The folks over at the Ysleta school district are going to try again.
Earlier this year they held an election seeking approval for $451 million in bonds. The voters turned them down but it was close.
Now four months later they have announced that they will hold another election in November seeking $430 million.
Last time they published an extensive list of what they were thinking of spending the money on. This time they have not issued a similar list yet.
Part of the problem the voters had is that the district reserved the right to change how we were told the money would be spent. This graphic was available on the district’s web site:
Another issue is the belief that many voters have that our local governments cannot handle major construction projects well. Since the failure of their bond election we have seen the city bungle construction projects and not move forward on the quality of life bonds that the voters gave them back in 2012.
We have a children’s hospital in bankruptcy. Our county hospital is losing money without even considering the money that the children’s hospital owes it. The county allowed the hospital to sell $152 million worth of bonds to build new clinics that would save us $17 million a year in the emergency room according to the hospital administrator. We have not seen the clinics and we have not seen the savings.
EPISD voted to repurpose $59 million that the voters were told would build a new high school.
The city can’t even build a one square block park, even at the outrageous price of $6 million. The engineering department has essentially been eviscerated and the city has hired two out of town engineering firms. Local firms need not apply. We approved $473 million in bonds for quality of life projects three years ago and have seen nothing significant produced.
My sense is the public knows that YISD needs money. The voters might be more apt to approve their requests if a more reasonable approach was taken. They should ask for some money for a deserving project, say around $50 million. Then they should complete the project thus proving to us that they will do what they promise and that they can handle the construction.
They need to prove that they can handle the money if we give it to them.
We deserve better