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Thread: School Bond Election

  1. #1
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    School Bond Election

    Eastland is getting new high school, elementary school, and football field all in one, this is so exciting!
    Secretary,
    Harper Valley PTA

  2. #2
    It's a new high school and updates on elementary. Then Middle School will become an Intermediate School (4th and 5th) and the Current high school will become the middle school.

  3. #3
    And updates on middle school and current high school buildings

  4. #4
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    Just another way the school is trying to whitewash this by not telling the real truth about the 28 million dollars they want to spend that will make your taxes go up big time and after the raises in values last years who can afford it may be more foreclosures in Eastland future

  5. #5
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    I have requested more information from the school superintendent about the bond proposal. I have voiced support for new schools in previous posts, mainly because the current high school building was built in 1929 (please correct me if I am wrong). I am of the opinion that schools should be updated every 30 to 50 years, and Eastland is way past that. It might cost me the equivalent of McDonald's dollar menu deal a day but I can afford that. The folks that own a lot of property in the Eastland ISD may have to pay more, so I will see what they have to say.
    - a little sarcasm, a little truth, - you decide.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by homosapian View Post
    Just another way the school is trying to whitewash this by not telling the real truth about the 28 million dollars they want to spend...
    Wow! What a bargain I figured it would be closer to fifty milllion. There is no way I could do all that for 28 million.

  7. #7
    Does this mean they will finally do something about the mold in the basement?

    "...democracy must be more than what the majority insists upon."
    Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope

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    The basement would be a good place to age goat cheese.

  9. #9
    I imagine EISD threw one a helluva party when Miss Mally's U-Haul rolled out of town! I wonder if anyone has pictures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by curious_george View Post
    I imagine EISD threw one a helluva party when Miss Mally's U-Haul rolled out of town! I wonder if anyone has pictures?
    You do know Mally has moved back here, right?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    You do know Mally has moved back here, right?
    I've heard rumors however I believe her youngest already graduated, no? Maybe she'll have some grands enrolled in EISD soon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thutmose View Post
    I have requested more information from the school superintendent about the bond proposal. I have voiced support for new schools in previous posts, mainly because the current high school building was built in 1929 (please correct me if I am wrong). I am of the opinion that schools should be updated every 30 to 50 years, and Eastland is way past that. It might cost me the equivalent of McDonald's dollar menu deal a day but I can afford that. The folks that own a lot of property in the Eastland ISD may have to pay more, so I will see what they have to say.
    Thut, have you received any info on this yet? Seems we should have more details to substantiate an expenditure exceeding 30 million. Today's paper has a cartoonish representation of the architect's rendition. Looks light on classroom space, but has lots of sports area. And, didn't we just build an AG facility? Looks like we're getting another.

    If if this passes.

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    where is the location??

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    TBD

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    Did anyone ever hear what the total expenditures will be with the existing school updates, a new high school, and the adjoining football field complex etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    Did anyone ever hear what the total expenditures will be with the existing school updates, a new high school, and the adjoining football field complex etc?
    Last I heard was that the bond would be floated for about 32 million, but that the whole tab would be around 38. Dunno how accurate those numbers are.

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    The article written for the paper by the new supt said our taxes would increase 200 per year, but didn't say if that was for five years or ten years.

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    Ha! 30 or 40 years. $200.00 increase is for a home valued at (I think) $50,000. I don't have the info here but I'll review what was in the paper tomorrow.

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    Those over 65, or disabled, with property tax freezes on a homestead who think their taxes will not double with this new bond, should be aware that tax freeze only applies to a home with the homestead exemption and the one acre or city lot it sits on.

    If they have a business, lake place, land, or equipment, their taxes will double on everything except the house.
    Or they will sure think they did when they get the bill in the mail. Then we will get to read in the paper more sheriff auctions selling off property for the back taxes. Recent editions of our local paper were full of them.
    Last edited by MiraculousMutha; 03-29-2015 at 02:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    Eastland ISD Ave daily attendance
    2008 1121
    2012 1076
    2013 1070
    2014 1026
    2015 921
    Folks, people are leaving Eastland because their are no jobs and the exodus is speeding up. The schools have lost over 100 students in the last year. At this rate by 2020 you will have lost more than half your school age population. Raising taxes will only make it harder to attract jobs. The school is out of touch with reality. You cant afford to spend the money, In the future there will be less and less people here to pay it back. Your talking about spending $30,000.00 a student, if people keep leaving that may turn into $60,000.000 a student. At this timethis idea is nuts.
    Last edited by Chupacabra; 03-29-2015 at 04:45 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    Those with the homestead, ...
    We continue to be told that the tax increase will not apply to homesteaded property. I don't think that is correct. I believe only 65+ and disabled are immune to tax increases..

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    Yes that is correct. I went back to change it and thanks rme.

    Also a remark in the local paper alludes that the average Eastland home will see a $200 per year tax increase with the passage of this bond.

    The voters should be aware that tax increases will apply to everyone in the Eastland school district, including property owners from Carbon to Lake Leon, west of Eastland, then North past Morton Valley to the Stephens County line. Not just those who live in town. These same property owners should vote on this bond since they will be the ones footing the bill for the next 30, 40, or 50 years.

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    Y
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  24. #24
    I live at the lake in the Gorman district. When they built their new school we were told that our taxes wouldn't go up once we hit 65. My neighbor sold his house recently and he had to drop the price because his buyers could qualify to get a loan to cover the appraised value but the lender said that the property taxes had to be considered in the monthly payments. So he had to drop the price way below the appraisal to get the payment plus taxes down. We he decided to sell and downsize it cost him a bundle. When you sell the property taxes jump up to the full amount for the new buyer. Beware, if you are told it won't cost you because you are over 65, it could cost you or your aires a lot.

  25. #25
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    According to the information put out by the school, the tax rate for this bond will be an additional .389 percent. Or forty percent.

    The school continues to address the homeowners who live in town, but everyone in the district may take their last year school taxes and multiply that by 1.389 to see what their new tax bill will be each year.

    To figure your total cost multiply that figure x 50 years time to pay the bond off.

