Friday, October 28, 2011

Meaty Meet

The Trust Gap
Despite the Ranger’s World Series game Thursday night, we still had a pretty good turnout at the Wylie Tea Party meeting.  A lot of great topics were tossed around the table such as the WISD trustees, superintendent, bonds, taxes, constitutional amendments, and the next city council election.  The most important thing that came out of the meeting is that people are still ready for real change, whether that occurs at the federal, state, county or local levels is of little consequence. 

The main theme of the WISD presentation we received was that the superintendent is working on a way to finagle another bond without raising taxes.  He holds high hopes of getting that done through citizen trust.  That is a rather lofty goal so soon in his tenure.  Trust has to be earned and personally he does not have mine yet.  In my opinion, less than a handful of months on the job are simply not enough time to earn that sort of intimate level of trust. 

The Past is Past
As I reflect upon his background, I believe that from whence he came he was used to dealing with a district comprised of 80 odd percent of underprivileged students.  It’s not that the underprivileged don’t care as much about their students as everyone else, but most studies show they are less likely to be involved in their student’s education.  I would venture to say that a much larger percentage of Wylie parents are indeed involved, so the dynamics of how Dr. Vinson worked his magic in the past may not work here in the present.  One must hope he can recognize the vast differences between the underprivileged, and well, Collin County folk, and assimilate that successfully into his dealings.  Treating Wylie the same would be pathetic.  Only time will answer that question, so trust is out of my personal school-wallet equation at the moment.

Trust is a Funny Game
When talking about trust, I look to a person’s behavior to find my clues as to whether someone is trustworthy or not.  People are awesome at talking the talk, it is only when they walk the walk do I begin to believe in them. That said, there is something that has been bothering me about my very first conversation with Dr. Vinson at the Wylie Championship Rodeo.  He was a bit too touchy feely for my taste.  What I dealt with was a man who invaded my personal space, placed his face mere inches from mine while talking, held my shoulder and elbow, and squeezed my arm.  Yuck alert.

In ordinary discourse, behaviors can be used that show the individual that you are engaged and interested.  In fact, most people employ these techniques without even realizing they are doing it. There are an array of cues such as leaning in as you are listening, repeating what the person has said to you, and mirroring the other individual’s pose which puts people at ease and shows them you are interested in and listening to what they are saying.  Tactile engagement though is a bit tricky because you run the risk that people may view it as an unwanted advance.  For those schooled in this psychological tool, an aggressor can sometimes use these methods in an attempt to place oneself as the superior of that interaction. 

In TXun’s vast experience with nutty psychological games, I have one for you to experiment with.  Try invading someone’s personal space on an elevator and watch them get creeped out. My psych friends and I had a lot of fun creeping people out back in the day, but touch takes it to a whole new level and I’m not sure Dr. Vinson wishes to go there.  I have been known to employ a few space invader tricks in my day to handle these types of unwanted touches.  Frankly, I am thinking he is lucky TXun did not strap a saddle on him and seriously spur his ass about the touchy feely thing that night at the rodeo. 

As I did that night, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that by his touchy feelyness, he was interested in gaining my cooperation, advancing the idea of a bond, expressing the desire for a zero controversy zone in Wylie, and gaining total cooperation.  If that was indeed his desire, I am not sure he knows TXun well enough to think a little elbow rub would gain my unyielding acceptance and confidence in him nor should he expect to be my intellectual superior. 

The Ill in Illegal
Probably the most important topic brought up at last night’s meeting was that the district added 600 new students last year.  The question was asked just how many of those 600 are illegal immigrant children?   I believe we have the right to ask just how many illegal immigrant children reside in our district and receive free education.  We will not get that question answered though thanks to the failure of the proposed house bill requiring schools to record and report this information to make it through committee in Austin last session. School districts are not required to record or report that data, so it looks as though illegals are a protected class.  As a homeowner and taxpayer who is a citizen or here legally, if you allow yourself to think on that just a wee bit, it should make you very ill indeed.   

