I don't live in the EPISD area, but if I did and I was faced with this bond, I'd vote no.
The sticker price is just outrageous coming in at almost 3/4 of a billion dollars. And while I'll be the first to say that we have to invest in brick and mortar projects for our students, but a big portion of this bond is to basically close some schools. That's not building, that is the opposite.
Lets start with some stark realities that people need to remember. For all of you that complain about how high your taxes are, let me fill you in on a secret. The largest portion of your tax bill is the school district. They tax you the most and so when you have a high tax bill, they are most at fault. You guys bitch and moan about city council and the county, but the school district does you dirty every year.
When you vote for a bond, YOU are raising your OWN taxes. Its "for the kids" but YOU are deciding whether or not to raise your OWN taxes. You're going to be increasing your own taxes by about 15% using the districts own numbers.
You should remember that and tell your friends. Especially if none of them got a 15% pay raise this year.
Here's the other problem that I would have with the bond that no one wants to talk about. Look at how long QOL projects are taking at the city and how much more they are costing us? The city had to raise taxes to cover it.
Now here is something really important to tell your friends and neighbors. The city has departments to oversee the bond construction projects. They have staff that are experienced and educated in that kind of stuff. And guess what? We still have problems.
Now imagine entrusting a school district that isn't experience, equipped, or staffed to handle oversights of projects that are roughly the same amount as the damn QOL bonds???
Its a disaster waiting to happen.
Quietly EPISD has been poaching city staff in anticipation of the bond passing, but in my opinion they simply aren't equipped to oversee construction projects on the scale of the QOL bonds right now. Lord knows they have a hard enough time teaching kids, they certainly aren't in the construction business.
Also, you just knew Forma was gonna find a way to get paid out of this. And it blows my mind that Jaime Barceleau, who is now a candidate for District 3 and going to have problems getting voters to trust him when information comes to light during the campaign, is the guy pushing for the bond.
So let me get this straight...you want to raise taxes by 15% for people that live in the area you represent, some of which is south of the freeway, and then you want them to put you on council?
Tell me this is some sort of sick joke.
The timing of this vote is absolutely strategic and to be honest, really bothers me. They knew what they were doing when they decided to put it on a November ballot. Its a presidential election and a lot of people are going to under vote a la madre. They will walk in to vote for president, possibly vote straight ticket, and walk out.
So they have a pretty good measure of who is going to actually go through the trouble of going through he ballot and voting on the bond issue. So they talk to those people and get them to go out and vote.
There is no organized opposition effort so the only message that voters that vote in bond elections are getting is that shitty "El Paso Rising" message that sounds like an ad for guys with an ED problem.
No one is going to tell them that their taxes are going to go up by 15%. No one is going to tell them its the largest bond ever attempted in the history of El Paso County. No one is going to tell voters that the district is probably not equipped to see oversee construction projects of that scale.
So with only one message, lost in the confusion of a high-profile presidential election, its likely going to pass, despite the outrageous sticker price.
So next year when you're complaining about how much your taxes are going up, its probably not going to be because of the city or county. Its going to be because of the tax you're going to vote for yourself.