Weatherford Opinion

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

If ever a legislative bill made no sense, it’s HB40! I’m quoting from the introduced version of the bill, Section 2(b), "The authority of a municipality or other political subdivision to regulate an oil and gas operation is expressly preempted, except that a municipality is authorized to enact, amend, or enforce an ordinance or other measure that regulates only surface activity…" In Section 2(c), it basically says that unless 2(b) authority is utilized in a situation, local municipalities or political subdivisions have no authority where oil and gas operations are concerned, stating, "an oil and gas operation is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state."

The ramifications of this bill are disastrous! Regarding the bill, Weatherford Mayor Dennis Hooks said, "We think we can guide our city responsibly." Many city mayors are pushing back also. Denton Mayor Chris Watts claims the original proposal [of HB40] was to wrest control of drilling and head off bans similar to the Denton bans.

Of major concern to me are the affects HB40 will have on Texas water. The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District identified several North Texas counties that are expected to suffer critical groundwater problems within the next 25 years. In the UTGCD Mission Statement, the most important designation made, in my opinion, was the assurance that Montague, Wise, Parker and Hood Counties maintain local control over their groundwater. Also, the UTGCD was given the ability to force the oil and gas industry to abide by the spacing rules, the reporting rules and the monitoring rules. It developed a format that allows it to intervene, when necessary, the permitting of injection wells used to dispose of oil and gas industry waste products within the four counties. A big question I have is, does HB40 make null and void the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, rendering it toothless? All the oil/gas in the world is useless if we don’t have potable water.

Respectfully,

Judy B. Beeman

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

Election Day is Sat., May 9. On the actual day, you must vote at the Courthouse Annex on Santa Fe, not one of the early voting locations that are open from now through Tues., May 5. I encourage you to take advantage of early voting, and to join me in voting for Reed Wainwright for Weatherford City Council, Craig Swancy – Weatherford City Council and Brian Catlin for Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees.

With each position, I am casting my vote based on temperament, education and experience with the confidence that these men are the best person for the job. They are active in the community, including a faithful voting record in general elections and Republican primaries. Their voting record is aligned with the Republican Party and the values that we need on the City Council and WISD Board of Trustees.

As you consider your vote, remember that in Weatherford, we live in the best place in the country. All of us are blessed with opportunities and a way of life that are the envy of the rest of the country. Reed Wainwright, Craig Swancy and Brian Catlin are committed to respecting our heritage as we plan for the future. In particular, Wainwright and Swancy are prepared to make decisions that will insure that we have the transportation and utility needs of our community met while making every dollar count. Catlin is prepared to address facility and operational needs of WISD while making sure that every tax dollar you give the district is spent wisely. These men will be good stewards of our resources and our tax dollars.

Please join me in voting for Reed Wainwright, Craig Swancy and Brian Catlin. If you have questions, please give me a call at 817-594-5029 or give them a call. If you need a ride to the polls, please give me a call. Please vote. The process is incomplete without you!

Zan Prince

Parker County Republican Chair

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my deep admiration for candidate Dale Fleeger, who seeks the Place 3 seat on Weatherford City Council. He entered the race only after learning that Waymon Hamilton would not seek re-election.

In the many years I have known Dale, I have found him always to be knowledgable, helpful and reliable. His experience is impressive. As the former Director of Libraries, he attended most city council meetings. Therefore, he knows the history of issues that will face the council in the coming years. He has over 20 years experience working with municipalities and an additional 10 years working for county governments in Texas. Dale also worked for a non-profit library association. He currently chairs the Big Tent, a collaborative effort for delivery of services to families and children in Parker County.

The coming years will be important for Weatherford as the Metroplex continues to grow to the west. Dale has shown his commitment to keeping Weatherford safe, secure and true to our hometown values. I know personally of his deep Christian faith, his compassion for others and a life given to service to the community. Please look closely at his experience and his proven work history which will be an asset to our city government. Early voting started April 27. Please join me in supporting Dale Fleeger for Place 3, Weatherford City Council.

Margaret Martin

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

It has been my honor to know Dale Fleeger for several years and I want to recommend him as the best candidate in the Place 3 position on Weatherford City Council. I have known of his involvement in these organizations: Boy Scouts, United Way, WISD Community Ed, Rotary, First Grace Presbyterian, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of the Library and the Weatherford Library Foundation. He has taken leadership positions for many of these groups.

There are other candidates in this race who may have their name on every corner. I think that the Weatherford voter will look to proven experience in the choice for the city council position. Dale will be able to participate immediately in the council's decisions because of his many years of experience. There is not time for training of an ill-prepared council member. Join me in early voting and put Dale Fleeger to work for Weatherford and future generations.

Constance Langston

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

Just wanted to send you my thoughts on why you should vote for Brian Catlin.

I have known him for 15 years and in that time, I have watched a man be consistent with his faith and beliefs, never wavering; staying strong and reliable, if he tells you he will do it, consider it done. He is honest and hard working.

I couldn't think of a better candidate for our school board. I am proud to be able to call him my friend. Please vote for Brian Catlin, WISD School Board.

Brenda Strickland

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

In 2013, I ran for and won a seat on the WISD Board of Trustees, while also running against the 2013 bond. My ‘NO’ vote was simple and echoed by many in the community. I felt a) the 2013 bond was too large; b) I absolutely felt that it needed to be broken up into choices / propositions; c) Personally, I did not want my 5thgrader moving out of the elementary school and finally; d) the athletic upgrades raised a red flag, as I heard from many parents that the current baseball field was actually a source of great community pride (softball admittedly needs some work).