Let’s make a few assumptions off the top of our heads.  Of the 600 new students that were reported to enter the district last year alone, let’s say about 20% are in the reduced or free meal program.  Of course not every illegal is on the program but it is a start to figure this monstrosity out.  Of those, we cannot expect that everyone who is low income is here illegally so let’s say only 1% are illegal or children of illegal parents.  That is 6 students.  Let’s use the basis of $4000 to educate a student each year.  Those 6 illegal students are costing the district $24,000 a year.  Now extrapolate that out using the total number of students currently in WISD.  Scary, isn’t it?  I would bet the number of students here illegally is a bit more than the 1% I used to prove my point.  What if 10% are illegal?  Those 60 students require more than 2 classrooms per class per year.

It was also reported that according to WISD officials using current day population estimates, in 2017 we would need a new elementary school, shortly after that another Jr High and then the 3rd High School.  Even at 1/2% of our student population, can you imagine just how many students in Wylie are illegal?  Have we been building schools to accommodate the illegal immigrant growth too? You bet. 

From a fiscally responsible point of view, I am vehemently opposed to paying for a new school because we cannot get the illegal immigrant population under control. Bluntly put, I’m not interested in tossing out hard earned cash to pay for a school for illegals.  I don’t think Wylie wants to perpetuate the image of an illegal immigrant sanctuary city, because that would be a travesty. 

Opaque Transparency?
The final topic discussed was transparency.  The city council has come about as clean as can be expected, it is high time the school board does the same.  Interestingly enough, a quote was made in Wednesday’s article in the Wylie News from Trustee Tom Westhora how, “school belongs to the people” and I translate that into meaning the school board who governs the schools also belongs to the people.  It should, because we voted the trustees in.  Westhora was talking about the imposed dress code and since he wasn’t living in the state of Texas when the school board implemented that little ditty as they arrogantly refused to put it up for a public vote, I will give Westhora a pass.   That old board was historically Fuller’s board and not the people’s board.  

As we discuss transparency further, I heard that Trustee Barbara Goss championed getting the budget on the website but it’s not easy to find anymore.  It used to be on the sidebar but now you have to search the finance department page to locate it.  I would venture to say they can do better than that.  The website needs to have easily accessible information that an average person with average computer and internet skills might reasonably be expected to locate.  If you have ever tried to find information on their website such as a detailed agenda (not the generic one they publish), and meeting minutes, or even recorded MP3s then you know what I am talking about.  The week school started, I would have defied you to locate the bell schedule. 

Since the website fails the TXun transparency test, might I suggest the highly coveted ‘trust level’ that Dr. Vinson and trustees seek from citizens would improve greatly with A LOT more transparency.  That would be a first step.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Injustice in Triplicate

A child is dead at the hands of his mother.  I heard about this sad event moments before I made my way to the final Wylie Pirate home game last Friday night.  I was shocked at the cowardess of a mother to take away the life of her own flesh and blood.  What kind of monster does that?

Sitting in the stadium for the last home game of the World Series on Monday night, I found out the child was the son of past WEHS teacher Rodney McCall.  I could only think, “How truly tragic.” Okay, so I also selfishly thought, “What is it with me and final home games?”

Today I received this week’s edition of The Wylie News and the headline reads, Tibbals Elementary student killed by mother.  In TXun that does not compute.  What makes more sense to me is, Abject failure of a human being tragically kills her son and then removes her useless ass from the face of this earth.  My heart aches for Mr. McCall and I send big puffy hearts of healing his way.

It takes a lot to piss me off, but this incident did it in triplicate because I can only think about all of the injustices done to Mr. McCall.  How in God’s name does he move on after this?  Is there something this community can do for the man?  How do we reach out and heal together?  I have some ideas.

