EPISD bonds–crisis mismanagement

The Times published a Lindsey Anderson article on the front page of its Sunday, October 9, 2016 edition.

The informative article reminded us that the $230 million bond issue that we gave the EPISD back in 2007 was poorly planned and has yet to be completed.

Of the original amount $76 million has either been reallocated or is just sitting there idle even though the district has already borrowed the money and we are paying interest on it.

The problem?

Just like today the school board then wanted us to believe that there was a crisis–the army was going to transfer troops to El Paso and with typical El Paso bias assumed they would buy houses in the northeast part of town.  Well as it turned out many of the troops were younger than the school board expected.  A simple inquiry to the army would have given the district better information about the demographics of the troops and their families.  The district was incompetent to make projections back then.  Why should we think that they are competent now?

Then again maybe they knew better.  Why waste a good crisis?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

8 Responses to EPISD bonds–crisis mismanagement

  1. Angry Andress teacher who wants answers! says:

    Brutus….

    No Andress Fine Arts Center still yet Carmen Arrieta brags of the money the investments from the 2007 bond made and that the left over money will be used to supplement new projects on the new bond? The board votes to begin construction on Jefferson gym but the district won’t even buy paint to repair Andress buildings. Andress had to buy the paint and have a work day on a weekend begging parents and kids to come fix up their school for the International Baccalaureate visit. The classroom improvements like projectors mounted the district promised to pay for never happened and again Andress had to buy them out of their own funds. FOOTBALL players had to get paint donated and go paint their own Stadium. There is still grass growing in the classrooms but Bowie was also approved to begin expansion in August.

    No wonder the Superintendent didn’t attend our bond meeting or any of the others in the NE. When the superintendent came to speak at our faculty meeting we were nicely told not to make waves and be quiet by our interim principal who leaves at 3 pm every day and 2 pm on Fridays.

    And the final slap in the face, every high school has interviewed or hired a principal and they have not even posted the job for Andress. Like a red headed step child we have been minimized and the district thinks so little of us, they think we don’t notice.and we will vote for their bond. The district DOES NOT have my support. I will not vote for a superintendent who does not promote equity for all. His actions speak louder than words.

    We got nothing on the last bond, we are getting nothing now, and we have more empty promises…. all while watching other schools continue to be improved and bragging about interest made on money not spent.

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  2. Just Saw the Kids First PAC TV Spot!!!!! says:

    I just saw the Pro-Bond advertisement by Kids First PAC on KVIA!!! It lists three things the bond will address. It says the bond will purchase SCHOOL BUSES (probably for the thousands of little children that will have to be transported once the slaughter of the buildings starts). Next it says the Bond will purchase TECHNOLOGY (short life items like laptops for teachers and children because everybody knows that laptops are the future). And, AMAZINGLY, the ad says CREATING CONSTRUCTION JOBS!!!!!! This advertisement CLEARLY SAYS THAT THE WHILE REASON FOR THE BOND IS CREATING CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS!!! What the never really addresses is EDUCATION!!!! If you don’t believe, watch local TV for this advertisement!!! You will be shocked!!

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    • Fool Me Once says:

      Since when is job creation a mission of the school district? Even if the EPISD construction does create construction jobs, those are short-term jobs. Once construction is completed, the work disappears. So it’s another shell game where EPISD wants us to pay long term for some short term gain for a few people. But one particular local construction company will probably benefit greatly.

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  3. D2V says:

    What is it about public “servants?” The minute a person is elected to Council or School Board or Congress, their goal is to spend taxpayer money. Does it give them a sense of power? I don’t get it.

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  4. Truther says:

    The sad truth is that you can’t trust any of our local bureaucrats or politicians to do the right thing.

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  5. Jerry K says:

    Start with integrity so that when you say something people have a reason to believe you.

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  6. El Paso Blogger says:

    ‘Oh, but those were the other guys’…

    So nearly 30 percent of the funds so desperately needed in the 2007 bond issue weren’t, in fact, needed, but rather convenient to have ‘just in case’. Yet someone allowed further deterioration to our schools rather than dip into (not-so) petty cash because there might be something more important to spend the money on. Just before asking for more on a new bond there was a flurry of spending at the last minute leaving $19 million in petty cash. You know, just in case. And because this is excess funds they can be spent on pretty much anything.

    Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria recently said they made over $14 million in interest on the 2007 bond (on the initial $233 million). First, we didn’t approve the bond to pad the investment account. Second, was that the gross return or the net return? How much interest did taxpayers incur for them to make $14 million. Tell the whole story!

    There is little doubt that EPISD has some tremendous needs. But maybe it is for more leadership rather than more money!

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    • Dan Wever says:

      I still get a kick out of the EPISD trustees saying that enrollment has cost them State funds. They don’t ever seem to tell the public the “rest of the story.” What happens is some 100 thousand dollar plus administrator has to fill out of form and guess how many students they will have next year. Now by October they have a cut off date and they know how many students they will actually be paid for. If the guess was more than they are going to have then the State is going to OVERPAY the district and this money has to be paid back to the State. Of course with the October number they know where they stand and can start making budget changes but if they do nothing and spend all the extra money then there comes a time when it has to be paid back and this is when the trustees say “Oh my, enrollment has dropped so we have less State money it is not our fault.: We need Administrative accountability.

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