    So if my taxes go up 500 per year x 50, the new school will end up costing me a total of $25,000 dollars.

  26. #26
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    School Bond Election

    Why do you think they're highlighting $20.00 per month?

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    The same reason they fail to mention how many years to pay off the bond,

    also why they make it sound as if homeowners in the city are the only ones who can vote or will be affected by this,

    and the same reason they had the discussion on the Eastland County Breaking News facebook page removed...

    Like when the Cisco Police had the camera grabbing discussion removed,
    beginning to look like those who refer to this county as crooked were right all along.

    The powers that be will find out who the power really is on May 9.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    The same reason they fail to mention how many years to pay off the bond,

    also why they make it sound as if homeowners in the city are the only ones who can vote or will be affected by this,

    and the same reason they had the discussion on the Eastland County Breaking News facebook page removed...

    Like when the Cisco Police had the camera grabbing discussion removed,
    beginning to look like those who refer to this county as crooked were right all along.

    The powers that be will find out who the power really is on May 9.
    With all of the machine guns Eastland County has bought off the Feds, are you serious?

  29. #29
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    After Ranger built their new school it turned up full of bulletholes and lives were threatened. Information was hidden from the voters on how much their taxes would go up and for how long, or the voters failed to do the proper research to inform themselves by asking the right questions. They thought a beautiful new school was going to fall out of the sky on Christmas morning...but it doesn't work that way. Some of their taxes increased tenfold...10X.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    Ha! 30 or 40 years. $200.00 increase is for a home valued at (I think) $50,000. I don't have the info here but I'll review what was in the paper tomorrow.
    There will be 2 propositions on the ballot. Proposition 1 is for $26,500,000 for the construction work. That is a 30 year note. Proposition 2 is for $4,500,000 to move loans they currently have from the Maintenance & Operations tax rate and budget over to the Interest & Sinking fund tax rate and budget. That is a 15 year note.

    The $200 ($239.40 to be precise) increase a year is on a home valued at $75,000 and allows for the $15,000 deduction for homestead.. so, actually $60,000. They say the increase comes out to $19.95 a month. A home valued at 150,000 with the homestead deduction adds $538.65 a year to your school property taxes.

  31. #31
    I am very disappointed that this has been low key - and seemingly under the radar until recently. I am also disappointed that I didn't make movement on it sooner myself, as I found out last month. Nonetheless, I met with my family today and elected to voice being against this bond - simply because I feel the community isn't educated on it enough to vote. Itís probably not the end of the world if this bond doesn't go forward right now because it could always come to an election again in the years to come, but if it goes through on May 9th we may wind up pondering the ďWHAT IFĒ for 30 years. This is concerning $30+ million at face value, and most likely over $100 million with interest.


    Chupacabra's comments are right on! You can't deny stats and most likely our economy will continue a decline due to the deteriorating oil prices.

    Blessings,
    Bryan Jackson
    bryan@ebryans.com
    (254) 631-1596


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Proposition 2 is for $4,500,000 to move loans they currently have from the Maintenance & Operations tax rate and budget over to the Interest & Sinking fund tax rate and budget.
    Moving this current Four and a half Million dollar debt out of the maintenance and operations account will make it possible for the money spenders to run up another Four and a half Million dollar debt in that same maintenance and operations account...without taxpayer approval the way they did with the first 4 1/2 million dollars.

    The only question is how long it will take them...or in reality how fast it can be done.
    This is all about football. Has nothing to do with education, and certainly nothing to do with fiscal responsibility.

    The people behind this are the proof that too much emphasis was placed on sports and not enough on mathematics.
    Last edited by MiraculousMutha; 04-05-2015 at 01:28 PM.

  33. #33
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    Why did the state force the local tax appraisal districts to raise the appraisals of local property up to market value?

    Local school board high steppers on spending sprees nearly broke the state of Texas. For years we have heard about school finance reform. Robin Hood taking from the rich districts to give to the others was one solution.
    Finally the state figured out they were footing the bill for frivolous undisciplined local spenders such as we have here, and said "Enough. Pay your own bills from now on. You may have your new play pretties if you want to pay for them."

    Now we get to pay our own way with high property taxes, rather than mooching off the rest of the state.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    ...

    Now we get to pay our own way with high property taxes, rather than mooching off the rest of the state.
    AKA paying your fair share.

  35. #35
    LETTER TO THE EDITOR - EASTLAND COUNTY TODAY 04/06/2015

    The May 9th Eastland ISD Bond Election is rapidly approaching. Many Eastland citizens are unaware of what’s happening - and why it’s happening. If you live in the Eastland ISD taxing district, it is vitally important that you become informed about this and VOTE on May 9th. The Eastland ISD is providing a public forum on April 20 at the Eastland High School Gym starting at 6:30. Please share this information with your neighbors as it’s concerning $30+ million dollars and 30 years of payout. This is not considering interest that will most likely inflate the loan to over $100 million dollars.

    My name is Bryan Jackson and if you haven’t heard, I have voiced out against the bond as I do not believe the citizens have been informed properly on the matter from the EISD. I also do not believe that our taxing district can afford it, this due the statistical information on our community and school.

    As I move forward, I’d like to inform the readers that I continue to spend countless hours studying the economy side of our taxing district so I can communicate said findings with you – the VOTER. And I invite you to become involved in comments and responses to the bond on Facebook at “EISD Bond Proposal”. For digital readers, this link is pasted below my contact information below. And just for proper clarity, the site is run by the steering committee for the bond proposal - and not what would appear to be the EISD.

    If you’d like to contact me, please feel welcome to do so. I have been in business in Eastland for over 30 years and am certainly an approachable, fair, and honest man.

    Bryan Jackson
    bryan@ebryans.com
    (254) 631-1596

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...8126731&type=1

    Last edited by fastlane; 04-06-2015 at 05:24 PM.

