Like most citizens, I realized BISD would be seeking a rate increase when I received my property taxes and the BISD statement was not included, but for just a few seconds I thought, “Oh, my God,” government is finally realizing they are overburdening the taxpayers. That alone was a letdown to realize it was just another tax increase, but to go to the Bee County Courthouse to vote and not to find the BISD rate increase on the ballot was disturbing. I left the courthouse not knowing what was going on until talking later that evening with a friend who let me know what the BISD vote would be at the school administration office. I couldn’t understand why all of these voting places, including the city, couldn’t share the same voting location. I asked myself, “Why?” since there was room on the ballot for all three governmental voting propositions.
To me, this was an attempt to deprive the citizens the right to vote on all the issues. How confusing! No one at the courthouse informed me that the voting on the city and BISD would be at two additional separate locations. Just look at the sign at the school administration office...an 8 1/2x11-inch copy paper on one of the busiest intersections in Beeville announcing “polling place.” The BISD should be ashamed and I feel that their hope is that all school employees and their families will vote yes while the majority of the voters are kept in the dark. Just think what that number of positive votes alone would be in deciding the election. By keeping the rate hike as secret as possible the rate would pass. It is my understanding now that the .06 cent per $100 would go directly to the BISD employees in a 3-percent pay increase and health insurance benefits. This would certainly buy the BISD employees’ yes vote. How self-serving is that?
My advice to all government is to break even on the taxes you are presently collecting and understand that seven months of our paychecks is all you are going to get. It’s time to make people responsible for their own actions instead of making the working class responsible for the irresponsible. No more free diapers, day care, lunches or school supplies. Make the mothers identify the fathers responsible and force those fathers to support their offspring or go to jail. That would relieve tax dollars that could be given to deserving teachers. Also, the school board should re-evaluate what is really important. Is it more important for a student to walk away from school with a strong education and prepared for life’s trials or making sure they enjoy the football, basketball, baseball, or track in some faraway city?
I never had the opportunity to vote myself a pay raise. However, I did have the opportunity to work hard and be considered for raises based on my performance. If I happened to be a teacher in the BISD, I would be embarrassed to even question the chamber’s action when Pettus ISD’s testing performance exceeds BISD’s.
Politicians claim that education starts at home. I don’t understand how they can say that anymore when both parents must work at two or more jobs to make ends meet. Why? Well, to pay the taxes that now amount to seven months of our income. How are parents expected to hold down their jobs, come home to clean house, cook, wash clothes, and then sit down to help the kids with homework? Most of the parents were educated in the same system and do not possess the education themselves to help with homework.
No one should think that I’m not kind hearted or caring, because I take pride in those qualities more than most. I’m just tired of providing for those who are unwilling to provide for themselves. I grew up without anything, but I worked hard to change my situation. Believe me, this country still offers opportunities just like I had and it only takes the willingness to work and be an honest citizen. You cannot help those who are unwilling to help themselves. The more they receive without contributing the more they will request or demand.
I encourage everyone, including the BISD employees, to vote no on the city and BISD propositions. By all means don’t vote a straight party ticket and vote for the individual candidate that best represents your view.
Editor’s note: While the subject may have seemed low key to some, the Bee-Picayune reported BISD’s intentions to seek a tax rate hike in the Saturday, Aug. 9, edition; Wednesday, Aug. 20, edition; and twice in the Wednesday, Aug. 27 edition (two different stories). In addition, BISD posted a legal notice of the proposed tax rate request in the Bee-Picayune on Aug. 13 as required by law.