Last November my son came home from school and told me that his former Social Studies teacher, Mr. McCall, was arrested for indecency with a child.  We were stunned and frankly, after we read the article in the newspaper we didn’t believe it.  My son said, “I don’t see that.  That’s not the Mr. McCall I know.  He was always talking about his son.”   I just showed my son the newspaper article today and he was deeply saddened that Mr. McCall has now not only lost his wife, and lost his job, but he has also lost his son as well.  He recalled how Mr. McCall showed the class a picture of his son and wife during the first week in his class.  Deceit lives under a veil of secrecy.  This is not the action of a man who wishes to harm his child. 

The article in The Wylie News
The November 17, 2010 Wylie News article stated “McCall has been suspended from his teaching position until the issue is resolved, WISD spokesperson Susan Dacus said. “He is on administrative leave; we are following the usual district procedures. When an accusation is made, the district’s process is to place an individual on leave and wait for the police or CPS investigation report and court action,” she said.”  Though shocked, I could certainly see erring on the side of student safety. Though I wish we never had to deal with these types of problems, this was and is the only policy we could take in these instances. 

My shock turned to anger and dismay on November 23, 2010 when I read The Wylie News article WISD Takes Steps to Fire East Teacher.  In the article, McCalls attorney Philips said, “the charges brought against McCall are nothing more than “an allegation brought by a woman who is about to lose custody of her children.” McCall and his wife have divorced; they have a 6-year-old child. She [McCall’s wife] has a Ph.D. in criminal justice, a master’s degree in psychology and three years as a police officer,” Philips said. “She knows how to manipulate the legal system.”

 I was angry because the trustees were taking the chicken crap way out.  Clearly Rodney McCall was being scammed by a conniving woman.  I was also angry because I knew what everyone else who read that article knew and it was that Rodney McCall was an unwitting victim of a vicious bitch who would stop at nothing to keep her son and harm her estranged husband.  Yup, we were pretty much right on that one.

How does a community help?  Let me count the injustices.

Injustice One
I am not certain of the final outcome in the case against Mr. McCall with regard to the molestation accusation his tosser of a wife made, but I would think the fact that he was about to get full custody back of his son means that he must have been cleared.  Then too, there is this heinous act of his ex-wife that sort of clears him of any wrong-doing by proxy.  How can we help this man?  We can come together and support him with our words and our deeds.

Injustice Two
Mr. McCall was ‘fired’ from his job with WISD.  Okay, okay, they can call it what they like, but our wise and wonderful trustees moved to rid the district of him quicker than you can swat a mosquito sucking the blood out of your arm.  The article in the Wylie News stated, “A letter from Fuller to McCall had, however, been hand delivered prior to the meeting, notifying him of the board’s intent to move forward with his termination.”  Fuller went on to state, “I have determined that I believe good cause exists for you as a board to look at this teacher’s employment,”.  Finally Fuller told the school board, “I propose you consider termination.”  I think most intelligent people would agree that terminate = fired.

The Wylie News article continued, "Following the executive session, Trustee Stacie Gooch made the motion for “non-renewal of contract” for McCall; Trustee Lance Goff seconded. By a vote of six to one, the trustees voted to move forward with the hearing. Trustee Ronni Fetzer was the lone dissenting vote."  You go Ronni.  Gooch and friends; non-renewal?  Nice spin.  Hows about we non-renew Gooch et al. next November?  Does that sound just as pleasant of an outcome?

Oh goodie, so the trustees get to wash the blood from their hands with their little politically correct semantic spin.  They conveniently call it a resignation.  Whatever (insert big eyeball rolley emoticon here) it was a lynching and a firing and they certainly didn’t let the grass grow under their feet, nor did they wait to see the final outcome of the police investigation. 

A reasonable person could see Rodney McCall was being set up by his estranged wife, and now by the WISD Board of Education.  The least the board could have done was move him to an administration position.  Hells, they moved that convicted liar Merrill Young to a paraprofessional position when he was convicted of and is currently serving probation for lying about having a college degree and illegally secured a teaching position in WISD.  If the trustees could slide him a hall pass and help that SOB out they clearly have other options they could have taken with Mr. McCall.  Okay, so I’m being a little hard on Mr. Young because he is a nice man but he was a bad, bad boy. 

