Reader Responses, September 1

Published on Saturday, 31 August 2013 22:26 - Written by

CHAPEL HILL ISD SHOULD ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT BOND

Chapel Hill ISD has announced a bond issue for November’s election of $31.2 Million and has planned property tax increase approaching 20 percent. Is this bond needed now? The size and timing are not good. Many issues require review and discussion.

n Doesn’t the district already have a yearly bond payment of $2.27 Million? What are the long term obligations? What did this bond fund? Can we afford two bonds?

n Didn’t the district just approve an across-the-board pay increase for all employees? Is it correct to saddle the taxpayers with a new bond also?

n On June 17 the district advertised for a construction project manager with project expenditures of $24-$26 million? Where did the extra $5-6 million come from? Remember, interest payments double overall construction costs.

n What bond interest rates are being considered? The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Detroit City Schools paid a bond rate of 4.375 percent. The article also reported that in May 2012 Detroit Schools paid a rate of 1.25 percent and normal rates for municipal AAA bonds were 0.18 percent.

n Other Smith County taxing agencies increase taxes in the range of 2-3 cents. How can the ISD justify a 17.3 cent increase? Other Smith County taxing agencies are maintaining zero tax increases, even with staff pay raises.

n Financial records of the district show that local tax receipts have increased $2 million in past five years and the county tax assessor has projected an increase in property values with a corresponding increase in tax money received by the district. Has the district started a “pay-as-you-go” program similar to the city of Tyler?

n The district has investments of $7-8 million. Is this money being used to pay down the bond debt? Planning and saving and projecting future costs is imperative. Look to Detroit, Chicago, and Stockton as examples.

I hope that the district has already considered these issues and feels proceeding is the proper course of action. If not, reconsideration would be wise. Remember the taxpayer instead of the grandness of the project.

Richard Prouty

Tyler

WATER ISSUES

We have not had much rainfall lately, and will not have any for a while. The lakes are all down, most of them quite a bit. Even though it has not rained in a while, a lot of streets always have water flowing in the gutter. Sprinkler systems come on every day, even during and after one of our few rainfalls. They water everything including the streets and walkways.

Some areas of the country are critically short of water. A Texas A & M report showed that the Tyler area has the highest per capita water usage in the state. What is it going to take to make us start using this resource wisely? People do not want more government controls, but that may be the only way. Of course, we can wait till we are dangerously short and have to do something.

Harvey Collen

Tyler

SYRIA

Someone used “weapons of mass destruction” on innocent people in Syria so they must be punished, and stockpiles of these weapons must be captured and destroyed.

This will require “boots on the ground” to accomplish because even the best of precision bombing would most certainly release some of these gases and produce an unacceptable result.

It is time for the United Nations to step up and take charge of the situation. The army that takes on the chore should be a multi-nation group with the U.S. providing the bulk of the air power and other nations supplying the ground troops. The purpose of this special force should be solely the eradication of the unacceptable weapons and should not get involved in the civil war taking place there.

If the U.N. fails to do anything about the stores of deadly gas and launching equipment then the U.S. should withdraw membership and any and all financing of this useless organization.

Gene Diedrick

Tyler