Image: Children’s Hope PAC, the group opposing Conroe ISD’s $677 Million Bond, unveiled this theme to combat the bond package.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, September 30 – The Children’s Hope PAC, the citizens group combating the Conroe Independent School District’s (CISD) $677 million bond package set for voter referendum on November 5, 2019, unveiled a major theme in the taxpayers’ fight against the bond, which is almost identical to CISD’s $807 million bond package, which voters rejected on May 4. The $677 million bond package is worse than the $807 million bond package for many reasons, the most obvious of which is the fact that it comes with a 4 cent tax rate increase rather than the 3 cent tax increase CISD had proposed with the $807 million bond.
Kelli Cook, one of the Directors of the Children’s Hope PAC, announced yesterday, Sunday, September 29, 2019, “If you look closely at the $677 million bond package along with the hundreds of millions of dollars CISD plans to spend out of surplus cash which could have gone to pay down existing debt instead, this bond is the same as the $807 million the taxpayers rejected on May 4. In some ways, it’s a lot worse. Taxpayers slayed the May bond, but it just keeps coming back, like zombies!”
Cook added, “Voters will have their first chance to Erase the Zombie Bond on October 21, when early voting begins for the November 5 election.”
This newspaper asked Scott Shaver, one of the leaders of the Children’s Hope PAC’s effort to defeat the massive bond and tax rate increase, why he opposes the bond. Shaver responded,
- “Opposition Reason #1: Same bond proposal, regardless of figures, as defeated May 2019 version. See manipulation of HB3 legislation and increased ad valorem of debt service tax before November 5 vote is ever taken.
- “Opposition Reason #2: Blatant disregard by CISD of statutes regarding bond advocacy by entities with authority to tax and call for votes on public bond proposals.
- “Opposition Reason #3: Public advocacy for bonds by CISD principals and school administrators already walking in ‘tall cotton’ off the backs of Montgomery County citizen tax slaves.
- “Opposition Reason #4: Not to mention postage stamp 340 square mile area of Conroe ISD with 63,000 students racking up TWO BILLION DOLLARS plus in serviceable debt on garbage totally unrelated to educational outcomes.”
Conservative activist Kevin Williams announced on social media that he’s opposing the CISD’s $677 million bond:
“Here’s why I’m voting NO on CISD’s excessive bonds this November:“1) It’s time to reign in CISD’s excessive spending on facilities. They continue to spend taxpayer money as if it grows on trees – without proven needs and competitive bidding.2) Gold-plated designs cost many thousands per seat, but without improving the quality of education to our children.3) Taxpayers want to be able to live here in MoCo after retirement, but the constantly rising property taxes (due mostly to CISD) will prevent that.“CISD management is illegally advocating FOR their bonds, and this is simply wrong, as it teaches our kids that it’s okay to ignore the law when it gets in your way.“Here’s what I want CISD to do:1) CISD must immediately STOP advocating for these bonds, through scare tactics upon teachers, parents, and kids.2) CISD to exercise BUDGET RESTRAINT by limiting spending growth to no more than inflation & population growth.3) To stop the excessive growth in non-teaching personnel, including expensive administrative positions4) Some schools are under-capacity, while others are growing. We need CISD to host open & honest public forums to explain EXACTLY which specific areas may need growth that can’t be accomodated with adjusted attendance zones.5) Once it’s clear what is actually needed and where, to then begin open and competitive bidding to price out what capital improvements are actually justified, and ONLY THEN, to propose a bond initiative that is supported by demonstrated needs, reality-based pricing, and public support.“In other words, we’re asking CISD to act responsibly – openly – and honestly, and stop kowtowing to their industry cronies of schools designers and builders who stand to benefit from all future bond money.
According to Wikipedia, the ultimate source of all knowledge,
“A zombie (Haitian French: zombi, Haitian Creole: zonbi) is a fictional undead being created through the reanimation of a corpse. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. The term comes from Haitian folklore, in which a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic. Modern depictions of the reanimation of the dead do not necessarily involve magic but often invoke science fictional methods such as carriers, radiation, mental diseases, vectors, pathogens, scientific accidents, etc.
“The English word ‘zombie’ was first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of ‘zombi.’ The Oxford English Dictionary gives the word’s origin as West African, and compares it to the Kongo words nzambi (god) and zumbi (fetish). A Kimbundu-to-Portuguese dictionary from 1903 defines the related word nzumbi as soul, while a later Kimbundu–Portuguese dictionary defines it as being a ‘spirit that is supposed to wander the earth to torment the living.’
Therefore, Cook’s analogy of CISD’s $677 Million bond package to a “spirit that is supposed to wander the earth to torment the living” reveals her insight into this bond package as well as Kimbundu-Portuguese culture. Clearly, CISD has failed to tighten its belt at all. Rather, it has already imposed a massive Debt Service tax rate increase, 4 cents, in its Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget, in order to pay for the $677 Million bond package which voters have not yet approved.
CISD’s disingenuous advertising reveals the duplicity of the CISD administration and the willingness of the Board of Trustees to rubber-stamp anything placed before their noses. In CISD advertising, the school district now claims that with the bond there is “no anticipated tax rate increase.” That’s a shell game, acting with the pretext of surprise when CISD implements major tax increases in the future, which CISD has often played.
Please note that Quentin Tarantino’s movie, From Dusk Till Dawn, did not involve zombies, but only concerned vampires.