Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bill Clark ~Public is pumped ~.."doing nothing is not an option",

ORPUS CHRISTI - CCISD is considering another bond election next May. The bond amount could range from 60 million to 120-million dollars, but the board hopes that a tax hike would not be needed. It was one of a number of issues that remain unresolved at this point.

It's complicated, but basically, state funding could be available to help pay off CCISD's debt from something like a bond election, but they have to apply for that funding by June 15. That means the bond election would have to be in May and there's concern whether CCISD has enough time to make a May election work.

"How are we going to deal with the accelerated growth on the south side? How are we going to deal with the expansions on the high schools that we have today?" said Larry Elizondo. "How are we going to deal with maintaining the facilities that we do have?"

The school board has struggled with all those issues for several years now. A bond in 2004 failed, but the extensive needs across the district remain and some are wondering if now is the time to try again.

"I mean that's the question. Can we do it?" Elizondo said.

"It can be done, but we need all of us to hold hands and move forward with it together," said CCISD superintendent Dr. Jesus Chavez. But not everyone is so optimistic. Board member Bill Clark doubts they have the public support needed.

"To go back for a bond issue just to pass a bond issue to do these things... I think is irresponsible on our part," said board member Bill Clark. Others said something has to be done to better the buildings.

"Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option, I don't believe," Elizondo said. The board didn't vote Monday night whether to have the bond or not. Trustees first want to see what a number of different bond packages would really look like on paper. They'll most likely decide whether to take one of those packages to the voters at their meeting in early December.

Online Reporter: Bart Bedsole

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