No pass was given for Mr. McCall; he was fired.  YES FIRED. We need to stop artificially attempting to make ourselves feel better about playing so dirty by covering it up with sweet little phrases.  The firing was a disgusting spectacle the trustees played out as quickly as they might so they could remove all guilt by association. 

How do we move forward and heal?  Everyone makes mistakes, and clearly the WISD trustees did as well.  They can correct their mistake by moving to hire McCall back into the district post haste.  Even if he were to get a paraprofessional or administrative position until a teaching position came available, the man deserves to have this wrong righted. 

I can hear it now, the naysayers would claim the district can’t afford it.  Uh, I think they can figure it out.  The naysayers might claim he will be mentally unstable after losing his son so tragically.  Uh, I think they should ask him for his opinion rather than make assumptions.  The naysayers might claim they don’t want any bad publicity for the district.  Uh, I think many people, including myself can give the trustees and Super all sorts of bad publicity over this, especially if they resist re-hiring Mr. McCall.  An opportunity exists for the WISD Board of Education to show some real gumption and stand shoulder to shoulder with the community in helping to lift up one of our fallen.

Injustice Three
This man has lost his only son.  In the general scheme of evolution, no parent is supposed to outlive their child.  What can we do to help him?  Stand with Mayor Eric Hogue as he announced, “the formation of an account at American National Bank to aid Mr. McCall.”    Hogue urged citizens to help him, “with the financial needs he will have in the coming days and weeks as he buries his little boy.”  We can open our hearts and open our pocketbooks and though we will never make it entirely right, we can certainly correct some wrongs.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Four Letter Word - Updated

I just received two conflicting reports on the last WISD workshop regarding the particular needs at each school.  According to the WISD Trustees, it would seem all is well in the world of ISD and they are looking into refinancing their current bonds in order to eek out funds needed for the necessary school modifications.  In light of this, they are saying they will not have to bring that nasty four letter word, B-O-N-D, around again any time soon.

Initially I was glad they were looking into other means, because my conversation with Dr. Vinson left me with serious cause for pause.  This new slick marketing scheme that is being put out in ISD Land will certainly make taxpayers rest a bit easier.  Or will it?

My understanding of the bonds is that refinancing them will not enable the district to finish out Wylie East as they cannot take those bond funds and use them where they choose.  From what I can tell, East is the true catalyst for all this bond discussion and the bonds being refinanced were very specific in what the funds could be used for.

This conflicting information is worrisome because the last thing Dr. Vinson and crew need is a black eye from bringing another bond up for vote so if they can get by with refinancing, which would be the responsible path they should have considered first rather than immediately thinking to tap taxpayers, they should be able to make headway literally and figuratively. Their next step then should be to look to the budget and see where further cuts can be made, because cuts can ALWAYS be made.  I would think taxpayers would rather not get the rumored tax cut if they think a bond would come around afterwards just to sweep back in and take the money back.  If they think they can give taxpayers a taxbreak, then they most certainly can finagle some budget changes instead. 

However if Trustees use refinanced funds to make the needed repairs to the other schools and come back to us with a bond to finish out Wylie East, then the dirty bond word is still of some grave concern. 

I am not sure we are getting the whole story here.  I think moreover we are getting the picture WISD Trustees wish to paint for us in hopes people will not continue to question their decisions. From some of the information I am being given, clearly they don't like being questioned.

