Editorial: Are you willing to spend $125 million on generalizations?

The $125 million Waxahachie Independent School District bond proposal is raising a lot of debate and I feel it's time for me to weigh in.

First off, I'm not disputing that a new high school is needed. However, I am disputing the proposed $125 million bond until and unless the WISD Board of Trustees begins to publicly release more details.

Folks, what information do you have? Look at the WISD bond proposal website. The information tells you what is going to happen but it doesn't give very much information on how much of your money is going to go to each aspect of the proposal. Sure, it gives generalizations, but what does all this really entail?

The WISD Board of Trustees must be confident this bond proposal is going to pass. They ALREADY spent $9 million on 310 acres of which they plan on 100 of the acres being used for the new high school. Putting the cart before the horse wouldn't you say? The bond hasn't even passed yet.

How much of the money raised by the bond is going to go toward the actual building of the new high school? How much is going to go toward building the new indoor "all-purpose" facility (mainly a sports practice facility)? How much for a track field? How much for baseball and softball fields? How much for practice football fields?

"There are always practice fields near any high school or junior high so practices can be on campus and physical education classes can use them, also. These are generally very inexpensive because they are generally dirt and grass," Waxahachie ISD Public Relations Director Candace Ahlfinger wrote in response to questions asked about extracurricular activity facilities.

"We will not have specific costs until a bond is passed and all drawings and plans are made."

So, this is another case of you must pass it to find out what's in it? If this were a business proposal and I were to take the information from the bond proposal website to a banker or investors and ask them to invest, they would laugh in my face. Are taxpayers, the investors, any less worthy of more detailed information?

Where EXACTLY is your money going to be spent?

Residents shouldn't be required to go back and watch past meeting videos to see the ifs, buts and maybes. The WISD Board of Trustees should present the full details for public review on the bond proposal website.

Because of the lack of information, I can only feel that something isn't right here. The feeling I have is that the WISD Board of Trustees aren't confident the bond will pass if they were to release more information to the public.

I believe wholeheartedly in transparency. What I am seeing is a severe lack of transparency.

Therefore, until and unless the WISD Board of Trustees makes an honest effort to make information more readily available in a clear and concise way, I have no other choice than to urge Ellis County Citizen readers to vote AGAINST the $125 million WISD bond proposal.

If the bond proposal is truly about the kids, then the WISD Board of Trustees would do a much better job at letting parents know how their hard-earned money is going to be spent.

We expect a lot from our children, we expect more from their educators and we expect even more from the board that oversees our education system here in Waxahachie.

Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees, step up and do the right thing.

Residents, step up and demand the WISD Board of Trustees do the right thing. Demand answers.