School bond experience
I am a retired teacher who taught for more than 34 years with the Austin school district. I have observed many bond issues and know the importance of some items listed. What concerns me are the tactics that the administration uses to gain support for the bond. Have you noticed that television and news releases for the bond show what the bond proposal will do for schools only in areas that are known for high voter turnout? Have you noticed that items that are popular with large groups are combined with controversial or “new” wants? It is a shame that the voter can not have a line-item vote. I also remember previous bond packages that passed in which some changes that were to take place at my teaching location, never took place. The money that was allocated for these changes was “reassigned” to new desires and not necessarily at the same school. Be aware in your vote on the largest bond package in the Austin school district’s history.
Three big bond issues
Let me get this right: in 2004 — $519.5 million, in 2008 — $343.7 million, in 2013 — $892 million. So in less then 10 years, the Austin school district needs $1.754 billion to fix schools. I am willing to believe that the schools have issues and need fixing, but has anybody been accountable for where past dollars have been spent? Sometimes I think the district just waits long enough for a new group of parents to enroll their kids in a school so they can plead their case of needing more money. Or, maybe it’s the developers paying off the administrators in order to get contracts. But somehow it doesn’t seem like the problems are getting fixed. The saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Support from sales tax
It hardly seems fair to put the burden of paying for bond packages on property owners year after year? I wonder how many generous voters there would be if they all shared the burden through an equitable method of payment such as a ‘slight’ increase in the sales tax year after year?
Veteran benefit delays
The average wait time of 440 days for determination of a veteran’s disability claim does not take into account the appeal time when the veteran’s claim is initially denied. Upwards of 36 percent of initial claims are determined to be inaccurate in denying the veteran’s claim. Thus, an appeal is always a wise course of action for the veteran. This appeal process can take several years to run its course. If the veteran dies before the appeal is completed, then the file is closed; end of story for the veteran and their family who had to do without during those years. That is why the saying “deny, delay, hope you die” is believed to be true by many of my fellow veterans.
No dogs in public
Re: May 3 article, “Auditorium Shores to get $3.5 million makeover.”
How to improve Auditorium Shores: How about establishing a ‘no dogs in public areas within the city limits’ rule ? That would be a great improvement!
Texas’ GOP Legislature and governor are obsessed with turning back the clock to the Wild West era with their concealed gun initiatives. Their goal is for frightened citizens to stroll around, as our governor and lieutenant governor do, and pretend they are cowboys, smug with the comfort of slinging their six shooters and ready to defend themselves against bandits or renegade injuns with a quick draw from the holster, a la John Wayne. One can imagine them practicing aim by shooting at glass bottles set on the old ranch fence.
The problem with this scenario is that it is an old school macho fantasy. There is zero evidence that flocks of weaponized students on campus with hidden guns, playing at being Texas Rangers, will reduce the danger from attackers armed with assault guns, which are also widely available courtesy of the GOP. The bottom line of the GOP effort turn back to the clock to the 19th century and spread guns can be found up there on boot hill where the victims lie.
Residential care homes
My wife and I are about to pull up anchor after 57 months as “house parents” for a children’s shelter and teen group home for foster kids. In the beginning we thought we wanted to own our on residential care home (RCH) for kids. However, that desire of ownership has been drastically removed by our experiences with the professional wraparounds and those that prioritize their lucrative outsourced contract first with child second under the legalistic cloud of “fear” not “freedom.” Please help prevent foster kids from ever entering the melting pot of RCHs in your village.
Key West, Fla.