Letters to the Editor

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Bond election

Dear Editor,

There is a $107.32 million bond on the ballot for the city of Weatherford voters to approve or disapprove. We can all agree that there is a need to look at overcrowding, safety and security in our schools, however, there are questions that need to be asked before rushing to approve a bond package that will affect everyone’s pocketbook in Weatherford.

You will note that the WISD Superintendent has been quoted as saying, "68 percent of the money would be used to address safety, security and capacity issues." Additionally, it is being painted as only a $15 per month increase for the average homeowner in Weatherford. That sounds minimal until you peel back the onion and really look at how it impacts the Weatherford economy.

Focusing in on what is not being mentioned publicly is the ripple effect a tax increase would have on the recovering economy in Weatherford. An increase in ad-valorem [property taxes] would affect business owners, new home sales and new construction in Weatherford. These folks represent a large piece of the tax pie in Weatherford. Losing businesses or discouraging growth could affect sales revenue for many business owners in Weatherford. The question to be answered then is who makes up the difference for the lost tax revenue? The answer is the homeowners and property owners that are left after the smoke clears. Our local economy has seen gradual improvements over the past few years. This can be attributed to the cost of living in Weatherford remaining relatively low in comparison to other cities in the DFW area.

Many municipalities, school districts, county and state entities have seen the need to tighten their financial budgets knowing the financial difficulties a tax increase would represent in a weakened economy. The real elephant in the room here is the $500 million [actual cost] of this bond when it matures in 2044. It would seem more prudent for the WISD to prioritize their future needs - utilizing their current budget to pay for those items versus requesting items that are above and beyond their ability to afford. Weatherford, the future economic stability of our city is in your hands. Please join me in protecting the futures of our young people for generations to come by voting no to the $107.32 million bond package.

Eric Matthews

Weatherford

Breaking it down

Ms. Winn:

Reading your article [Breaking Down the WISD Bond Package – Part 1 – “Safety and security, overcrowding and main focus of bond package”on April 10] makes we question your definition of “main focus.” I don’t consider $4 million (specifically listed in the bond expenditure breakdown) a main focus of the $107 million being asked for by the WISD board - 4 percent is not a main focus of this bond election.

Safety and security is being used to sell a “take it or leave it” proposal. If one is against the bond package then they must not be for safeguarding WISD students and faculty. How can anyone vote against keeping kids safe in school? But the funds earmarked for safety and security are hardly the “main focus” of the bond. As I recall, the bond spends $16 million for expanding the high school and spends more money on expanding the Outback and softball fields than it does on security.

Hopefully, the next article breaks down each item, its costs and why the board thinks each expenditure is needed. I am all for prudently and thoughtfully making schools as safe as possible, if it takes $107 million to do that, great! But your headline to the article is misleading and unless I missed it, your article never provides the safety and security dollar amount. Is your part two going to tell the WISD voters that the bond indebtedness when paid off in 2044? The WISD taxpayers will have spent over $400 million (including the existing bond that will be paid in full in 2035).

Why did the board make the bond all or nothing? Why not make the bond election a cafeteria choice? I think the taxpayers in WISD are smart enough and deserve the opportunity to pick what they want to spend; they may choose to fund everything. I would dare to guess that the $4 million for safety/security would be chosen by a vast majority of voters – it has got my vote.

Mike Wortman

Weatherford

Editor’s Note: An oversight led the exact amount that is to be used to address safety and security and overcrowding to be left out of the original article. The amount listed by Mr. Wortman is incorrect as it does take into account the building of the new wing at the high school, the Career and Technology Center nor renovations, among other items, to address the overcrowding portion of the article. The correct amount to be spent on safety and security and overcrowding is $78,047,211.

Education Funding

Dear Editor,

Regarding an opinion column April 17 “Victories involve courage and determination,” the columnists touted the passage of Amendment 95.

It seems that our lawmakers are retaining public funds for public schools. In passing it’s noted those public funds for public schools (as mandated) rank us 49th out of 50 states in funding our schools. Abysmal!

Is a recent cut of $6 billion of funding for the support of our public schools making education a priority? One wonders where that $6 billions was applied. Perhaps those involved had no idea what the fallout was: unemployment from teacher layoffs and the kids loss of extracurricular activities, which furnished different learning that rounded their education.

