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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 13, 2003     Hays Free Press
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February 13, 2003

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Page e The Free PreL5 [O' t Si6 tbOEJltor " |e iniiiY 13, 2008 iMors Letters, i' from prevlous page "rag plants. ~' Edwards Aquifer Authority and BS/EACD personsal. National Wildflower Center and the visitors who are encouraged to conserve wa~r. The State of Texas, Senators and agencies who promote water conser- 'vation. Mr. Mattis the word you should ~'have used is insulted. ~Sincerely, Tim R Miller '. M il~erg Farms 1999 Water Conservation award winner BS/EACD :!Court breaches ipublic trust ,Letter to the Editor: ".i I am a resident of Hays County ~bY birth and by choice. I have wit- nessed a lot of Change in my 60 plus years, but nothing compares to what "i witnessed in Commissioners' Court on Jan. 28, 2003. In a three to two vote the court voted to make the ]~nvironmental Health Director our ~ounty manager. His salary increas- es from $67,000 to $90,000 a year. ': It is obvious by their vote that 4udge Powers and Commissioners ~lolenaar and Burner do not adhere to the conservative Republican ~rinciples of fiscal conservative- ~less. I am a close observer of Commissioners Court and as an ~active member of, the Hays ~,Republican Club, I cannot condone ~heir actions. When salaries go up, taxes go ~p. As a retiree on a fixed income, I ,am concerned about how much ~tonger I can continue to live in Hays 7County. "~ I consider Hays County "Commissioners Court's recent action a breach of the public trust and betrayal of Republican princi- ~)les. . ]~espectfully, Patsy Sites Moore i San Marcos iThe conditions i aren't right Editor: ' ! ~ My children are out of school. My tax rate is frozen. So why am I r concerned? My concerns are your ~children, your children's teachers and your checkbook. , Money spent for facilities is not : available for your child's education- ! al needs -- teachers salaries, sup- ~plies, utilities, insurance, bus dri- ; vers, secretaries, custodians, dining hall employees, security, etc. i This bond package is part of a 'master plan designed when the ~economy was booming. Jobs were plentiful and pay raises almost guaranteed. The economy has ;,hanged. Is your job or pay raise :~guaranteed? ~, Our school district is the largest :employer in our district. What jobs .may have to be cut? Yours? What programs may have to be cut? ~ebts must be paid first, just like : ,our house payment or rent. This master plan reminds me of [~a family vacation. Dad wants to go ".to Canada to go fishing, Morn has ~lreams of seeing Hawaii and the ~;kids really have their hearts set on ~Disneyland. Planning begins and ~'~hey agree on Florida. Dad will go ~deep sea fishing, Morn found a .'Wonderful condo on the beach and ~hey will all go to Disneyworld. ~ Lots of planning---good plan- ? .mng--~,ery exciting. They will fly ~4rom Austin to Dallas and then to :l~lorida. The day before the vacation :~aegins Dad is notified there will be :]nassive layoffs at his place of .~mployment within the next two ~nonths. Will it be him? They decide i~o take their chances. ,: At the airport they learn that :tlaeir plane will be delayed. A new ~ilot has to be called. The other one ]aas taken a job with another airline. ~Later a call goes out to all passen- ,~ers going to Dallas to board the i~lane except those going to Florida --- check at the desk for further :information. They learn no pilot has :Jt~,en located to complete the trip. ~ ould you continue the trip or ' t;eschedule at a later date. ?~ I don't like to speak of problems ~'without offering solutions. So I ~r ;~ffer two: ~ Vote against the $104,500,000 - :~ll or nothing - 2003 bonds, or; .= Change your date of birth, retire 7~and join me for lunch at the Senior i~itizens Center. .~ Vote your conscience on or i~oefore Feb. 22, 2003. ?,Lois L. Pfluger )tVlanchaca pfi eleven portables and overcrowded It's a small ce classrooms. The need is still there. to pay for our Why the change in attitude? In September of 1997, Hays CISD children's future hired a new superintendent (Dr. Michael Hinojosa) in spite of the vocif- erous opposition of three men (Bales, To the Edaor: Seargeant' and Tenorio). Afterwards, Don and I moved hem from San they continued to resist the badly need- Marcos fourteen years ago specifically ed changes that Michael was imple- because we wanted our children to menting for a poor, but' fast-growing attend the Hays Schools. It saddens me district. Michael streamlined the to hear the negative talk about the administrative function, increased the school bond. My children am both out fund balance, and involved the com- of high school now, but I still want munity in decision-making. While on what is best for the children in Hays. the Board, Bales and Seargeant award- Lehman needs to be finished as a ed Michael's efforts with consistent high school as passed in the prior dec- criticism, then each steplxxt down a tion. HHS is already too big. When a year early. They had become lone voic- high school has over 2,000 students, es on an increasingly progressive board classes can be so crowded that