  36. #36
    I am I agreement with most that a new school might be warranted. But my concern is the priorities. If you have seen the renderings, it appears that more that more than half of the square feet is for extracurricular activities. I would love to have the square feet on it. Some staff have said looks like we will have less classroom space than we do now. But the Ag Dept space is big and band and if you add them in then maybe. But I mean for the required subjects it looks much less and the staff has had almost no input into the layout.
    Our academics are suffering and no one is addressing it. We are losing students but a neighboring district that clobbered us in academic uil, all test scores, and accountability measures--- and well, they aren't losing students. And the staff at the high school has almost been cut in half (down 40% over the last 5 years). You never hear anything about academics and how we are doing.
    The time commitment it takes for a new building is enormous. I would like to see how our academics are doing and have them spend time assessing that before their attention is focused completely on a new building.
    Im not necessarily against it--- I just agree that it seems rushed for such a big decision
    Last edited by generallee; 04-07-2015 at 12:14 AM.

  37. #37
    Very great input. Thank you.

  38. #38
    Owners of rent houses and apartments will feel the increase on their properties. After the re-evaluation of property values, many landlords increased their rent, some did not. Now another increase in property tax will make rent go up again. Rental prices are already high in Eastland. As a presidential candidate once said, "The rent is too damn high."
    Murphy was an optimist!

  39. #39
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    Can we just postpone rather than vote no?

    Looks to me like there is a very simple solution that Bryan put out in his first messages. I second that motion to postpone the vote for further review.

    I like taking all of the facts into consideration, and incentives work. Have the kids score better and do better this year than last, and we can improve the facilities proportional to their improvements?
    "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."

  40. #40
    Response posted to EISD Bond Proposal

    *******************Very nicely put and well received. I personally respect and appreciate the enthusiasm and efforts of all involved. Hopefully each of you know that my heart too, is for our community, our children, and our prosperity together. I am thankful as a caring neighbor, that I can respectably disagree on things and deliver opposing position and information to the community and voters.

    It would be nice if budgets could be balanced with good hearts, good intentions, and good stories. But successful business decisions require much more than feel good stories with fluff being the only substance. I donít contradict there are needs, I just voice there are solutions within our affordable abilities and the entire community should have opportunity to be a voice. To rush everything through, as has been done, the community as a whole is uninformed, not valued for their input, and certainly has no reason to take ownership in what surely is the largest economical decision many will see in their life here.

    Our entire community is well below poverty line. Surely the powers at be recognize the struggling economic conditions that are only worsening with the onset of deteriorating oil prices. Our community is not only struggling with adjustment with recent valuation tax increases, but they are struggling with many job losses of late too. And the average household income, which was reported wrongly in recent news articles by the EISD, have not shown hardly any increase since the year 2000 - according to City Data. I respect that everywhere you research data, you come to expect some varying information. However, what was reported by the Superintendent was $72,000 to $75,000 and that varies more than I can believe. In fact, the state average is only around $50,000.

    Iíd like the community to see responses that provide data that has been used for the decision making process. Iíd like to see if large school attendance declines are valid, or not. Regardless, I can't emphasize the importance of research and study that should have been dealt with before the trigger was pulled on this bond - that I have not seen regard to thus far. Things such as realistic and wide spread community surveys, community input, and community based public forums. How about land acquisitions, locations, and costs associated for services and access? Weíre fixing to replace a car we bought in 1929 and we donít even have a road to drive it on.

    My continued desire is to inform and bring knowledge to the community that they would VOTE - and VOTE NO.

    We donít have to love our kids to Debt
    Bryan Jackson
    bryan@ebryans.com
    (254) 631-1596


  41. #41
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    First it was a new high school. Then a new football field and stadium was added to the plans.
    After that we find there is also to be a cafetorium. Next a new agriculture facility.
    And now a track field has been added. Is there anything else?

  42. #42
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    Enrollment in each of the EISD campuses over the past 3 years:

    2012-13
    9-12 -- 317
    6-8 -- 254
    Elementary -- 550

    2013-14
    9-12 -- 280
    6-8 -- 257
    Elementary -- 535

    2014-15
    9-12 -- 295
    6-8 -- 261
    Elementary -- 459

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    First it was a new high school. Then a new football field and stadium was added to the plans.
    After that we find there is also to be a cafetorium. Next a new agriculture facility.
    And now a track field has been added. Is there anything else?
    I believe there is a new band hall. I understand the current band hall will be for middle school band and 5th graders will be added to band.

  44. #44
    I was called out on my EISD Bond Proposal finance calculations today and have found that my statements on the maturity amount being over $100 million dollars is in error. The maturity amount would be around $51 million at 4% interest rate.

    I greatly apologize to the citizens and everyone working so hard to communicate accurate information. I am unbelievably disappointed in myself and will now go bury my head in the sand for a while.


  45. #45
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    Are you now in favor of the EISD Bond Proposal because of the shift in maturity amount from $100 million to $51 million?
    Last edited by Cecil; 04-09-2015 at 07:37 AM.

  46. #46
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    I would not worry about it, it helps keep them honest.

    I had a Municpal City Judge & lawyer in Mineral Wells steal $5,000.00 off me last year and died before I could do anything about it.
    Don't trust anyone with your future debts, they will keep you in the dark & feed you nonsense.

  47. #47
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    Interesting article about the "selling" of bond elections. See how much of this looks familiar:

    http://watchdogwire.com/texas/2013/0...ict-elections/

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    Well, any expectation we may have had that the newspaper would carefully evaluate and impartially report the issues surrounding the school bond election have gone up in smoke following the reveal that the Managing Editor is a member of the PAC pushing the tax increase.

    This after the Editor spent literally months kvetching about appraisals and taxes.

    Hmmm...

  49. #49
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    RME where do we find the list of pac supporters for this? Just curious..

  50. #50
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    From the bond proposal Facebook page,

    Dale Squiers
    Terry Slavens
    Matt Weaver
    Brent Kirkland
    Amy O'Brien Glenn
    Christy Herrera
    Gay Hart
    Penny Cate
    Linda Morren

  51. #51
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    What is it, exactly, that has you voting no (not anyone in particular.. but anyone voting no) on this bond election? Is it only because of the price tag? Is it because they are adding athletic facilities into the package? Is it because they are already 4.1 mil in debt? and....

