I have spent the last two weeks reading with interest all the letters in reaction to the Chamber of Commerce’s position on the proposed tax increase for BISD. The letter writers have been heartfelt, passionate and sincere in their position, and for the most part I am in total agreement.
I have been an educator with BISD for 28 years, but I also have family who own a business here in Beeville, and I feel I must speak on behalf of many of our businesses. I think we need to be reminded that the decision of the CofC not to support the tax increase was made by a small group of possibly uninformed individuals, and did not represent the opinion of many of the businesses. I know this because my sister-in-law (who owns the business and was a member of the Chamber) knew nothing of this recommendation until I enlightened her, and she was outraged that the Chamber felt they could speak for her. I have had other business acquaintances tell me the same thing, as I know has happened to many of you.
Vowing to not “shop Beeville” is equivalent to holding someone hostage. “Vote for us or else” is the message I got from some of those statements. This makes us no better than the Chamber members who originally voted for this position, because we are acting out in an uninformed manner. Yes, it is natural to lash out when we feel we have been attacked, and I admit that was my first instinct as well. However, we don’t know which businesses supported the proposal, and which ones voted “no.” But guess what; that’s democracy. The business owners are entitled to vote how they choose; hopefully a vote based on all the facts. That’s what makes this a great country.
Now that the election is over and we all know the outcome of the proposed tax increase, I hope that we can begin to put this all behind us. As Judy Luna put it so eloquently in her letter last week, “BISD will not give up on the children that we serve.” This isn’t just a job; it’s a passion for those of us who chose this as a career. I would like to encourage businesses to get more involved with the schools. It isn’t just money that makes successful schools – it’s community involvement. Beeville is a great community to raise a family. Let’s work together – BISD and the business community – to make it even better.