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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 6, 2003     Hays Free Press
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February 6, 2003

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February 6, 2003 More Editorial Page / BY BOB MATHIS reflect the will of the people. It should ments validated through your input. In the very near future each of you reviewing last year's budget and rev- Buda City Administrator represent the opinion of the majority Many of you have been reading will be receiving a letter concerning the enue projections for next year. Your and not just the active, about the petition to establish the water and waste water rates. As was dis- input is critical. We will be sending out ]'suspect many of you expected me to The city council will be addressing a Winfield Municipal Utility District cussed during the budget process, there a newsletter in March highlighting the JLaddress the rollback election results number of key issues over the next sev- (MUD) on what is commonly referred is a need to raise both in order to meet city staff's recommended projects. You and the impact on the city budget and eral months that will have a tremendous to as the A&M/Heep Property. While the existing level of service and to pay need to provide the council your services. Sorry to disappoint you, but I impact on the city. only a small section is within Buda's for the infrastructure upgrades and thoughts while they are deliberating the think that there are a number of issues First, we are in negotiations with the ETJ, the entire development will have expansion. The city will need to procure budget. equal to, if not more important than, the Winfield Municipal Utility District. impact upon the city. Within Buda's additional waste water capacity, The mayor/council form of gov- rollback election. This will define growth on the east side ETJ the proponents of this project additional water wells, and eminent provides you the best One major lesson learned from the of IH-35 for years to come. Second, would build approximately 1,200 single expand a number of our ser- opportunity to participate in rollback election is that we have to do a water and waste water rates need to be and multi-family homes and 373 retail vice lines to meet future city policies. The council better job at keeping Buda citizens addressed. Both of these revenue funds establishments. While this is within our demand, meets on the first and third informed and, more importantly, are supposed to reflect the actual ETJ, the homes and retail facility inside I hope the rollback elec- Tuesday of each month, cur- involved in the decisions affecting expenses that are incurred by the city to a MUD do not necessarily come inside tion drove home the need rently at the Buda them. While we are making strides in provide services and to expand or the city limits. This is extremely criti- for better communication on Elementary Cafeteria at that endeavor, we need to go farther, upgrade infrastructure. Third, how do cal to the city's finances since we may the part of the city and 7 p.m. My question to you is "how?" Having we structure next year's budget? We not be able to collect sales or property more involvement Hopefully, we an election for each major decision is need to know what your priorities are taxes. The city council and Buda's staff by the citizens in will be in our not practical. That is why the and we need to explain what we see as is in the midst of negotiating an agree- the budget new building mayor/council form of government was priorities. The budget process should ment that will protect our financial process.That the first of established. By design this form of gov- be more than do "we want a increase in base. On Feb 24, we hope'to present a process begins this April. Please erument is closest to the public and property taxes?" It should be a require- proposal to the city council for its con- month. The city plan on attend- should allow the governing body to ments based budget and those require- sideration, staff is already ing. I strongly support coach, principal and, finally, as super- The approval of the proposed bond are needed at Hays High. It's time for you to intendent. He told of his efforts and package will help speed up a drive that I hope you can see we need new this bond issue those of others to serve the district sac- will push the Hays School District, like schools now, let alone in the future. If know the facts rificially, "rewarded by the achieve- Enron, to the ,'heights of envy and the enough people get out and vote yes, I ments of a great number of citizens." depths of shame." could be in a much improved high Dear Editor: He said there was no sacrifice in the Opal Kay, school before I graduate: If you still Dear Editor: This past Saturday I received a flyer quality of teaching. ' l'eaching does not Buda want to vote no, it's your decision. My It is amazing to me to see what lengths on my mailbox proclaiming "No 2003 consist of gadgets, buildings and life focuses on getting the best educa- some people will go to and try to convince Bonds!"was saddenedAS I readby throughthe concernsthis flyerandI unlimited athletic equipment; the learn- We need tion I can, but hey, I need your help. votedY U thatdown.this Sinceb nd I packageam on theSh uldcommit- be ing process requires 3 elements: a good Sincerely tee that put together this package, let me alternatives listed in this document. It teacher, a willing pupil and enough better schools Cat Swanson tell you the ' acts" so that you can make occurred to me that the information time for study." He told of earlier board Freshman, Hays High School an informed decision. presented is the same backward think- members' response to his requests 1. CkuTently; Fuentes, Hemphill, Kyle ing that has made Hays High School while serving as superintendent as Dear Voters of Hays County: I must say NO Elementary and Tom Green have a corn- such a mess of random buildings, always being: "Can we pay for them" You've heard it all. We need a new b'med student population of 3,200+ stu- My grandson proudly attends Hays or "Do we need something else more?" high school. The elementary schools dents for buildings designed to hold 2,600 High School, but he deserves a better He voiced respect for prior school are overcrowded. Hays High needs To the Editor: students, these schools are overcrowded. learning environment than he has now. boards' policies because they passed on work. You've probably heard it so often Like most citizens of the school dis- This is a fact. In fact, all students in this district to their successors a sound financial that you have started tuning it out, not trict, it is clear to me which direction I 2. The committee decided to put Phase deserve better school facilities than structure with no floating debts or out- even hearing it. Well, my goal is to should take with respect to the upeom- fl and Phase nl of Hays High School in they have now. I am one of thousands standing warrants. In his letter of make you hear it and understand how ing bond issue, this package to cut down the con- who have moved to this area within the protest, he told the Buda school board important voting yes is. I can say that I have been impressed struction time by several years, thereby past few years -- I love this communi- that their current spending policies I can understand how parents don't with the presentation made by Bryce increasing the quality of education. This ty and the friends I have made here. were "wrecking the financial structure want to vote for the bond, but our Bales and Tommy Seargeant. They ref- is a fact. Driving through my neighborhood, I of the district and that he was asking .schools desperately need the money the erence their data in such a way that one 3. Since the 2001 bond election, there know many more just like me are corn- them for 4 things: bond can supply. Taxes affect you here can verify what they are saying,have been over 20 new subdivisions in ing. We must have the schools for the (1) "Take another hard look at and now, but going to great schools and It is disappointing to me that those Hays County, mostly congregating in the children that are here today and those where we, arc headed,' g. nga;great education aff cts your who support the bond have resorted, Kyle area. This is a fact. that are coming tomorrow. (2) "Slow down unlimited spend-child's entire life. Resisting a small tax altogether too often, to tactics which 4. Even in a downward economy, peo- I strongly suPport this bond issue ing, increase should not be more important turn the debate into a personality issue, pie from theAuslin and surrounding areas because I think building new schools (3) "Pay as you go" than getting the best education you can I am wondering why so many of our are moving to our community, because and renovating existing schools is the (4) "Don't ruin us who make ourfor your child. True, taxes are already administrators live outside the school of the quality of life we offer. This is a fight thing to do for all segments of the living here by doubling our taxes" high enough, but consider this; if you district. It bothers me that our debt per fact. community. The absolute best state- This week I read an article offering knew that the extra four dollars a student is so high when compared with 5. There is an independent communi- ment a community can make about a warning to Americans about the road month this bond will make you pay was school districts who are in comparable ty oversight committee whose sole pur- their quality of life is "We have great we are following in relation to morali- going directly to further your child's situations, pose is to monitor the 2001 bond schools and we support all of our stu- ty; integrity and greed. The article was education, would you vote yes? Every Not once have those who support money being spent to ensure financial dents!" I encourage everyone in the based on Houston minister Chrispenny you pay will go to providing bet- the bond issues said publicly that the responsibility. This is a fact. Hays CISD to vote yes on February Seay's new book, The Tao of Enron. ter schools, and your children will be figures and conclusions of Mr. Bales 6. The current school board has been 22nd. The quotation which hit home for me attending these schools, and Mr. Seargeant are wrong or that voted as one of the best in Texas for their hard work and dedication to the commu- Sincerely, and should wake up tax payers wasNow to address some of you no-vot- their conclusions are inaccurate they nity that they represent. This is a fact. Rosemary Ebell this: "When affluence and material ers who don't have children. Do you tend to change the subject. There are more "Facts" that can be Kyle prosperity become our all consuming want to be one of those people who sit Lastly, it appears that the school listed in this short letter but space limita- goal, greed takes the wheel and drives and grumble about how this generation board must believe the data presented tions do not allow for this. Pushed to the the whole speeding convoy over a doesn't know a thing about anything? by Mr. Bales and Mr. Seargeant and One thing that you might want to keep ights cliff." What can you do to avoid this? have reached the conclusion that there in mind is that if you are a homeowner 'he of envy and The warning given to the Buda Children with better schools are bound is no urgency in building classrooms; and you itemize your deductions and your the depths of shame' School Board by R.C. Barton in 1963 to learn more, and therefore not mess Why else would they have remodeled in the 27% Income Tax Bracket, that that "their actions were wrecking the up as often. How can you provide bet- the football stadium before building when the actual rate on the bonds gets to solid financial structure of a school dis- ter schools? By voting yes for the bond. classrooms? Why would they have torn .675 per $100 valuation, you effectively To the Editor: trict which took 50 years of struggle It may seem like a long shot, but you down classrooms before building their will pay about .495 per $100 valuation About 40 years ago, a tax paying and sacrifice