Let us hope they will continue on the path of least taxpayer resistance because at the moment, that would be the least caustic tactic.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Paying For It

My health insurance premium is going up over 26% in January. I bet if you check with your employers, they are facing the same crisis.  According to Aetna, healthcare costs in Texas will increase between 9-26% thanks to Obamacare and the astronomical increase of Medicaid recipients. 
Do you know it is cheaper for employers to pay the $2000 fine per employee and not offer health insurance each year?  
Locally we have two city council members (Byboth & Spillyards) who wanted to give a permanent 2% wage increase to city employees.  We had 2 city council members (Mayor Hogue & White) who wanted to take money from the rainy day fund to give 2% bonuses.  Ultimately we had all 7 members vote to give the 2% bonuses from the contingency fund.
We have a school board and brand new superintendent kicking around the idea of asking for another bond.  In order to sneak it through, they want to give us a tax decrease first, then should we approve the bond our taxes will go back up.  These are bait and switch tactics designed to make you part with your already dwindling cash.
Someone has to pay for it all.  
It is time to remove the snakes from office.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Retail Therapy

Everyone wants to know what all that new construction on 544 in Murphy is.  Here is a list of new places to visit:

Murphy Marketplace is getting:
Einstein Bros Bagles with a drive thru window, Chipotle, Super Cuts, and CiCi's Pizza

Next to the Walmart Marketplace behind Chase bank:
Orchard Park Assisted Living and Alzheimer's Community

Next to Sonic
Walmart Supercenter

Behind Christian Bros. Auto
Medical offices


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tax Suckers

I had a fantastic clinical psychology professor at San Diego State University many years ago who beat into our heads that statistics are a lie.  I found that to be an interesting statement considering statistics are everywhere around us and more particularly because psychologists love to spout off facts and figures.  I mean, that was why we were there, wasn't it? 

We hear about them with political polls, we hear about them with clinical trials.  Statistical data seem to rule every aspect of our lives.  We get annual mamograms, cancer screenings, and colonoscopies based upon 'stastical evidence' but that 'evidence' is continually changed and now annual mamograms have had the cabosh put on them and they are now recommended every three years.  Things once thought to be bad for you such as drinking wine and eating  chocolate, are now good for you.  I am solidly convinced that all stastics do is keep people busy while they inhabit this earth in a frenzy called living.



Here is a prime example of why my professor made that derogatory statement about statistics:

Taken from the Collin County Observer:  http://www.baumbach.org/b2evolution/blogs/index.php



Permalink 01:57:57 am, by bill Email , 267 words,   English (US)
Categories: Observer Opinions, Indigent Healthcare, Poverty

Affluent Collin County has poverty?

A few eye-opening Collin County facts:

  • 63,370 people who are below the poverty level in the county. (0.81%), 2010 census
  • 122,964 have no health insurance (15.6%), 2010 census
  • 10.2% of our children under 18 live in poverty, 2010 census
  • 7.7% are unemployed (August, 2011)

Of those numbers reported, how many are actually illegal immigrants?  You see, the official census is designed to find out exactly how many people actually reside in a specific territory.  Yes, they even count illegal immigrants.  That's why they hire people to knock on doors and count, because they know many illegals are too afraid to respond to the questionnaire. 

As we apply the lie of statistics, since the numbers in the article above include illegals, then the numbers reported are distorted.  With regard to picking up the humanity cross and carrying it overhead as a beacon, liberals tend to take these numbers and roll with them like a banshee on fire wearing roller skates.  I would have preferred to see a breakdown of those legally entitled to health insurance and jobs that fall below the poverty level, are uninsured, and unemployed versus those who are here illegally who fall below the poverty level, are uninsured, and unemployed.

That data would be more meaningful in a discussion about the indigent of Collin County. 


If I apply this logic to the current presidential race, it would explain why Texas Governor Rick Perry seems to look like a babbling doofus every time he is attacked over the number of uninsured or unemployed in this state.  Doh!  Border states are afflicted with a unique burden.  Not that I am supporting Perry, but this is a relevant response he and his advisers completely overlook every time he is attacked. It seems nobody really wants to have THAT discussion.


The number of illegals is a very relevant discussion that needs to be addressed within our own community very soon because our taxes do indeed pay for the illegals living in and attending schools in Wylie. This topic has been heating up all across the country and at last check about half of the states were drafting or seeking to draft legislation dealing with this issue.

