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Archive for March 2nd, 2012

HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson mentioned yesterday that HCC was considering putting out a bond proposal this November to the tune of $500 million.  Yesterday the HISD Superintendent mentioned a possible bond election for this November. Check out the Chron story here.

Both have a long ways to go with HISD having the tougher road.

In 2007, HISD voters approved an $805 million bond proposal.  It would probably be a good idea for HISD to fully explain and educate voters on how those 2007 dollars were spent.  Here is from the Chron story:

HISD has opened 16 new campuses as a result of the 2007 bond package, and eight more are in the works. About 45 percent of the school renovation projects are complete, and the others are in progress or in the planning stages, according to HISD.

Are we on schedule?  Have there been delays?  Are schools and parents satisfied with the work?  HISD needs to communicate this.

Also from the Chron:

The school board could take a key step next Thursday. Board president Mike Lunceford said the meeting agenda includes an item asking trustees to approve a study of the district’s building needs.

A good and through assessment is going to take some time.  They can’t tell the firm they hire to produce a report in time so we can have an election.  It would be a shoddy report and one that folks wouldn’t trust.

Once they do a thorough and complete assessment, HISD and the community has to take the time to digest the results.  In order to put together a bond proposal that truly addresses the needs, HISD is going to have to go to the community and gather input from parents and taxpayers.   They can’t put this together behind closed doors in the Superintendent’s office in meetings with Trustees and a few select players.  Good luck on this!

Then they have to sell this to the voters and the fella that is usually in charge of selling HISD is the Superintendent and I don’t think he’s the best salesman.  Heck, a few weeks ago four Trustees voted not to extend his contract.  Granted, Commentary isn’t in to a whole lot of socializing other than to hang out at The Yard, but I don’t know of any of my friends or acquaintances that like the Superintendent.  Since he’s arrived on the scene in 2009, he hasn’t done a good job of outreaching to the political players in town and after all the political players make or break bond campaigns in H-Town.

Before I go further, how many former ‘Stros skippers have ever been named MLB Skipper of the Year?

Also from the Chron:

"Bond costs are the lowest they’ve ever been, but you still have to raise taxes to pay for it," said Lunceford. "We have to really look at the state of the schools."

Selling a tax hike is not going to be easy these days – enough said.

Then there are the other issues like Fort Bend Mechanical and ethics.  Some groups may demand that in order to get behind a bond campaign, HISD Trustees have to adopt stronger ethics policies with teeth.  Good luck on that one.

Some groups like the Harris County AFL-CIO are going to withhold support unless HISD comes around on prevailing wage.  Good luck on this one too.

Then HISD has the Manuel Rodriguez problem.  Do they want that hate mongering areshole out selling a bond campaign?  What are they going to do with him during a bond campaign?

Then there is the whole philosophical issue of going out for a bond approval at a time when school finance in the Lone Star State is in a state of flux and school districts may forced to do another round of lay-offs.

Commentary doesn’t have a lot of confidence right now that HISD is politically sophisticated enough to carry out a successful bond campaign in 2012.  They have to do a ton of work to get folks to buy in to a bond proposal.  I could be wrong.

On HCC, those folks over there usually fly under the radar.  HCC Trustee Robinson is going to do all he can to change that so more folks can have input.  We should have more on this one later.

Today is Texas Independence Day.  Tell that to some women in the Lone Star State looking for some health care options.

Three former ‘Stros skippers of course have been named Skipper of the Year – Bill Virdon (1980), Hal Lanier (1986), and Larry Dierker (1998).

There is picture on the ‘Stros website of Numero 45 at Spring Training.  He better get a shave or before you know it he’s going to be called “El Viejo” instead of “El Caballo”.

 

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