Fast forward to 2015: After over a year of visiting with community stake holders, meeting with voters, surveying teachers/parents and then polling the community, the Board of Trustees took the advice of the Citizens Committee and a) reduced the total bond by 32 person or $30+ million; b) Divided the bond into three stand-alone propositions to allow for a more democratic vote; c) Left the 5th graders in elementary school but recognized the need to better align the 6th graders with state curriculum and join them with 7th & 8th grades and finally; d) eliminated the athletic components, deciding instead to focus on capacity, maintenance and operations.

This June, an entire generation of Weatherford ISD students will graduate with their parents never having realized higher school taxes due to a bond election. Over the past 11 years, the Weatherford ISD tax rate has DECLINED and is currently $1.38.

The proposed 11-cents increase doesn’t even come close to the highs of a decade ago.

As a board member, I encourage you to be informed, examine the facts and peel back the layers on whatever thoughts, ideas or numbers you may be presented with. The truth is out there. My advice, go to www.ROOBOND.com

Joshua Tarbay Ed.D.

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

I am writing to encourage my fellow citizens living in the Weatherford school district to vote "FOR" all three propositions of the upcoming WISD bond proposal.

I have been a resident of Parker County my entire life and have two sons that attend school in WISD. I feel that our district has done an excellent job in maintaining our facilities but the average age of WISD schools is 30 years old. A school is no different than a home, and at some point you cannot continue to "patch" things up, you must replace.

Educational funding has been on the rapid decline from the state for years. The building and renovation of our schools is not financed through the school system’s operating budget, but through bond referendums. I feel that it is not only our responsibility but also our duty to provide quality, up-to-date facilities for our children to attend.

My hope is that those in the community will do their research, tour the facilities, ask questions and do everything they can to educate themselves.

When a community has a desirable school district, it draws in people that care about having a good quality of life, drives development, helps local businesses and improves the overall well-being of a community.

Sincerely,

Pam Van Horn

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

As lifelong Weatherford residents, Weatherford High School graduates and supporters of our children, we urge all WISD residents to vote "yes" for all three portions of the upcoming bond proposal. The citizen committee that planned this proposal worked very hard, carefully considered moderate options and with the Board of Trustees reached a consensus in choosing the basic things our schools urgently need NOW. There is nothing frivolous or extravagant in this bond. We MUST improve security, realign grade levels to better utilize our buildings and construct a new Hall Middle School. Our schools have drastically changed since we were students in the 50s and 60s, and since our children were students in the 80s and 90s, because our community has grown while the Legislature now constantly reduces our funding yet requires more from us. Our children need our support now more than ever before. Whether we are young or retired, have children in our schools now or in the past, are life residents or new to the city, we should support our children and our community, and vote "yes" for the bond.

Mac and Janice Smith

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my support for the upcoming WISD Bond election. I was honored to serve on the WISD Facility Advisory of Citizens, Teachers and Students (FACTS) Committee. We researched data, listened to input from our community, evaluated parent, staff and community survey results, looked at future growth and toured existing school facilities. After carefully assessing information from all of these sources, the FACTS Committee made a recommendation to the school board which in turn called for a $74.9 million bond election.

My husband and I joined this wonderful community in 1998. We chose to become Weatherford citizens because of the passion and dedication people have for this town and its schools. Weatherford is an excellent place to raise a family! With that said, I want to do my part to help grow excellence in this community. I understand it is my responsibility as a taxpayer to support the growth and development of our community.

I have seen this community grow and flourish during the last 17 years, attracting new businesses, restaurants and shopping sites. This growth draws new families to our community. Our district is expected to grow approximately 800 students over the next 10 years. Our elementary campuses are already full. In fact, three of our elementary campuses house their sixth grade students in portable buildings. We can address these growth issues, improve our existing facilities and add safety and security features by voting "YES" to all three propositions.

I encourage you to be informed about this election. Please visit www.roobond.com for information on the FACTS Committee process and the bond election.

Vote "YES" on May 9. The investment in our community and our children will provide a greater tomorrow for us all!

Thank you for joining me in providing the BEST for our community.

Amy Crippen

Weatherford

Dear Editor,

I am a senior at Weatherford High School and have attended school in Weatherford ISD for the past 12 years. I had the privilege of serving on the WISD Facility Advisory of Citizens Teachers and Students (FACTS) Committee where we worked diligently to propose a bond to the WISD Board of Trustees that we felt met the critical needs of our school district. We toured facilities, met weekly and reviewed a great deal of data before we came to a majority consensus.

As a student, the perspective that I bring to the discussion is very unique. For the past 12 years, I have spent approximately 14,770 hours to date in WISD, not including time spent on campus after the school day in my extracurricular activities. On a daily basis, I face the benefits of being a student in WISD, but am also well aware of the needs and obstacles we face as students and teachers. From the portable buildings at our elementary schools and the poor conditions of Hall Middle School, to the safety measures and facility improvements needed at all campuses, I can attest firsthand that WISD needs every improvement proposed in the bond package in order to be a "world class district of choice."

The last time the district had a successful bond election was well before I was even in school. Now I am graduating in May and will not see the improvements and benefits this bond will bring. We have missed an entire generation of students – and this cannot wait any longer.

Improving our schools improves our entire community. Financially investing in our children and their education is worth every penny and is a small sacrifice to make for something that shapes the very foundation of our society. I plead with you to vote FOR all three propositions in the 2015 WISD bond election and commit to better our community.

Emma Beaird

WHS Senior

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