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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 Preu .... IJb'00Si6 tbeEjltor " iMors Letters, i' from prevlous page • "rag plants. :* • Edwards Aquifer Authority and BS/EACD personsal. • National W'ddflower Center and the visitors who are encouraged to con,.seTVe waILs. • The State of Texas, Senators and agencies who promote water conser- 'vation. Mr. Mattis the word you should 'have used is insulted. Sincerely, Tim P. Miller '. M_ierg Farms 1999 Water Conservation award winner BS/EACD :!Court breaches i, public 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 udge 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 ,County. " I consider Hays County "Commissioners Court's recent • action a breach of the public trust and betrayal of Republican princi- : les. . lRespeetfully, Patsy Sites Moore i San Marcos ) :The conditions i aren't right r Editor: ' : ! a 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 3hey will all go to Disneyworld.  Lots of planninggood plan- .. ,mng--,ery exciting. They will fly 4rom Austin to Dallas and then to :llorida. The day before the vacation :])egins Dad is notified there will be []nassive layoffs at his place of .lmployment within the next two ]nonths. Will it be him? They decide io take their chances. ,- At the airport they learn that 6 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 ',lane except those going to Florida .-- check at the desk for further infonnation. They learn no pilot has 'Jteen 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 affer two: Vote against the $104,500,000 - ill or nothing - 2003 bonds, or; Change your date of birth, retire .and join me for lunch at the Senior iitizens Center. . Vote your conscience on or ifore Feb. 22, 2003. ?,Lois L. Pfluger idanchaca It's a small price to pay for our children's future To the Editor: Don and I moved here from San Marcos fourteen years ago specifically because we wanted our children to attend the Hays Schools. It saddens me to hear the negative talk about the school bond. My children are both out of high school now, but I still want what is best for the children in Hays. Lehman needs to be finished as a high school as passed in the prior dec- tion. HHS is already too big. When a high school has over 2,000 students, classes can be so crowded that teachers cannot do their best in teaching and safety issues arise. We do not want a high school where students get lost in the crowd and become just a number. HI-IS needs to be finished. The bond committee approved connecting the buildings at ItHS so students would not be subjected to bad weather. Opponents say that a covered walkway can be built to protect the students from the rain, perhaps from a rain shower, but not from wind spraying torrents of rain from the sides or from cold weath- er when students are going to class. The classroom space is needed! If the hond does not pass, atten- dance lines will be redrawn. Fnentes Elementary is already at 876 students with commons areas used as class- rooms and closets for support classes. Four portables are at Fnentes. Kyle Elementary has 823 students. If the bond is passed, a school would be built at Plum Creek, which would ease con- ditious at Kyle Elementary. If not, Elm Grove would receive some of Kyle's students and probably have an enroll- ment of 800 plus students. Much research is available concerning the problems facing large elementary schools with over 800 students. I believe that some of the animosi- ty against the bond stems from individ- uals' opim'on of our rnevious superin- tendent. He is no longer here. Can we please put aside our differences and do what is right for our children in Hays? I don't think taxpayers realize that taxes would only be raised by $4.17 each month on a $100,000 home. I for one, think this is a small price to pay for our children's future. Dolores Ri Bmla Vote FOR the HCISD bond To the FARor: I am appalled every time I pass a sign opposing the school board bond package. I can't understand the opposi- lion. Yes, I have heard the incessant ranting and ravings of both Bryce Bales and Tommy Seargeant and frankly I am tired of it. Each man was a school board member who quit serv- ing the district before their terms expired. Yet they seem to have a com- plaint about every decision made by the currem school board. M_n Bales and Mr. Seargeant, you have lost credibili- ty. You "cried wolf' too many times. I don't know what you have against the currant board but it seems to affect your objectivity on many issues. I hear more from you now than I did when you served on the board. If you have so many issues with the school district, why did you quit? You think the bond package is fiscally irresponsible how- ever the present school board's record of fiscal management is evident. The 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. Dawn San Bond package is prudent and responsible Dear FARor: 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, Bryce Bales, supported a bond election, promulgated the need for ren- ovations, and decried the use of potable classrooms. It is ironic that Bryce and Tommy are now