    If you are against the bond proposal, and there are things that need to be updated at the schools in order to make them safe, productive places for the students... or in order to add more opportunity for students, how do you think these things should be paid for? Do you feel that repair work and security issues can be done at a much lower cost and they should be able to find funding for those things with the revenues they have now.. or would you vote for a slight raise in taxes to pay for those things (a tax ratification election in 2011 when EISD tried to raise taxes .13 to make up for Texas Legislature funding cuts failed) or...

    Do you think the schools are all in good shape, they offer plenty of opportunity and there just isn't a need for any fix up or new construction?


    These questions are not asked in order to take a side, but in order to find out what information the public is wanting to know.
    Last edited by Julie; 04-12-2015 at 02:33 PM.

  52. #52
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    If we are going to spend $32,000,000, then WE should pay for it, not our children and their children. We are considering creating a debt totaling $51,000,000 for our kids!

    High school... inadequate...not ADA compliant, yet we are going to move some middle school students into it after the new school is built. Can't classes and activities for ADA students be moved to the ground floor, and all other activities on the second floor?

    You may want to consider the cost of an elevator... even two elevators. Approximate cost for a commercial elevator, including building the shaft and installation, would be less than $250,000. Build two elevators for half a million dollars.

    Mold in the basement? Completely remove the mold and seal the walls to prevent moisture and mold problems... about a quarter of a million dollars.

    Give the teachers a raise... a million dollars should give each one a hefty increase in salary.

    Increase security at all campuses... a million dollars.

    Football stadium.... 2,000 seat facility at $3,300 per seat... $6.6 million.

    That comes to 9.1 million...less than one third the proposed bond.

    If the high school is moved to a new location, new water and sewer lines will have to be installed to that location. This will be an added cost to city taxpayers, as no one outside the city can be made to pay for installation, maintenance and replacement of those lines.

    Consider water consumption costs...water will still be used at Siebert Elementary, it will continue to be used at the middle school, and it will continue to be used at the present high school, as well as at the new location.

    It appears to me that we can provide good facilities for our kids without spending $51,000,000.

    Now, DOUBLE all of my estimates... $18.2 million, a little more than half of the proposed bond amount.

    jmho
    Last edited by Cecil; 04-12-2015 at 07:58 PM.

  53. #53
    This is my third news release that focuses on providing viable information to the entire voting public. As stated in previous releases, I believe the citizens have not been informed and educated properly on the issues. Below is relevant information that validates and warrants a close look by each voter before going to the poll.

    The latest reported average household income for Eastland is $28,623. For Texas the average is $50,740. Eastland County, as a whole, is at 19% below poverty level. Cisco is at $33,659 and Ranger is within a few dollars the same as Eastland (City Data). In the last 5 years our county population has decreased another 2.2% (US Census) and our district school numbers have dropped from 1084.824 ADA to 1,020.241 ADA. In our high school alone, attendance has dropped from 317.076 to 277.667 since 2006/2007 (as of 04/10/2015 TEA - Summary of Finance).

    Recently, the EISD Bond Proposal steering committee made public that questions could, and should be asked through an email address of Eisdbond@eastland.esc14.net. Many answers to emailed questions have been posted on the volunteer built EISD Bond Proposal Facebook portal. One of the answers used comparisons to other districts that have had construction - and what they voted to change their taxing rate to. Below are the findings of my efforts to use comparisons in a different way, being average household income. Remember though, the average household income for our taxing district is $28,623. NOTE: I respect that every census is going to provide some variation in numbers - however I used the same source (City Data) for each and every comparison.

    Estimated median household income in Clyde: $47,223
    Estimated median household income in Henrietta:: $50,133
    Estimated median household income in Holliday: $56,231
    Estimated median household income in Millsap: $49,867


    Letís look at another small town that recently got a new school. How about Godley? Theyíre not on the comparison list, but definitely a small area with only 1,027 in population.
    Estimated median household income in Godley: $42,049

    What does several of these communities have in common? They live close to higher paying job markets. And very importantly, their community was not built in a creek, AKA as a floodplain. This has horrendous impact on our current and future economic abilities because of all the FEMA jargon and related insurance woes. But thatís for another day - and another cause.

    In closing, potential newcomers to Eastland would surely be impressed with a new school, shiny stadium, and sparkly walkways. But surely they care about the economic health of our community too. Itís really ok to live within our means and affordability. This bond proposal was a poor attempt to betterment. Studies are needed and options and costs should have been conducted before creating any proposal at all. There is no known build for the site for this plan, which causes much uncertainty in land cost and municipal access/services costs. And lastly, the importance of mass marketing a potential bond election, in the early stages, was greatly overlooked by the EISD.

    If youíd like to contact me, please feel welcome to do so. I am an approachable, fair, and honest man and can be found where Iíve been for over 30 years Ė at Bryans Auto, Computers, and Signs and Graphics at 925 E Main in Eastland. Iíd also like to invite you to follow me on Facebook as I present needed information pertaining to the EISD Bond Proposal. Other hotspots for information on Facebook are at EISD Bond Proposal Vote NO, Eastland County Breaking News, Microplex News and EISD Bond Proposal.


    Bryan Jackson
    bryan@ebryans.com
    (254) 631-1596


  54. #54
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    That is a hard comparison to Eastland, all four are not much more than a bedroom communities for their larger Cities nearby.
    Where as Eastland is a stand alone town a County seat with few options other than small industry. & no military bases. You need to find a common sense answer to the problem that can be paid for without raising the taxes so bad that it is a penalty to the tax payers.
    Some one needs to face & plan what the future may hold.

  55. #55
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    It is simple we can not afford it. If you own property your taxes will go up, if you rent your rent will go up, if your over 65 when you sell your property or update it, it will cost you big. The cost of everything in Eastland for everyone will go up when you buy items. Walmart, McDonaldss, etc will raise prices on everything to cover their increased taxes. Food, fuel, clothing, utilities, EVERYTHING will go up. Vote NO - Spread the word !

  56. #56
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    2900 views is nothing to sneeze at, but maybe activity here will pick up a bit as people tire of seeing threads disappear on the Facebook pages.