I am not suggesting that we should be inhumane and overlook, ignore, and refuse to provide emergency services to those that are here illegally because that would be inhumane.  Instead, given the enormity of the problem, when facts and figures are discussed or written in articles and when school and city budgets are set, it might be time to add a new dimension to the discussion by breaking out those that are here illegally, sucking the tax dollars out of the system, and breaking the law by doing so.

Monday, October 17, 2011

WISDs Tragic Aria

Is it me, or are others beginning to feel as though our Wylie ISD School Board and the new Superintendent Dr. Vinson are just an aria looking for a tragedy? 

Can someone out there explain to me why our school board is putting out feelers regarding another bond request?  Are they out of their ever-loving, flaming minds?

Luckily, the board will have some time to rethink this stance since they changed their election times thanks to the infinite wisdom of our State Legislature who passed SB100 requiring local municipalities move their elections around in order to comply with some new requirements.  The trustees will not connive to get a bond on May’s ballot, but I would bet my bottom dollar the sun will come up on it next November, along with a couple important board seats, namely Gooch, Goss, and Goff. 

If the WISD school board puts out a bond request so soon after the triplicate bond comedy of errors we recently dealt with, I predict that comedy that nobody in Wylie found amusing will soon turn into a tragedy.  As a result, I can only hope that as the seats come up for re-election, the fine citizens of Wylie will yet again make their point known by voting the trustees off the board one by one, or thanks to that state bill three by four after their newly appointed 4-year terms are up.

Below is the Agenda posted on the website by the WISD Board of Education:

A G E N D A

Special Called Board Meeting – Monday, October 17, 2011 – 7:00 P.M.


ESC Learning Center
951 South Ballard
Wylie, Texas


A. Call to Order
Roll Call, Establishment of Quorum


B. Board Work Session


C. Adjournment


No action will be taken.


Though the agenda listed above does not state what the “workshop” is about, I caught wind it will cover bond discussion.

Wylie citizens will no longer put up with being muscled and I strongly believe that the majority of voters in Wylie will tell this school board to take their aria on bonds and shove it, and then show it a slow and painful death only Shakespeare could be proud of.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Comfy Cozy

I am still in the process of analyzing the city council phone bills I received but I wanted to report something I found that might be a bit noteworthy.  

Throughout the month of May 2011, there were highly controversial activities taking place around the following important dates:

May 10, 2011 the city council placed commission and board panel selection on the city council agenda making it look like they wanted to set the 3 council member panel prior to final outcome of the city council elections to be held merely 4 days later.

Calls between Mayor Eric Hogue and Alicia White:
Call on 5.7.11 for 28 minutes
2 calls on 5.11.11 for total of 17 minutes
2 calls on 5.12.11 for a total of 20 minutes

May 14, 2011 Election Day

Calls between Mayor Eric Hogue and Alicia White:
Call on 5.14.11 for 1 minute
Call on 5.15.11 for 38 minutes
2 calls on 5.16.11 for 8 minutes


May 24, 2011 final panel vote on the three city council members who would select the commission and board members.

I received these bills from Rick White but was not provided with these bills by the city for Mayor Hogue and some other council members even though they were part of my original request so I have asked for them again.  According to Rick White's bills, he called 911 Designs, Alicia White just as soon as the city council meeting was over.


Surrounding these important dates, an increase in calls were made to or received from 911 Designs which is owned by Alicia White, also an administrator of the Wylie View.

I suggest that the calls in question belong to Alicia White, because she is listed as the principal owner of 911 Designs and because other calls exist in some of those time frames between Mayor Eric Hogue and Councilman Rick White from his cell phone so the supposition is that there were two different people conversing with Mayor Hogue in these time frames.

I find this a bit disconcerting because Alicia White is married to Councilman Rick White and I cannot help but wonder who exactly is in charge of that relationship.  When I posted some negative comments about Rick White's lack of campaigning, in response to my posts Alicia White verbally attacked me on the Wylie View.  At that time I questioned her integrity and suddenly all her known Wylie View bully-playmates began to verbally attack me as well.  

Mayor Hogue is tossed into the phone call mix and I grow more concerned about those discussions and how they might affect the outcome of the decision-making process with Councilman Rick White.