two voices behind the NO vote for the current bond election. Hays HS now has eleven portables and overcrowded classrooms. The need is still there. Why the change in attitude? In September of 1997, Hays CISD hired a new superintendent (Dr. Michael Hinojosa) in spite of the vocif- erous opposition of three men (Bales, Seargeant' and Tenorio). Afterwards, they continued to resist the badly need- ed changes that Michael was imple- menting for a poor, but' fast-growing district. Michael streamlined the administrative function, increased the fund balance, and involved the com- munity in decision-making. While on the Board, Bales and Seargeant award- ed Michael's efforts with consistent criticism, then each stepped down a year early. They had become lone voic- es on an increasingly progressive board The Hays CISD is now spending more of your tax dollar on education ($1.2937 of the tax rate in '02 as opposed to $.845 in '96), as well as a lower amount on debt ($.3863 of the tax rate in '02 as opposed to $.803 in '96). In 2001, the Hays CISD achieved recognized status, Michael Hinojosa was awarded Superintendent of the Year, and the School Board was recog- nized as a top five board in the state. Hays CISD has come a long way for- ward and yet Bales and Seargeant con- tinue their diatribes through letters to the newspaper. Whose judgment should you trust? The administration has been fiscal- ly responsible, and the comrnunity- based Bond Task Force has compiled a list of critical needs in its bond propos- al. The bond package will increase your taxes by 15 cents over three years. I would urge you to trust your fellow community members, administration and board and vote YES on the bond prom. Or. wa R=UimU HCISD Board Member, 1995-2001 Growth is imminent, let's prepare now Dear Editor: To those who say our residential growth has slowed down and because of this the school bonds can be delayed, I offer the following public informa- tion: Our last year's growth was based on new home sales primarily in the Kyle part of the district. A Buda com- prehensive planning process created a self imposed development moratorium that caused Buda area new home starts to fall off significantly. ,' ' ' Make no mistake alxmt the'deS of home buyers to purchase new homes in the Buda area. gince the moratorium has been lifted Buda has seen the following developments pro- posed: Cullen Country, 204 homes; and Winfield MUD, 6,471 homes. Also, according to the Feb. 11 Austin paper, the following residential com- munities between Buda and Driftwood are moving through the development process: Rock Creel 2,550 homes; Greenhaw, 570 homes; Tustin Ranch, 480 homes; Rutherford West, 240 homes; and all in the Hays School District. Niederwald is in the process of approving a 3,600 home subdivision -- also in the Hays School District. These add up to a total 14,115 new homes now planned for the north end of the school district. If we add in the 8,000 already approved Kyle lots that have not been built on, this gives us a grand total of 22,115 new area homes. You do the math. It is obvious the dis- trict needs the new school buildings. John Sanford, Realtor Buda 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 stluctures, 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 administrators must tra- verse through to get to the student(s) in need. The aged structures are 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 are here. Vote 'es" for our kids. It's the right thing to do. Proud aria p " to be an educator, Sherry A, Snowden Jad C. rhys rngh soboa Safety must be l'ee000000l, also To the EdRor: There's something else that people need to think about concerning the 2003 bond issue -- safety. Our chil- dren are not as safe as they could he at our present schools. Any elementary campus with portables must leave all doors unlocked so that the students can enter the main building when neces- sary. They wander the campus between their classroom and the bathrooms or nurse's office without an adult present -- the teacher must remain in the class- room with the other students! Does any parent really want their eight-year-old child wandmng around outside the school? This happens with any grade level in the portables. At the. elementary campuses that are not overcrowded, all but the front doors are locked during the school day. People cannot wander into the school without going through the office. This is a good thing. But this is not the case at several of our elementary schools. This is not right; voting yes for the bond issue will provide money to build more schools so that the overcrowding is eliminated and the portables can be removed. The ope n campus at Hays High is another security risk: there are not enough security guards to monitor all the school buildings. Anyone, young or old, can wander onto that campus. Teenagers from rival schools can (and have) committed property crimes. I'm sure the open campus makes drug deal- ing easier, along with harassment and intimidation of students. If Hays High School was basically under one roof, then hallways can he monitored and outside doors secured. Our young peo- ple can he protected, and they should be. The open campus as it stands now allows for weather related accidents: lightening stlikes, poor protection from tornadoes. Lightening has struck a stu- dent on campus, and the tornado a few years ago came within two miles of the campus. Those .shaltred in the portable buildings were not feeling too safe at that time!  ..... ; Our children deserve better condi- dons in which to learn. Our children are the future of our country; let's spend approximately $50 more a year per household in tax dollars to build enough facilities that are safe and sound. Carol Swamon Bmla Hays students have a dream Dear Editor: Two score years ago a great American designed the plans for Hays High School. This momentous work became a great beacon light to thou- sands of school hungry youth. It was a joyous union or archrivals, Buda and Kyle, on the peaceful grounds of edu- cation. Forty years later, the life of the stu- dent is still sadly crippled by the occa- sional torrential downpours of water. The student finds himself or herself stranded on an island of asphalt sur- rounded by liquefied dirt. Forty years later, the student is still fighting for a spot on the filthy slippery sidewalk, yet usually finds that they have have been nudged off into ankle deep mud. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. Instead of keeping each individual in mind, the school seeks to please the community. The school has told the students that there are insufficient funds. It would be pure ignorance for Hays to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sickness of reasonable discontent will not end until there is a cure of response and action. 2003 is not an end, but a beginning. Go back to Plum Creek, go back to Mountain City, go back to Dove Hollow, go back to Bmdfield Vdlage, go back to Kyle and Buda, knowing that somehow this situation can and will he changed. I have a dream that a student will not he fined by the school for having water damage to their books. I have a dream that one day Hays High School will he rebuilt into a place where young men and young women will be able to stay dry as they mingle from class to class as brothers and sis- ters. And if HCISD is to be a great school district, this must become true. When we cover every sidewalk we will he able to speed up that day when all of our parents, children, black men, white men, brown men, and little green men will he able to join hands and sing the new Rebel spiritual, "Dry at last! Dry at last! Thank God almighty, we are dry at last!" Bryan Valenline 10th grade Hays Ifigh Schoo!,  .., Student ........ , ...... Kyle |imih 13,20e00 the voucher's the answer :)esr Edir: 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 Marcos. 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 trend the private school that ;2,250.00 and kept the change, the mblic 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 .eglslamre. The kids at Hill Country Christian ;chool don't have a drug, gang, disre- peet problems like the public schools lo and thus provide an atmosphere for taming and feeling safe. HCCS, out f the last three years has had two stu- lents (out of 35) who have had T)pointments to Annapolis and West )oint. Private schools don't have all the ne,m.'ties public schools do so there ,on t be a mass exodus of the cream 9f the crop that school administrators I'edict and are afraid of. Those who ant 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 are truly paid well; when the fluff in the administration level is removed; when the teachers are Imcked 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 Hays CISD By the Just The FACTS About the Hays CISD SchOol Bonds Are the Elementary Schools Really Over Ca] • 1,755 • 2,160 • 2,209 • 648 • 832 • 554 • 675 • 675 • 567 • 4,037 • 4,283 • 5,033 Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove Elementary combined practical capacity Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove current com as a result of the passage of the 2001 Bond Fuentes, Hemphill, Elm Grove current stud (49 over new capacity 454 over original ca I Kyle Elementary capacity Kyle Elementary current enrollment (184 over capacity) Tom Green Elementary capacity Tom Green current enrollment (121 over ca Buda Elementary capacity Buda Elementary current enrollment (108 f Practical Capacity of All Elementary Schoc Actual Enrollment of All Elementary Scho( Projected Student Enrollment for 2003-200 )acity? Schools original ained student capacity Issue mt enrollment acity) pacity) "om capacity) ls ds School Year i Ok, so the Elementary Schools are over capacity, but what about the rest of the district? i • 47 8,619 8,717 2.08 Average Number of students enrolling each month (since beginning of the 2002 school year) Current Enrollment of Hays CISD (as of January 31, 2003) Actual Capacity of Hays CISD Number of months before we reach capacity When ALL is Said and Done, these are the only numbers that manet #o you resoare00). StuO faed$. Cast your Vote Early at your local campus (except Oahlstrom) through February 18. Election Day is Saturday, 22 Public Information provided by and paid for by the Community Alliance of Northern Hays County