Wednesday, August 22, 2007

As the Hatchet Swings, the Spending Bird Sings

Red Oak I.S.D. finally put out a listing for both the "Growth Management Committee" and the "Bond Oversight Committee". On the site, a statement regarding the membership of the Growth Management Committee purports that 'The public was invited to be part of this committee and our records indicate that the following people attended most or all of the meetings." I've never seen a public request for interested persons to ever be a part of this committee. Someone please correct me if I am wrong with an archive record, date, URL or whatever. I don't think it's there...I would have been there with "bells on".

Here's the list of the "Growth Management Committee". It reads like a who's-who of Bond proponents. Duh...that's what it was supposed to be right? I don't have a beef with the proponents, they won. I do have a beef with how this committee was selected and the lack of transparency (no records, no agendas, no meeting minutes, no nuttin' honey) in how business was transacted.

Ken Temple
Jon Hooper
Dawn Cronkright
Jackie Marcus
Sherry Doty
Nanette Paghi (the reference on the "for the kids" sign)
Bill Belote
B.J. Tucker
Michael Elrod
Ernie Martinek
Stephen Pape
John Keane
Michael Scott
Johnny Knight
Donna Knight
Ken Pfeifer (who dat?)
Charlie Morton
Ron Brown
Russ Schupmann-Operations Asst. Supt
Bobby Stults-Principal
John Anderson-Board VP
Dr. Mark Stanfill-Board member (his wife was in the picture in the newspaper)
John Hawkins-Board President

Now let's take a look at the Oversight Committee...see any familiar names?
Michael Scott
Johnny Knight
Jon Hooper
Ken Temple
Don Shields
Johnny Pearson
Wedsel Groom-lives down the street from me I think...
Joe Pitts
Renee Chase
Richard Lynch-isn't his wife on the Education Foundation?

It's sorta' like the fox watching the hen-house. It is also way too late to change any of the outcome but we now know who's accountable for the spending of our tax money for the next 30 years. Have you asked any of these people if they're really comfortable trying to provide oversight to a 95 Million dollar tax bill? I certainly wouldn't be and I'm in the edu-business. One should ask these folks if they really understand what it takes to build schools, build internal infrastructure and what they expect their role in the construction/bond oversight to be over time. These committees should be revolving so a larger cross-section of Red Oak taxpayers can lend their voice, their expertise and experience.

How 'bout it ROISD? I won't hold my breath to see any action other than to see more personnel cuts as you try to fund this expansion without raising taxes in the near term. Is this board actually going to listen to their voters and open up the process or remain a little town school district in which a select few make policy, spend massive sums and commit taxpayers to a 30 year tax and spend program. Make the decision and let me know....

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