More analysis to be forthcoming on this new development.

Friday, October 14, 2011

James Bond Has Nothing On This Bond


Several weeks ago I blogged about meeting the new Wylie ISD Superintendent, David Vinson, at the Wylie Championship Rodeo. Interestingly enough, he asked if he had met me before.  I told him no.  I had my suspicions he had already been warned of my blog and that is where he “saw” me. 

Dr. Vinson and I had a great chat about our conservative values.  He gave me the usual head cheerleader high kick and back handspring that I would expect from a Super over his new job and the vision he brings to Wylie.  To be honest, he didn’t have to sell me because I had already heard about his vetting process and was told he thinks outside of the box and that he was nothing like Fuller and that was good enough for me.  However if thinking outside of the box means he is a progressive thinker, then I don’t have a problem with that as long as progressive doesn’t lead to more liberal plans.  He told me he was a conservative and for now I will have to take his word on this.

As our discussion progressed, Dr. Vinson brought up the possibility of bonds in our near future.  Discussion was made about how Wylie East needs to be finished out now.  Though I agree it is time to finish it out, I believe the fight Dr. Vinson will have ahead of him to accomplish this task is the unfortunate bond legacy that Dr. Fuller left behind.  That legacy includes a caravan of shame where citizens were traipsed through the older schools in the district and shown broken doors, rusty lockers, and an array of items that should have been covered under routine maintenance.  Fuller’s shock value was designed to gain citizen sympathy and support, but it backfired on him and citizens became outraged over what led up to it. 

Personally I was outraged at the inequality between the newer schools and the older schools and how Fuller and board left those older schools to simply fall away at the seams.  Had Fuller and the good old boys and girls on the WISD Board of Education actually taken care of business and worked the maintenance and repairs into their budget by cutting some fat, the older schools would not have been left in such bare thread shape.  Instead, Fuller and his posse of bobble-heads who nodded yes in agreement with anything Fuller wanted kept on keeping on with their spending, and so the original schools were fairly ignored for years.  It was an absolute disgrace that perpetuated a have vs. have not mentality within Wylie.  Now the Wylie East parents still feel a bit like the ugly red-headed step children because their school has been left unfinished and wants are turning quickly into needs with every new grade that enters.   

How did we get here?  Bonds wrapped up in pretty packaging that were rejected by the voters were repacked and re-gifted over and over again.  Just how many times do bonds need to come back to the citizens written, re-written, and re-worded asking for the same thing before the State Board of Education needs to be contacted for an investigation?  Fuller and crew’s insistence that the taxpayers fork over more and more while they kept handing us the rope in hopes we would not notice, was truly the last straw for me.  Though I happily voted yes for every bond prior to this triplicate tryst, in the last three go-arounds I was sadly over it.   Unfortunately, Dr. Vinson has inherited years of budget mismanagement and overspending and we can thank the old school board for repeatedly raping the taxpayer’s pocketbooks and making WISD one of the higher tax rates in Collin County. 

Now Dr. Vinson wishes to come at us with another bond.  Pull out your TUMS folks, because this could get distasteful. 

How do I say this politely?  Vinson’s desire for another bond at the moment is just plain nutsy cuckoo.  If the citizens of Wylie get their first real toe wetting with Dr. Vinson by him coughing out a bond request, that would be truly devastating for his reputation and leave the taxpayers with a bad case of déjà vu.  Realizing the predicament of the current board and our new Superintendent is not their own doing, strike that, perhaps there are 1 or 2 long timers still on the board who we can continue to blame for the past bond debacles, I believe it would be suicidal to Vinson’s reputation to try to tap taxpayers pocketbooks right now, especially in this unstable economy. 

People are struggling and though they love their children, love their schools, and love their community, to play on that love would be like a cougar spotting prey.  People simply don’t have the funds to part with at the moment and asking them to approve a bond and thereby approve their taxes be raised yet again is one for the loony bin at Bellevue.  Yes, our old bobble-head school board might actually morph into something much worse if they pursue bond discussion right now. I can just see the “One School” crowd who stabbed their “No Bond” signs everywhere having a field day in the near future. 