The parents who send their kids to private schools already pay for public schools and requested help from Texas lawmakers. No dice. The parents that send their children to charter or private schools make sacrifices for them to do so. One family, for instance, sent their children 12 years to a private school - expensive but worth it. For some time, there has been a growth of these schools. That trend suggests that the children’s parents were aware that public schools leave something to be desired in the education of their children.

Children educated privately enjoy more and greater opportunity to go to college than those in public schools do. The dropouts from these schools are minimal, which speaks of their quality education. The teachers in public schools are dedicated and work hard for the children. Something is lacking, however - the support for them to give the best education for our children that can be done if they are properly supported.

The 49th of 50 states indicates how much our lawmakers thing of the teachers and the children in our schools. What is our lawmakers’ respect for how our children are formed to become public servants and leaders in business and industry and capable of making a better life for all? Note that the professionals that serve us sought higher education to better the lives of us all and spent a great deal of time and their money to do so. Why can’t our lawmakers see what they don’t do promises our children are not getting an education worthy of its name?

I pray for better treatment of our children.

Jerry Curda

Weatherford

Gun Control

Dear Editor,

The arrogance of the liberal Democrats is superseded only by their lawlessness. Their rush to judgment over gun control is a study of hysteria versus reason and the rule of law. Without a constitutional amendment, they are passing legislation as fast as the printing press can work – but it’s all for naught. Without an amendment, every piece of legislation to control guns is moot and void, and not one person in America is bound to obey their unlawful legislation.

The liberals and their dirty tricks are as confusing as they’ve ever been; they are wishing for People Control which is as impossible as gun control. But that impossibility doesn’t deter their misapplication of reason over insanity. Their feeble reasoning will pollute some, but anyone who buys into their substitution for truth will give life to the great lie. Looks like their "dumbing down" of past generations in their crippled school curriculum have left a vacuum in their student’s minds and “reasoning” has been morbidly wounded.

The epitome of the people’s relationship with their government is profoundly explained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The lesson is, governments cannot be trusted with power and the only recourse of “We the People” is to keep and bear arms. Without guns, we are as a herd of cattle or sheep, to be herded, manipulated and slaughtered, as helpless as newborn babes.

The ignorance of why Americans have the right to keep and bear arms is lost on the liberals, who believe guns are only for hunting animals; not so. Americans are armed to prevent government from oppressing and abusing the people they are charged with protecting. It is a historical reality, all governments overreach and abuse their powers. Lord Acton said, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Sounds like he knew Obama personally. Thomas Jefferson said, "Those who give up their rights to have safety and security will have neither."

Leslie Clint Slay

Weatherford

Annetta water

Dear Editor,

In concern of recent actions, or lack thereof, I would like to state my thoughts. With the exception of Mayor Bruce Pinckard and Councilman Chuck Sheridan, the council has repeatedly denied residents of Deer Creek a legal representation about the operations of the water and sewer system Annetta owns. After a very long standing legal battle with Willow Park on the management (or lack thereof) the water system we use; we were extremely pleased Annetta rescued the plight of our water with the purchase of the water system. Our water conditions have vastly improved to which we are very grateful. We thought we finally had a partner to work with. We now realize our plight is only profitable numbers to the revenue’s bottom line. We were hoping for more. Our concerns are for the future of our families’ well being, our property values and the continuation of sustaining and growing the success to the water/sewer system thus far.

We will continue to request the right to speak, to be heard and to vote for decisions about a life necessity - our water. Current council members are not on the water system.

There is a fine line of running your own company versus running a town. The people of the town are the decision makers and your boss. Your job is to listen and uphold the wishes of the majority. Churches and companies promote growth to survive and thrive. They plan and adjust to the growing pains that come with that as the path to the future unfolds. Deer Creek residents are respectful of your desire to keep your community private and small. We do not wish to exploit that. However, Annetta owns the water/sewer company that we are dependent on.

By requesting annexation, thus giving us the right to vote, we are only requesting the opportunity to work with you, united, toward a common goal. Instead, we are treated as your opposition and burden. The revenue Annetta gains from our water bills would hopefully be an incentive to allow us a legal voice you continue to deny us. This is not a one group wins, one groups loses situation. Either we will all lose or we will all win. We are all a part of this community in Parker county and Aledo. You were voted into office by a democratic society to represent democracy and yet you deny this process.

Annetta residents, please be proactive, not inactive and with your privilege to vote:

Vote for Bruce Pinckard, Chuck Sheridan, George Ripley and Kent Stasey May 11.

First for Annetta and First four on the ballot.

Cynthia Harrison

Deer Creek

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