  57. #57
    I heard on the scanner, teenagers were removing the "Vote No" signs from yards.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I heard on the scanner, teenagers were removing the "Vote No" signs from yards.
    LOL

  59. #59
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    So... your opinions about the public meeting tonight at the school about the bond proposal?

  60. #60
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    Most were either nodding off or snoring, so the rest of us went home in time to catch Bates Motel.

  61. #61
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    Originally posted on Eastlandspin.com. Copy and repost as desired.

    The meeting started out with a presentation by Jason Cochran, School Superintendent. His presentation indicated that the proposed school was not being driven by overpopulation or the threat of consolidation (although he did state that, in the event of any consolidation, we want it to be consolidated here), nor is it driven by a desire to upgrade sports facilities. Pictures were shown that illustrated some of the challenges the teachers have regarding storage of class materials.

    The major thrust had to do with maintenance (or lack thereof). Pictures of sloppy wiring, lots of cords, and the famous “moldy” basement, that isn’t mold, but is glue on the walls. There apparently is mildew. There’s also an issue with a sump pump that stopped working, and a drain pipe that came disconnected, allowing skunks to enter the building.

    The Architect showed his presentation, which depicted a facility of about 95,000 square feet. 23 classrooms are in the main building. The building has a theoretical maximum capacity of almost 600 students, including the gym, band hall, and other areas. Current enrollment is slightly less than 300 students. He walked us through various features of the design, and illustrated those features with photos from other schools they had built. There is no questioning the fact that, if built, it would be a nice facility.

    Security was another item discussed. There is a need for security upgrades, particularly at Siebert. Surveillance cameras and better controlled entry/exit points are needed. They would be part of the overall project.

    One very interesting thought from the Architect was that the existing auditorium at the high school would remain, and would continue to be used as it is now. This despite the fact that the new design still features the cafetorium, with seating for about 500 in auditorium mode.

    Question and answer session was interesting. Some had to do with affordability and the relative income and tax rate of this district. We were told that the average per capita income for the Eastland ISD is $22,000, while Cisco’s is $20,000, and Breckenridge at $19,000 (That last one is from memory). If there was a conclusion from this discussion, I missed it. My conclusion is that all these areas are pretty similar, economically.

    Talk turned to alternatives, and the question was asked whether or not any alternatives were considered. For example, to upgrade the existing building(s) as required and build specialized class facilities in another location. The Architect threw some estimates out for various updates, including elevator(s). They totaled about $1 million. The interesting observation that came from this is the fact that structurally, there’s nothing wrong with the current school. No foundation issues, no major faults or flaws. He felt the building would still be standing in 100 years. Other than a comment about security, the big obstacle to this approach (from the Architect’s side) was, where do you put the “satellite” facility? A couple of ideas were proposed.

    The other interesting fact that came from this discussion is that, while new schools have to meet requirements for classroom size and handicapped access, existing schools don’t. The State doesn’t require it, and Federal laws would only apply in the event of a lawsuit claiming lack of access. I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard, but the take-away is that we aren’t required to become handicapped accessible through 100% of the building at this time.

    There was a question about the $4.2 million debt we currently have, and which is proposed to be rolled into the new debt. Where did it come from, and what was it spent on? We were told that the school doesn’t have to seek approval from the voters to incur debt, as long as it comes from the M & O Fund (Maintenance and Operations). That’s where the money came from. As to where it was spent, these items were described: Elementary Cafeteria and kitchen upgrades, construction of new classrooms at Siebert, New heating and A/C units for the High School and Middle School, and lights for the baseball field. Also included is the cost of the Dome at Siebert. What was not discussed was money spent to fix the Elementary gym (now to be abandoned in favor of the dome), and the AG barn (unless I missed its mention). Also not discussed was the prior cost of the new Baseball complex. Apparently, we did finance that out of “surplus” funds (approx. $1.5 million).

    A question was asked about the costs on the Dome. Newspaper and TV reports placed the local cost at $500,000, a number that was subsequently refined to $484,000. However, the total cost to us ended up being about $1.25 million, the difference being parts of the project that were outside the scope of FEMA’s cost share. A question was asked whether or not we knew about those additional costs at the beginning. We were told that we did.

    Lots of folks want to know about the location. It’s undecided at this time, but the “edges of town, both East and West” was said.

    The meeting wound down with comments from the school board president about he and other board members fielding complaints about the facilities at the football field, and about a piece of loose marble above a restroom door that fell when he tapped it with his folder (he had been warned to watch out for it previously).
    Last edited by rme; 04-21-2015 at 01:44 PM. Reason: small clarification

  62. #62
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    So, while I have presented a synopsis of last night’s meeting, I haven’t really indicated what I think or what I would propose. I’ll try to do that in this post, although it may take multiple tries to gather up all the thoughts and impressions.

    First, we need to do something. The existing debt is an absolute millstone around our necks. It has grown to be 5% of the overall budget, and is siphoning $400,000 a year that should be used for maintenance and teacher’s raises. Going forward, we need to stop using M & O funds for capital projects. We can’t afford to maintain the school we have now because we have built new facilities, so the answer is to build some more?

    Next, we learned that the high school was last extensively remodeled in 1976. It’s probably time we spent some money on it again. Second and third floor restrooms, an elevator, some of the other things that were on the shopping list.

    Third, we do need to provide areas for vocational classes. Not everyone can or should go to college, but everyone should have the ability to support themselves when they graduate. Some basic skills learned in high school will make it much easier for graduates to transition to either the workplace or to specialized vocational training. We don’t need to turn out certified welders or chefs or CAD draftspersons, but they can certainly have a basic knowledge of these subjects.

    Then there’s the question of where to put this specialized training? Mike Norris had an excellent idea when he suggested relocating the bus barn and building a new facility there. Or, possibly move the band hall down there and build the classrooms where the band hall is now. There are options.

    Sad to say, but the security upgrades are probably necessary at Siebert. We should probably review security at all the campuses.

    Finally, we need to figure out how to avoid going down this road again. We’ve allowed the schools to fall into a state of disrepair, for whatever reason. Spaghetti-like wiring, broken and uneven concrete sidewalks, and falling marble transoms can’t be tolerated. This came up a few years ago, and we were all told that it had been corrected and addressed. It needs to be.