to build" applies extreme- have to start somewhere. If I could, I replacements, because the government allows you to gentleman of Buda wrote a letter to his ly well to the present Hays CISD would personally introduce each of you I have not been given answers to deduct real estate taxes on your return, school board to "lodge a protest" school .board. Administrators and to the elementary students in my sis- these questions. Until I get those thereby, actually saving you tax dollars! regarding their spending practices. The school board members have been busy ter's class who have no desks. Maybe answers I will vote against the upcom- I urge you to join me and vote "YES" writer of the letter had been connected tearing down structures they fred aes- seeing a drenched student come into ing bond. to the bonds. to the school system for 24 years, first thetically displeasing without regard to math class one winter day would help Russel Law, Eugene S. Lusby, CPA as a student, then as teacher, bus driver, the question: Can tax payers afford it? persuade you that covered sidewalks Buda Buda Pro-School Bond, from page 4 designed to hold 650 students, miles from IH35. Our teachers Phases 2 and 3. This merits, or whether it will be Students currently eat ou[side and staff do a tremendous job, Completion Phase brings Hays done fight, and a new 5A high and inside. This is great when given the openness of this cam- High School all under the one school, that meets modern day the weather is nice, but is a real pus, preventing any undesirable roof concept. Students will not needs, is constructed. problem on cold, hot or bad people on this campus; but there have to change classes in The growth is coming; fast weather days. is a lot of access to the campus, inclement weather. The new or slow, it is coming. Take a Our oldbuildingshave seen These are just a few of the prob- classrooms are designed to ride anywhere in our district their day. I am sure in the hey- lems we deal with on a daily meet the needs of the high-tech and you will see it. Houses and days of the 1960s, 70s and 80s basis with our current situation educational programs we have subdivisions are popping up all these buildings were very func- at Hays High School. to offer our students. The build- over. It hasn't stopped. tional. Ask our teachers that We are excited about the ing will have room to accom- This bond package also teach in these buildings current- opening of our Phase 1 building modate 2,500 students in a includes another middle school, ly just how functional they are that will open in the very near much more condensed, control- two elementary schools, Phase to meet the advanced technolog- future. On February 6, 2003 lable, secure area, with ample 2 of Lehman HighSchool, plus ical education demands of from 4".00 to 7:00 p.m. you are space allowed for education major improvements to all today. You will hear stories of invited to come and see. It is a programs. The cafeteria will" be existing campuses, as well as power failures, no air condition- state-of-the-art, first-class, enlarged to meet the demands completing the renovation of ing or heat, leaking roofs, lack high-tech building. It is the way of 2,500 students. Hays High School. All is need- of security due to poor locks, a high school today should be Most importantly, this corn- ed to meet the student growth and no two-way communication to meet the needs of our stu- pletes the renovation of Hays of this district and continue to to the office building, dents' education. The High School into a totally new, make the education of our The size and openness of the Completion Phase adds new first class, high school, one in youth in Hays CISD a major present Hays High campus also classrooms and incorporates which this community, our stu- priority in this community. presents a real security issue, the most recently built build- dents and staff will have much Thank you for reading this We are no longer a campus out ings into one school. The pride. Your vote will determine and for your support. Please in the country with nothing upcoming bond on which youif we will continue to add to the vote! around. We are surrounded by will vote February 22, 2003, hodge-podge concept we have Carl Hall community and subdivision determines if we complete had over the last 30 years by Principal growth, and we are just a few Hays High School through not completing the improve- Hays High School County Governing, from page 4 Inglesbe and Susie Carter for their dissenting vote last week, although we must add that Carter's subsequent attack on Walther is not justified. Our criticism of Commissioners Bill Burnett and Russ Molenaar is muted by the fact that they are apparently just looking for someone to handle the administrative task that in the past has been satisfactorily per- formed by former county judges, ranging from Eddy Etheredge to Don Rains to Bud Burnett to Max Smith to Charlie Decker to W'lll Bumett and clear back to Henry Cheatham. If the county is going to pay Walther an extra $22,000 for tak- ing on the role that traditional is handled by the county judge, then it seems just and proper to reduce the pay of County Judge Jim Powers by a like amount, or at least to what we pay our coun- ty commissioners. Judge Powers is a friendly and affable fellow and he per- forms the ceremonial duties of the office well. He won re- election by about 55 percent, although he might not have made it if the voters had known that a portion of his duties were going to be passed off two months afterwards to a non- elected official. These are tough economic times. The jaundiced new lead- ers of state government seem set on cutting back on state aid to our public schools and the governor is diverting road funds that should go to the much needed extension to the Interstate of FM 1626 because he has a pet road project else- where. We are already paying approximately $269,000 in salaries for the operations of the commissioners court. Another hit, even if it is only a paltry $22,000, is pushing this new version of so-called con- servative county government beyond justifiable limits.