WISD seeks $5 million bond election
by Tim Delaney
Sep 19, 2013 | 48 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Woodsboro school district trustees began preparing for a $5 million bond election that would bring much needed improvements to the district's facilities on Monday evening, Sept. 17.
Tim Delaney photo Woodsboro school district trustees began preparing for a $5 million bond election that would bring much needed improvements to the district's facilities on Monday evening, Sept. 17.
WOODSBORO – Woodsboro school district trustees received more information on a $5 million bond election from the district’s financial adviser at their meeting Monday evening, Sept. 17.

The school board has agreed to have the $5 million bond election on Nov. 5. The election would fund facility improvements to the campuses.

Victor Quiroga Jr. said the bond would be a 30-year note for $5 million.

The tax impact to a $50,000 home with exemption would be an increase of $59.14 a year or 16 cents daily.

He said the district’s annual payment would be $327,000 a year.

Residents in the school district who have the 65 year or older exemption would not be affected by this bond issue. In other words, no increase to their taxes would be levied because of the bond issue.

Quiroga advised that state and federal requirements have to be met during the time leading up to the election on Nov. 5.

He said the superintendent has to remain neutral but is urged to present information.

He added that school board members never lose their First Amendment rights, and they are free to show bias outside the board room. In other words, they can promote the bond election to voters.

However, Quiroga advised not to argue with negative taxpayers or discuss side issues.

Also, he said threats are not allowed as well as trying to convince “no” voters to change their vote.

On the other hand, Quiroga told board members to remain positive and present the facts while keeping the message simple, outlining the problem, the solution, the tax impact and the cost to voters.

And he said always focus on the “yes” voters.

He added that complacence is the killer of bond elections.

“This is probably the No. 1 killer,” he said.

“Why is it wrong to say it’s for the kids when that’s who it’s really about?” asked Trustee Henry Fierova.

Quiroga said state regulation prohibit children showing bias in a bond election.

“There might be fines if you use that practice,” Quiroga said.

Trustees also discussed their recent facilities committee meeting with the community held Sept. 9 in the auditorium.

“It was very positive,” said Superintendent Steven Self.

One additional suggestion was a career/technology area for female students.

Three to four more meetings will be conducted to meet with the community, as well as hone what is needed for improvements to the district’s facilities.

“This is not a beautification project,” said Trustee Robbie Blaschke.

But trustees agreed the bond election would serve to make the facilities look better.

Also, trustees discussed the success of the district’s TRE held Sept. 14.

Trustees noted that the election had a low voter turnout of 126 votes.

The TRE, or Tax Ratification Election, increased the maintenance and operating tax rate while reducing the general fund tax rate for an overall lower tax rate.

The success of the election means the school district can increase the Maintenance and Operations tax rate from $1.06 to the maximum allowed rate of $1.17.

But overall, the total district tax rate will be reduced from the 2012 rate of $1.43984 to a rate of $1.36, a reduction of almost 6 percent.

With the additional funds, the school board intends to improve facilities and curriculum offerings. In addition, all staff members will receive a supplement to their pay.

Trustees set 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, to canvass the TRE vote.

Superintendent Self also informed trustees no updates were available on the FEMA dome extension project.

Also, he said $15,000 to $30,000 would be available through a wetlands Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant.

He said a list of science items have been sent to the grant writers who are ready to apply for the CIAP grant next week.

Self also said a American Farmers Grant in the amount of $26,000 came in the mail Sept. 6. The grant money will be used to purchase six welding machines for the career/technical education program.

Also, a Rural Education grant from the Monsanto Fund in the amount of $10,000 was received, too.

Trustees also nominated board member Robbie Blaschke to serve on the Refugio County Appraisal District board of directors.
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