    So, to wrap up, I’d like to see a Plan B presented. What additions and corrections need to be made? What is the projected cost? Timetable?

    I believe this community will support a bond referendum sufficient to retire the debt, make needed repairs and upgrades, and add needed vocational programs. But, I don’t think it can afford a $50+ million, long term debt. And, with the attendance trending down overall, I don’t think it should.

  63. #63
    I think your right on sir.

  64. #64
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    I would be in favor of paying off the 4.5 million, with an option for each taxparer to pay their share off without interest. So if my share of the 4.5 million dollar bond is 1500 then I would be able to send them 500 dollars to pay off my share.

    Also a limit, or a lowered limit to the amount of debt the school board would be allowed to accumulate, max one million for example, to prevent them from running up another 4.5 million.

    No more new teachers. Fire one coach and hire a new vocational instructor as a replacement. Winning football games in not the most important thing in the world.
    Most of us are sick to death of their football crap.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    I would be in favor of paying off the 4.5 million, with an option for each taxparer to pay their share off without interest. So if my share of the 4.5 million dollar bond is 1500 then I would be able to send them 500 dollars to pay off my share.


    Also a limit, or a lowered limit to the amount of debt the school board would be allowed to accumulate, max one million for example, to prevent them from running up another 4.5 million.

    No more new teachers. Fire one coach and hire a new vocational instructor as a replacement. Winning football games in not the most important thing in the world.
    Most of us are sick to death of their football crap.
    Wow. Interesting thoughts. I like the idea of an early payment option. I'd also support a limit on the debt allowance. But, Mutha, you must recognize the need to modernize the hill. You didn't address that.

    dunno about the coach thing.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    The other interesting fact that came from this discussion is that, while new schools have to meet requirements for classroom size and handicapped access, existing schools don’t. The State doesn’t require it, and Federal laws would only apply in the event of a lawsuit claiming lack of access. I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard, but the take-away is that we aren’t required to become handicapped accessible through 100% of the building at this time.
    We are not required to become handicapped accessible as long as the buildings stay as they are..... but... you do open a can of worms if you start remodeling the school. Even moving a wall could trigger requiring a lot of ADA standards. An elevator would probably require all doorways into classrooms on the floors the elevator serves be up to ADA standards for instance, restrooms would need to be updated, etc. At least that's what I've understood.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    From the bond proposal Facebook page,

    Dale Squiers
    Terry Slavens
    Matt Weaver
    Brent Kirkland
    Amy O'Brien Glenn
    Christy Herrera
    Gay Hart
    Penny Cate
    Linda Morren


    Dale Squiers Over 65
    Terry Slavens Owns local radio station
    Matt Weaver
    Brent Kirkland
    Amy O'Brien Glenn Works/Owns local newspaper
    Christy Herrera Lives in Ranger ISD cannot vote
    Gay Hart Works for EISD and over 65
    Penny Cate Husband on School Board
    Linda Morren Over 65 and works for EISD

  68. #68
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    If the school was a private business it would have been closed down by the government a long time ago.

    Personally I love football but with the safety concerns, less parents letting their kids play football will eventually reach Eastland too. I do not see any need for a new football stadium, even though it might bring more playoff games here they might eat a Sonic Burger.

    Vocational classes would a very good investment in our school and kids.

    Do we have anyone very rich and or famous that might help donate to the school to put their name on the building?

    Jim Moylan Gym - Nice Ring to it

    Jackson computer/auto class building!

    Bradley Auditorium.

    I do not want my taxes to go up, I do think they need to come up with some options how to pay for the school besides just taxes.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by homosapian View Post
    Terry Slavens Owns local radio station
    That means he will be hit harder by a tax increase than some of us. Property taxes on his home and his business.
    Last edited by Julie; 04-22-2015 at 10:58 PM.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicMan View Post
    If the school was a private business it would have been closed down by the government a long time ago.

    Personally I love football but with the safety concerns, less parents letting their kids play football will eventually reach Eastland too. I do not see any need for a new football stadium, even though it might bring more playoff games here they might eat a Sonic Burger.

    Vocational classes would a very good investment in our school and kids.

    Do we have anyone very rich and or famous that might help donate to the school to put their name on the building?

    Jim Moylan Gym - Nice Ring to it

    Jackson computer/auto class building!

    Bradley Auditorium.

    I do not want my taxes to go up, I do think they need to come up with some options how to pay for the school besides just taxes.
    Sonic Stadium?

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    Originally posted on Eastlandspin.com. Copy and repost as desired.


    The major thrust had to do with maintenance (or lack thereof). Pictures of sloppy wiring, lots of cords, and the famous “moldy” basement, that isn’t mold, but is glue on the walls. There apparently is mildew. There’s also an issue with a sump pump that stopped working, and a drain pipe that came disconnected, allowing skunks to enter the building.

    ).
    http://eastlandspin.com/showthread.p...highlight=mold

    There is no mold...because it is just glue...nail glue. Hummmm...that is what we were told in 08. It was miss information then...it is now. Regurgitating an old lie....doesn't make anything else said very trust worthy.
    Profit" is a dirty word only to the leeches of the world. They want it seen as evil, so they can more easily snatch what they did not earn." -Victor

  72. #72
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    04-19-2008, 10:36 AM #56 Miss Mally


    Muckraker


    Join DateJun 2004Posts26,542

    Re: Eastland School Board Election


    Originally Posted by june
    Elections are about power...Micro-managers...Eastland County is putting into place a Micro-manager over ELECTED OFFICIALS...Eastland ISD is trying to do the same...drive around town--see where the Batteas signs are; see the Rodgers signs...Tells me all that I want to know...



    I have worked within the system for 6 months...and was ignored about the basement...was told it was clean, clear of mold and perfectly fine for children to be in. I was lied to...I was treated with disrespect. Seems the Super and a few other "men" thought they would pacify a dumb woman....act like I thought the mastic was mold....and ignore my concerns as a parent.

    Now, to you that may be okay. To Keety that may be okay. Obviously that is how you like the school run...by men who would rather sweep a womans concerns under the rug than to just simply take care of the problem to start with.