teachers The Hays CISD is now spending cannot do thek best in teaching and more of your tax dollar on education safety issues arise. We do not want a ($1.2937 of the tax rate in '02 as high school where students get lost in opposed to $.845 in '96), as well as a the crowd and become just a number, lower amount on debt ($.3863 of the HHS needs to be finished. The tax rate in '02 as opposed to $.803 in bond committee approved connecting '96). In 2001, the Hays CISD achieved the buildings at HHS so students would recognized status, Michael Hinojosa not be subjected to bad weather, was awarded Superintendent of the Opponents say that a covered walkway Year, and the School Board was recog- can be built to protect the students from nized as a top five board in the state. the rain, perhaps from a rain shower, Hays CISD has come a long way for- but not from wind spraying torrents of ward and yet Bales and Seargeant con- rain from the tides or from cold weath- tinue their diatribes through letters to er when students am going to class, the newspaper, whose judgment The classroom space is needed! should you trust? If the bond does nut pass, atten- The administration has been fiscal- dance lines will be redrawn. Fuentes ly responsible, and the community- Elementary is already at 876 students based Bond Task Force has compiled a with commons areas used as class- list of critical needs in its bond propos- morns and closets for support classes, al. The bond package will increase Four portables am at Fnentes. Kyle your taxes by 15 cents over three years. Elementary has 823 students. If the I would urge you to trust your fellow bond is passed, a school would be built community members, adminiswation at Plum Creek, which would ease con- and board and vote YES on the bond difions at Kyle Elementary. If not, Elm proposal. Grove would receive some of Kyle's Dr. Warty Ruthim~ students and probably have an enroll- HCISD Board Member, ment of 800 pins students. Much 1995-2001 research is available concerning the problems facing large elementary sc ls with over 8oo st nts. Growth is I bdleve that some of the animosi- ty against the bond stems from individ- imminent, let's uals' opinion of our tnevions superin- He is no longer here Can we prepare now please put aside our differences and do what is right for our children in Hays? Dear Editor: I don't think taxpayers realize that taxes would only be raised by $4.17 To those who say our residential each month on a $100,000 home. I for growth has slowed down and because of this the school bonds can be delayed, one, think this is a small price to pay for I offer the following public informa- our children's future. tion: Dolores Rlky Our last year's growth was based Buda on new home sales primarily in the Kyle part of the district. A Buda com- Vote FOR the prehensive planning process created a self imposed development moratorium HCISD bond ~ caused Buda area new home starts to fall off significantly. ' ~' ' : ~ ili Make no mistake ~t the deske l~Cm~~" of home buyers to purchase new homes in the Buda area. gince the To the Editor: moratorium has been lifted Buda has I am appalled every time I pass a seen the following developments pro- sign opposing the school board bond posed: Cullen Country, 204 homes; package. I can't understand the opposi- and Winfield MUD, 6,471 homes. lion. Yes, I have heard the incessant Also, according to the Feb. 11 Austin ranting and ravings of both Bryce paper, the following residential com- Bales and Tommy Seargeant and munities between Buda and Driftwood frankly I am tired of it. Each man was are moving through the development a school board member who quit serv- process: Rock Creel 2,550 homes; ing the district before their terms Greenhaw, 570 homes; Tustin Ranch, expired. Yet they seem to have a com- 480 homes; Rutherford West, 240 plaint about every decision made by homes; and all in the Hays School the current school board. M n Bales and District. Niederwald is in the process of Mr. Seargeant, you have lost credibili- approving a 3,600 home subdivision ty. You "cried wolf' too many times. I -- also in the Hays School District. don't know what you have against the These add up to a total 14,115 new cunent board but it seems to affect your homes now planned for the north end objectivity on many issues. I hear more of the school district. If we add in the from you now than I did when you 8,000 already approved Kyle lots that served on the board. If you have so have not been built on, this gives us a many issues with the school district' grand total of 22,115 new area homes. why did you quit? You think the bond You do the math. It is obvious the dis- package is fiscally irresponsible how- trict needs the new school buildings. ever the present school board's record John Sanford, Realtor of fiscal management is evident. The Buda 2001 bond package is currently on- time and under budget. Besides, the current bond package was constructed from recommendations made by the Bond Task Force which included more than 20 people who served selflessly and represent a broad spectrum of the community. There have been public hearings to ask questions and express concerns. Mr. Bales, Mr. Seargeant' have you been at any? Growth is happening. We should plan