Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Not in MY Backyard-OOPS-It IS in my Backyard

Just found out tonight that ROISD is making an offer for the 100+ acres behind our place near the existing high school. The borders of the new school will be Hwy 342 on the west, Lowrance to the east and butt up to the additions to the south and to our addition (Goodloe Acres) to the north.

The district had not made any neighborhood inquiries to property owners as to the impact upon lifestyle, property values, environmental concerns such as noise, ambient light, or the need for improved security if this complex was built.

It's right square in the middle of three existing home additions. It's all about getting property cheap rather than being a good neighbor, asking for input before closing on the property.

I'm going to have to disagree with Mayor Alan Hugley on this one and ask him would HE be OK with a high school in HIS backyard on Stainback? I don't think the "Stainback folks" would tolerate this very well. That's not why folks live in that neighborhood. The question put to me tonight was "if not a school then what would go there?" I'm leaning toward more residential properties to shore up my property values. ROISD should go ahead and purchase all the properties on Pierce and expand the campus to the larger (improved) outlet to 342. Pierce will BE the outlet anyway.

We'll see how this pans out and how folks on the west side react to the news...the high school was to be built to answer some of the current transportation issues. There was a vocal group that backed the bond to the hilt. I guess they're breathing a little easier; the new construction could have been in THEIR backyard.

The property in question is less expensive than the property on the west side that was being considered. Also the housing market in Red Oak has gone south and it was probably past time for the developer to unload the project and cut his losses.

I'm thinking this may be a hot tamale pretty soon as the district had not discussed, sent any announcements or made light to the area residents that this was to be done in their backyards.

This is business as usual for ROISD. Hopefully neighborhood leadership will come together and let's take a balanced look at this proposal. It's going to happen. It's way out of our hands as taxpayers. The press release has been sent to the print rags. I'm getting my property ready by planting lots of rose bushes, large evergreens and a privacy fence along the back end of my property. I moved to Red Oak to get away from this in Dallas... But you know...it's for the kids. We just have to pay the freaking' tax bill right? For the next 30 years!

Get ready. The next school may be in YOUR backyard and you'll hear nothing about it except after the deal has been made, the property closed on and construction begun.

It's time for some fresh blood on the ROISD School Board to start asking hard questions from the Superintendent and his leadership team. Apparently the Board didn't see the forest for the trees AGAIN. They failed miserably to poll their constituents before acting. It's time that the Board represented a cross section of the stakeholders instead of the multi-term members that have raised taxes, brought another 95 million dollars of long term debt and didn't have the courtesy to inform the very people that fund these boondoggles. And we're expected to LIKE it right because it's for the kids?

Time for some changes folks....anyone ready to throw their hat into the ring?


Jonathan Blundell said...

While I'm not one who would want a school in my backyard either... it appears that according to the city, they're looking for mixed use zoning across the city.
Which makes me even happier that we bought a home in the middle of a neighborhood rather than on the outer limits of one.


Ellis Taxpayers (TAGG) said...

Steve, aren't school districts even prohibited from revealing the potential locations of campuses? Imagine if they were allowed to do that, just imagine the land prices then.

But you've got legitimate concerns.

I for one will be ticked if you don't file for school board next year.

Steve Miller said...

I don't know but I'll find out. If they are, why did the public (selected persons with whom I spoke briefly) know in advance? Stupid question that illustrates the obvious but begs the question pretty well eh?

I'm considering doing just that. Am definitely qualified except in the popularity department. I'm sorta' like you now...painted as a trouble-maker, "hater" (whatever that means), and a non-supporter of the district and its programs. That part may be true when the district laps up as much tax income as possible and begs for more in the form of a 95 million dollar bond; then, continually reduces it's workforce to pay for the indebtedness. Yeah...you might say I don't support THAT! I heard from a current ROISD employee that more reduction in force actions were coming. This will impact instructional areas this time and oh yeah...I forgot...isn't instruction FOR the kids?

I'd like to do some pokin' around and explore the options this fall/winter before picking up a packet.

I don't know if Red Oak is ready for TWO teachers on the board. I've heard that a majority of teachers living in the district want changes at the board and administrative level.

It may be time. What do y'all think? Think I've stepped in the manure once too many times to get elected?