    I just asked that the basement where kids are having class...be clean. I don't think that is is EVER to much for a parent to ask for.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Sonic Stadium?
    Maybe Sonic Drinking fountain, to promote healthy living by drinking water.

    You see advertisement everywhere else why not on a building if they are going to help pay for it. All the football stadiums, college and pros are. Google computer lab or something.

    I mainly wanted to see what Bryan would say about him

  74. #74
    I stayed quite :-) . In all seriousness though, there is money out there outside of normal tax revenue.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    I stayed quite :-) . In all seriousness though, there is money out there outside of normal tax revenue.
    Is there a way to raise sales tax use the revenue for the school district.

    That way everyone pays that spends money in Eastland, there is a lot of money off the interstate pouring into this town every day that could help.

  76. #76
    Those are good questions and ideas. Hopefully we can get this denied and then look at those - and many other potential solutions.

  77. #77
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    Some folks believe that this bond, if passed, will grow the local economy, increase the tax base, or increase property values. I disagree.

    One local business calculates that the bond will increase taxes for that company by about a quarter million dollars each year. That’s money that won’t be spent on hiring new employees, building new facilities, or replacing worn-out equipment. That’s less money to be spent at our local stores and businesses. This is in addition to the reduced spending ability all the other taxpayers will have, due to their taxes being raised.

    There is a phenomenon called “Local Multiplier Effect” which explains that money brought into a community is recycled many times before leaving the community, as it provides part of the wages for everybody who accepts it for payment. So, $1.00 may have doubled or tripled by the time it leaves the community.

    This effect also explains why a tax increase affects the community far beyond the face value of the tax. The net impact of a $54 million indebtedness could easily be two or three times that number.

    There is a solution to our problem that lies somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything. I suggest we work toward that compromise.

    (Originally posted on Eastlandspin.com. Repost as desired)

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    This effect also explains why a tax increase affects the community far beyond the face value of the tax. The net impact of a $54 million indebtedness could easily be two or three times that number.
    Maybe I was reading too fast and not catching it... where does the $54 million number come from?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Maybe I was reading too fast and not catching it... where does the $54 million number come from?
    $32 million, 4.2% interest, 30 years. It was mentioned Monday night. The numbers seem to jive, having run them through a mortgage amortization calculator

  80. #80
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    I shouldn't have bothered with the math. From the Bond Facebook page, total P & I is $54,952,769.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    $32 million, 4.2% interest, 30 years. It was mentioned Monday night. The numbers seem to jive, having run them through a mortgage amortization calculator
    Oh. got it. We probably ought to knock that 4.5 million off that amount though. It's there now... gonna still have it no matter what the outcome of the election is. Wonder what the rate is on those loans.
    Last edited by Julie; 04-23-2015 at 05:57 PM.

  82. #82
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    Eastland School Bond Election
    A school bond election is about to be placed before the voters in Eastland school district. If you rent your landlord will probably increase your rent to offset the tax increase to them. Someone will have to pay and not owning property will not exclude you from the tax increase. Keep the current school building in good repair. The current building is a sound building, and school enrollment is not increasing. A new building does not make your education better. The effort the teachers and students place into education does!
    They are now looking at 31 million for the new high school. This is a 20 to 25 percent increase in just your school tax. Today the sign saying “Vote No” that we put up in our yard was pulled up. This is extremely disrespectful; we should respect everyone’s right to agree or disagree. This type of disrespect reflects the same liberal attitude that we see in national politics.



  83. #83
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    Eastland School Bond Election
    A school bond election is about to be placed before the voters in Eastland school district. If you rent your landlord will probably increase your rent to offset the tax increase to them. Someone will have to pay and not owning property will not exclude you from the tax increase. Keep the current school building in good repair. The current building is a sound building, and school enrollment is not increasing. A new building does not make your education better. The effort the teachers and students place into education does!
    They are now looking at 31 million for the new high school. This is a 20 to 25 percent increase in just your school tax. Today the sign saying “Vote No” that we put up in our yard was pulled up. This is extremely disrespectful; we should respect everyone’s right to agree or disagree. This type of disrespect reflects the same liberal attitude that we see in national politics.


  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newburg View Post
    They are now looking at 31 million for the new high school. This is a 20 to 25 percent increase in just your school tax.
    It is a 38.9 percent increase, may as well say 40 percent. Take last years school taxes and multiply that by 1.389 and that will be close. Over 65 and disabled exemptions on the house only don't count in the increase though.
    An easier way is to divide last years school taxes by 2, That amount is how much they will go up.
    Last edited by MiraculousMutha; 04-26-2015 at 07:01 AM.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chupacabra View Post
    Eastland ISD Ave daily attendance
    2008 1121
    2012 1076
    2013 1070
    2014 1026
    2015 921
    Folks, people are leaving Eastland because their are no jobs and the exodus is speeding up. The schools have lost over 100 students in the last year. At this rate by 2020 you will have lost more than half your school age population. Raising taxes will only make it harder to attract jobs. The school is out of touch with reality. You cant afford to spend the money, In the future there will be less and less people here to pay it back. Your talking about spending $30,000.00 a student, if people keep leaving that may turn into $60,000.000 a student. At this timethis idea is nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    But, Mutha, you must recognize the need to modernize the hill. You didn't address that.
    Not in favor of spending any more money for anything, but instead waiting five years to see how many students are left then. If we lose another 200 students, the entire scenario could change, and we might easily have more school than we need, then decide what to modernize at that time. Haste makes waste..

  86. #86
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    Eastland School Bond Election
    A school bond election is about to be placed before the voters in Eastland school district. If you rent your landlord will probably increase your rent to offset the tax increase to them. Someone will have to pay and not owning property will not exclude you from the tax increase. Keep the current school building in good repair. The current building is a sound building, and school enrollment is not increasing. A new building does not make your education better. The effort the teachers and students place into education does!
    They are now looking at 31 million for the new high school. This is a 20 to 25 percent increase in just your school tax. Today the sign saying “Vote No” that we put up in our yard was pulled up. This is extremely disrespectful; we should respect everyone’s right to agree or disagree. This type of disrespect reflects the same liberal attitude that we see in national politics.