ahead so we don't find ourselves with inadequate facilities to teach the growing number of children in our schools. The bond package is about our community and our children and not about two men's vendetta against the current Hays CISD school board. l)awn Rdmm San Bond package is prudent and responsible Dear Editor: In 1995, when I was elected to the School Board, then under the leader- ship of Bryce Bales and Tommy Seargeant' the district had serious prob- lems with administrative reporting lines, a dilapidated infrastructure, low fund balance, and a lack of community accountability. In an editorial from that time, B~ce Bales, supported a bond election, promulgated the need for ren- ovations, and decried the use of portable classrooms. It is ironic that Bryce and Tommy am now two voices behind the NO vote for the current bond election. Hays HS now has Let's do it right for the kids Dear Editor: Thirty-one years ago when I began teaching for Hays CISD at Jack C. Hays High School, the add-a-building as we go and grow concept seemed adequate at the time. Our school was small and merely "dashing" between buildings in inclement weather resulted in a dampening of one's clothing but not one's spirit. The stluctums, which contained pods of rooms, served us then but presently do not provide the shelter and security that students, teachers and administrators need and deserve. Educating our youth has changed since 1972. As educators we face numerous challenges and issues in trying to teach and reach all students. We need the support of the community to enable us to do our best. We teach because we care and want to provide the best education for our students. No matter how well prepared we are to provide a quality learning experience in our classroom, it goes by the wayside if the students are drenched, cold and complaining. The isolation of contained "units" spread over eight city blocks, makes it difficult to monitor student activity and increases the potential for unwanted "visitors" to access our campus. Responding to crisis is impeded by the maze of buildings that nurses, security personnel and adminisWators must tra- verse through to get to the student(s) in need. The aged structures am not histori- cal landmarks worthy of restoration. They are costly to maintain and need to go. Our campus needs to be "one"We ask for a safe and contained school that promotes a sense of pride and commu- nity. We need to prepare for those to come and we need to provide for those who am here. Vote ' es" for our kids. It's the right thing to do. Proud ana p to be an educator, Sherry A. Snowden Jad C. rhys rngh Sdaoa dons in which to learn. Our children am the future of our country; let's spend approximately $50 more a year per household in tax dollars to build enough facilities that am safe and sound. Carol Swamon Buda Hays students have a dream Safety I)ear Ed~r: must be Two score years ago a great rt~ogniz~9 also American designed the plans for Hays High School. This momentous work To the Editor: became a great beacon light to thou- There's something else that people sands of school hungry youth. It was a need to think about concerning the joyous union or ardLrivals, Buda and 2003 bond issue -- safety. Our chil- Kyle, on the peaceful grounds of edu- cation. dren am not as safe as they could be at our present schools. Any elementary Forty years later, the life of the stu- campus with portables must leave all dent is still sadly crippled by the occa- doors unlocked so that the students can sional torrential downpours of water. The student finds himself or herself enter the main building when neces- sary. They wander the campus between stranded on an island of asphalt sur- their classroom and the bathrooms or rounded by liquefied dirt. Forty years nurse's office without an adult present later, the student is still fighting for a -- the teacher must remain in the class- spot on the filthy slippery sidewalk, yet room with the other students! Does any usually finds that they have have been parent really want their eight-year-old nudged off into ankle deep mud. Sowe child wandering around outside the have come here today to dramatize an school? This happens with any grade appalling condition. level in the portables. Instead of keeping each individual At the. elementary campuses that in mind, the school seeks to please the am not overcrowded, all but the front community. The school has told the doors am locked during the school day. students that there are insufficient People cannot wander into the school funds. It would be pure ignorance for without going through the office. This Hays to overlook the urgency of the is a good thing. But this is not the case moment. This sickness of reasonable at several of our elementary schools, discontent will not end until there is a This is not right; voting yes for the cure of response and action. 