


  • Buses
  • Land

Existing Facilities – Expansion and Infrastructure

  • Golf practice facility at Canyon, Canyon Lake and Smithson Valley high schools
  • Tennis court replacement at Canyon High School
  • Tennis court expansion at Davenport High School
  • Ag barn addition and new poultry barn at Davenport High School
  • Bleacher seating expansion at Mountain Valley Middle School
  • Baseball dugouts, concessions and press box at Smithson Valley High School
  • Baseball and softball batting cages at Canyon Lake High School
  • Girls’ gym locker renovation at Canyon Lake High School
  • Soccer and wresting lockers/mat room at Smithson Valley High School
  • Stand-alone dance studio at Smithson Valley High School
  • Campus drive entry from the I-35 access road for Canyon High School
  • Shade structure for outdoor learning/dining at Canyon Middle School

Existing Facilities-Lifecycle Projects

  • Drainage at Canyon High School, Canyon Lake High School, and Specht Elementary School
  • Electrical at multiple locations
  • Heating and schooling at Arlon Seay Elementary School, Bill Brown Elementary School, Memorial Early College High School, Church Hill Middle Scholl, Canyon Middle School, Hoffman Lane Elementary School, Goodwin Frazier Elementary School, Rebecca Creek Elementary School, Specht Elementary School, Johnson Ranch Elementary School, Mountain Valley Middle School, Rahe Bulverde Elementary School, Support Services, Startz Elementary School, Smithson Valley High School and Timberwood Park Elementary
  • Paving at Canyon Lake High School, 482 Transportation Hub, Support Services
  • Roofing at Comal Discipline Center, Canyon High School, Canyon Lake High School, Canyon Middle School, Clear Spring Elementary School (includes HVAC), Mountain Valley Middle School, Support Services, Smithson Valley Middle School
  • Wastewater at Canyon Lake High School, Spring Branch Middle School, Smithson Valley High School and Smithson Valley Middle School
  • Finishes at Canyon Lake High School, Indian Springs Elementary School, Oak Creek Elementary School and Smithson Valley High School

Proposition B
Stadiums Projects – $46,094,984

Proposition B is for stadium safety improvements at Canyon Lake High School. The current stadium bleacher configuration only has one exit, creating an issue when there is a need to evacuate spectators due to lightning or other emergencies. New bleachers will have multiple exit points, making evacuations safer.

Also included in B is a bleacher expansion and fieldhouse at Davenport High School. The campus has experienced higher-than-expected enrollment since it opened in 2020. It was designed to add a fieldhouse as student participation in various programs increased. With the addition of a fieldhouse, space currently utilized inside the main building for athletics will be freed for non-athletic use like the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and academic classes.

  • Bleacher replacement for safety at Canyon Lake High School
  • Bleacher expansion and field house at Davenport High School

Proposition C
Student Technology and Infrastructure – $28 million

Proposition C funds the purchase of student learning devices, classroom audiovisual equipment, Wi-Fi expansion, and Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure across the district.

  • Student learning devices
  • Outdoor Wi-Fi
  • Wide Area Network
  • Growth devices
  • Classroom audiovisual upgrades



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