  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiraculousMutha View Post
    Over 65 and disabled exemptions on the house only don't count in the increase though.
    It was mentioned at the meeting the other night that the 65 and disabled exemptions, include your homestead and up to 20 acres. Just wanted to clarify that.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newburg View Post
    Eastland School Bond Election
    A school bond election is about to be placed before the voters in Eastland school district. If you rent your landlord will probably increase your rent to offset the tax increase to them. Someone will have to pay and not owning property will not exclude you from the tax increase. Keep the current school building in good repair. The current building is a sound building, and school enrollment is not increasing. A new building does not make your education better. The effort the teachers and students place into education does!
    They are now looking at 31 million for the new high school. This is a 20 to 25 percent increase in just your school tax. Today the sign saying “Vote No” that we put up in our yard was pulled up. This is extremely disrespectful; we should respect everyone’s right to agree or disagree. This type of disrespect reflects the same liberal attitude that we see in national politics.

    They are looking for $26.5 million for the new high school. The rest is debt they already have. Just wanted to clarify that.

  89. #89
    You can't spend your way out of debt.

  90. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    You can't spend your way out of debt.
    Like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself by the handle?

  91. #91
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    So if the bond doesn't pass.. what's gonna be the next course of action? There is still that 4 mil in debt that I think they said they are spending around $350,000 a year on, and a lot of issues to address without any money to do it with. Can they get more loans using the M&O funds? Is going deeper in debt to patch up problems going to be a good long term solution? Or is the plan to just get us 5 or 10 years down the road and then what?

    A school district isn't the same as the individual. We can take on an extra job to increase our income, have a garage sale, sell things on ebay, drop the cable bill, and things like that in order to try to get out of debt. The school doesn't have a way to increase their revenues other than taxes, right? And they are constantly being hit with more unfunded mandates. Mandates, meaning they have to do it. So how do they pay for the things they need to offer and fix? What is plan B?

    It's been mentioned that they need to spend more on teachers, but where is that money going to come from? The last time they didn't get the tax increase they were asking for it resulted in cutting some staff and taking out loans.
    Last edited by Julie; 05-01-2015 at 11:31 AM.

  92. #92
    Are you saying they didn't have an increase in revenue from the property re-evaluation? I had a big increase in taxes for both EISD and RISD. Does anyone have the revenue numbers for the past 3 years?

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post

    It's been mentioned that they need to spend more on teachers, but where is that money going to come from? The last time they didn't get the tax increase they were asking for it resulted in cutting some staff and taking out loans.
    It did not. There were no staff cuts and the loans were for other than maintenance and operations. Only part of the debt is M&O, and that amount could have easily been paid in lieu of building a ball field, an AG barn, and a dome.

  94. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    ... There is still that 4 mil in debt that I think they said they are spending around $350,000 a month on, and a lot of issues to address without any money to do it with. Can they get more loans using the M&O funds? Is going deeper in debt to patch up problems going to be a good long term solution? Or is the plan to just get us 5 or 10 years down the road and then what? ...
    $350,000 per month? Shirley!

    Some of this sounds like a debt consolidation loan. To Dave's point, you can't borrow your way out of debt either.

  95. #95
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160
    Quote Originally Posted by curious_george View Post
    $350,000 per month? Shirley!

    Some of this sounds like a debt consolidation loan. To Dave's point, you can't borrow your way out of debt either.
    At 350,000 a month payment they will be out of debt soon less than two years.

  96. #96
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,432
    Actually, the debt service is $406,687 per year.

  97. #97
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    Actually, the debt service is $406,687 per year.
    Yes.. sorry.. I screwed up. Fixed my post.
    Last edited by Julie; 05-01-2015 at 11:35 AM.

  98. #98
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Quote Originally Posted by rme View Post
    It did not. There were no staff cuts and the loans were for other than maintenance and operations. Only part of the debt is M&O, and that amount could have easily been paid in lieu of building a ball field, an AG barn, and a dome.
    Ok.. I guess I was lied to. I was told there were staff cuts when I asked how they made it after they didn't get the tax increase voted against two years ago (I think it was).

    Do you have any figures on what it would have cost to replace or repair (if possible) the elementary school gym? I know the school is suggesting that the gym wasn't worth saving and to rebuild would cost them as much or more than their share of the shelter/gym/class rooms. I'm not familiar with ag stuff.. so I don't know what they had before they built the new ag barn.. I don't even know what it looks like no, what it cost, or what sort of requirements come with building something new. It was put on city property though, wasn't it? I also wasn't involved in any of the current ball field planning/building.. but I do know that the previous ball field (now used for t-ball) wasn't regulation. They tried to make up for that by putting that fence netting along the outfield, but I don't think that makes up for lack of outfield. There has always been a log jam of ball teams at the city ball parks. We used to do church league, but we couldn't get fields until the fall. Was high school girl's softball even offered before, or was there just the girls softball league that wasn't affiliated with the school? There has always been a problem of fields washing out right there at the bottom of the hill. Maybe they have corrected most of that with the drainage system they now have.

    What if we just changed some of the sports the school offers? Could we offer things like sand volleyball and competitive tether ball? Sure would be cheaper.
    Last edited by Julie; 05-01-2015 at 11:40 AM.

  99. #99
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Gordon, Texas, United States
    Posts
    16,210
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Are you saying they didn't have an increase in revenue from the property re-evaluation? I had a big increase in taxes for both EISD and RISD. Does anyone have the revenue numbers for the past 3 years?
    What I understand.. is that when property values go up, government funding goes down. My logical mind wants to think that this happens because if you are getting more revenue in the door, then you don't need as much help from the government. I also have heard from several different people that the way they figure what you get is some sort of coded, top secret, hard to understand formula (that wasn't exactly what they said, but that's what I took from it).

  100. #100
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    Due to a recent radical back surgery I have a walker right now, I will get rid of it soon I hope. How do I get in the court house to vote no on the school bond. Because I live in the county not city I just need to get this one vote in.

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