2003 is not bond issue will provide money to build an end, but a beginning. more schools so that the ove~mwding Go back to Plum Creek, go back to is eliminated and the portables can be Mountain City, go back to Dove removed. Hollow, go back to Bmdfield Vtllage, The open campus at Hays High is go back to Kyle and Buda, knowing that somehow this situation can and another security risk: there am nut enough security guards to monitor all will be changed. the school buildings. Anyone, young or I have a dream that a student will not be fined by the school for having old, can wander onto that campus. Teenagers from rival schools can (and water damage to their books. have) committed property crimes. I'm I have a dream that one day Hays sure the open campus makes drug deal- High School will be rebuilt into a place where young men and young women ing easier, along with harassment and intimidation of students. If Hays High will be able to stay dry as they mingle from class to class as brothers and sis- School was basically under one roof, then hallways can be monitored and ters. And if HCISD is to be a great outside doors secured. Our young peo- school district, this must become true. pie can be protected, and they should When we cover every sidewalk we be. will be able to speed up that day when The open campus as it stands now all of our parents, children, black men, allows for weather related accidents: white men, brown men, and little green lightening strikes, poorprotection from men will be able to join hands and sing tornadoes. Lightening has smack a stu- the new Rebel spiritual, "Dry at last! dent on campus, and the tornado a few Dry at last! Thank God almighty, we years ago came within two miles of the am dry at last!" campus. Those ~ shaltcred in the Bryan Valenline portable buildings were not feeling too 10th grade Hays High Sdmol .~, i safe at that time!, ;,Student .:i~ Our children deserve better condi- Kyle rhe voucher's the answer )ear Editor: The answer to the growth and inancial problems is right under our roses. It's the school voucher! While I an afford to send my kids to a private chool it's likely that there are others vho want to but can't afford to. I have ,ne daughter at Hill Country Christian ;chool in San Marcus. Her tuition is ;2250.00 for the nine-month school ,ear. As I understand it now, the public chools get about $6,000.00 per year o educate or retain each child. If they ~ave to the parents of the students who tttend the private school that ;2,250.00 and kept the change, the ,ublic schools could solve their 7owth problem and their financial aroblems at the same time. Of course his voucher thing is in the hands of the ~exas Legislature and is not a school listrict option. Administrators of a school district against the voucher and their easons against it just don't hunt. It's tot likely any of them will pressure the .egislamre in favor of the voucher. The property tax is a severe hard- hip to homeowners, especially etirees. No one after half of a lifetime vorking and paying taxes should have government lien on their property. kgain this is a problem for the Texas .egislamre. The kids at Hill Country Christian ;chool don't have a drug, gang, disre- pect problems like the public schools 1o and thus provide an atmosphere for mining and feeling safe. HCCS, out ~f the last three years has had two stu- lents (out of 35) who have had ~pointrnents to Annapolis and West ~oint. Private schools don't have all the ~ne,m'ties public schools do so there Vont be a mass exodus of the cream 9f the crop that school administrators I~'edict and am afraid of. Those who ~vant to stay for the amenities (sports for everyone, drama, a computer for every kid, the social scene) will stay in public schools. When the public schools get more parents involved like the private schools do; when they provide a true safe learning environment; when the teachers am truly paid well; when the fluff in the administration level is removed; when the teachers are backed up by the adminiswators in dis- cipline matters; then come talk to me about a bond election. Ray Wolbrecht, DDS Many letters edited for length Are the Elementary Schools Really Over Ca] 1,755 Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove Elementary combined practical capacity 2,160 Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove current com as a result of the passage of the 2001 Bond 2,209 Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove current stud (49 over new capacity 454 over original caI 648 Kyle Elementary capacity 832 Kyle Elementary current enrollment (184 over capacity) 554 Tom Green Elementary capacity 675 Tom Green current enrollment (121 over ca 675 Buda Elementary capacity 567 Buda Elementary current enrollment (108 f 4,037 Practical Capacity of All Elementary Schoc 4,283 Actual Enrollment of All Elementary Scho( 5,033 Projected Student Enrollment for 2003-200 mcity? Schools original ained student capacity Issue mt enrollment acity) pacity) "om capacity) ls ds School Year Ok, so the Elementary Schools are over capacity, but what about the rest of the district? i 47 Average Number of students enrolling each month (since beginning of the 2002 school year) 8,619 Current Enrollment of Hays CISD (as of January 31, 2003) 8,717 Actual Capacity of Hays CISD 2.08 Number of months before we reach capacity When ALL Is Said and Done, these are the only numbers that manet #o you resoare ). $tugy faed$. ast your vote. Vote Early at your local campus (except Oahlstroml through February 18. Election Day is Saturday, Public Information provided by and paid for by the Community Alliance of Northern Hays County