Don’t be mislead by bad info

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When I was in college, my friends in public relations would say that attention is like air, bad is better than none.

But I don’t think the same thing can be said about information. To me, wrong is much worse than none.

While I understand that politics is an ugly business, I don’t think that’s an excuse to deceive or mislead people. Sadly, a portion of those who oppose the Weatherford ISD bond election apparently don’t feel the same way.

As many of you who read my columns regularly know, I am a proponent of education - whether it be grade school, high school, college or technical schools. When the Star-Telegram Editorial Board encouraged voters in last week’s issue to say yes to the proposed $107.32 million bond, I was glad to hear it.

At the same time, however, being in the community as I am, I am not glad when I hear that the district needs to “tighten its belt” like the rest of us or that they should be asking for money to pay teachers. To me, both of those statements show a lack of knowledge of the situation and, quite frankly, the proper usage of funds.

Let’s talk about tightening the belt. Anyone who has toured the older elementary schools within WISD should know that the tightening of the belt led to what some of the facility needs have become. It’s obvious that if the district had the funds to address some of these items over the past few years, it would’ve done so without hesitation. But losing state funding caused districts all over Texas to have to find a way to provide the same quality education it had, all without the same support. That isn’t a realistic expectation.

As an analogy, let me offer you this. A co-worker of yours gets laid off because your company needs to cut back. Now, you are expected to do both yours and that person’s job at the same level you were before when there were two of you but you don’t get paid more to do it. And, I forgot to mention, they have a new project for you to work on that is going to require more resources but they can’t give you the money for those resources though you will get fired if you don’t do it. That is exactly what the state did to schools.

Listen, all of us can agree that teachers deserve more pay for what they do but the reality is bond monies legally cannot be used to fund payroll, nor would you want it to. That would be like business owners putting employee payroll on a credit card.

Another misleading item I’ve heard is how much the bond is ultimately going to cost taxpayers when it’s all said and done. Honestly, the numbers being thrown out are all based on things that no-one knows for certain; it is an assumption that everything remains the same as it is today and, quite frankly, no-one can predict that. Bond rates change, economies change and to scare someone into thinking they are spending five times the original amount at the end of the deal is grasping at straws.

I find it curious too that not one person who opposes this issue has even bothered to contact us at the paper to get their side of the story out. As I thought about it, I realized why - it’s because their opposition isn’t based on fact, it’s based on lies and conjecture and when presented with the truth, they can’t argue it. That may or may not be true or their intention but that’s how I see it.

No matter where you stand on the issue, I implore you to get the facts before you decide. Don’t make your decision because someone told you this is what it was for or that is what they want. Look into it for yourself and then make an informed vote. Approve or disapprove, at least you know what you really voted for.

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