The water is tepid at best, but not all is lost.  I firmly believe that if the school board and Dr. Vinson can cool their jets until after the presidential election, the response might be better and they just might have a chance of getting the citizens to loosen those purse strings. I hope they will see sense and not cents in this issue.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Observations from the Soapbox

As I spoke with someone last week, I made the prediction that former Wylie City Councilman Carter Porter would be campaigning soon in order to get his seat back on the city council.  Last May, Councilwoman Diane Culver unseated the poor sap.

It was no surprise when I arrived at the city council meeting last night that I saw Carter Porter sitting off to the side like Joe Cool with his mirrored aviator shades on.  Wow, was he afraid his fans were going to mob him?  Oh yes, one Pepe le Pewesque former council candidate Gilbert Tamez ran to him like a dog, well, um, like a skunk in heat.  Oh, but not before waving to me first.  I suppose he wanted to let me know, “Lookie who’s here!”  Then again, I will give Mr. Tamez the benefit of the doubt because we have chatted politely before and he seems to be a nice man, so perhaps he was just waving to me to be nice.

Nothing against Tamez, however he did make an unsuccessful run for city council before. Someone once mentioned to me that the only thing Tamez was missing was a sombrero and poncho.  Wow.  What a stereotype. I never quite saw him that way, but in my opinion council material he is not.  He is rumored to be a liberal and the last thing we need sitting on council is another liberal.  But hey, at least he is not walking around like a conservative in drag as we have with a couple of the other council members.  With Tamez, I believe what you see is pretty much what you get.  Jose Average.

As soon as people began filing in to the meeting, the sport coat laden Porter jumped up like a used car salesman and began his slick schmoozing shtick.  Say that real fast 5 times. 

I guess people might make the assumption that he was there in support of his pals in the police and fire departments who were getting awards from the Sons of the American Revolution. That is one group I can truly say I am uninterested in when it comes to that old cliché about men in uniforms. The only thing they were missing was the powdered wigs.  Despite that, it was a beautiful ceremony but I was sad my favorite Po Po man who always cheerfully stands in the back of the room did not get any awards. Shame, he seems like such a nice guy.  I was happy to see Officer Willis get an award because my son absolutely loved her at McMillan, but I digress.

I would venture to stab westward and say Porter was there to feel out the crowd for another run for council.  This truly puts me in all sorts of discombobulation. 

There is an element of followers who think I would be good for the council and they continue to harangue me to run.  Oh I can see it now; Mayor Hogue would have a coronary or possibly need to launder his boxers as a run by me for city council would bring him all sorts of intestinal distress.  In fact, I’m pretty certain I am already giving him a tiny bit of heartburn. 

I have had people say they will get a packet and fill it out with my name on it and even get the signatures.  I have some people who want me to get a packet just for giggles because the faux eye-browed Carol Ehrlich will hardly be able to contain herself, and the sheer speed of the gossipy call to Mayor Hogue would be noteworthy if not truly epic.

The last time Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth and I spoke, he said I should run for his seat on the city council.  Well there’s a novel idea. Can you imagine the look of surprise on Byboth’s pal, Councilwoman Kathy Spillyards' face?  I think it would be far superior to the look of perpetual surprise she had on her face last night from what I can only think was a Botox job or God knows what else.  Who am I to cast aspersions though?  I certainly enjoy my own makeup and Retin-A, but damn Kathy, you are a nice looking woman and you don’t need that other stuff. 

In light of the numerous requests I felt it only right to kick around the idea of a run for city council.  In a cursory family meeting about this topic, my famdamily said they would happily support it.  Well guys, that’s awfully sweet, but I still believe the best seat in the house for me is in the hot seat.  I may not be popular with certain members of the community, (you know who you are Library Lady with the hateful looks) but I’m not here to make bffs with anyone.  I’m here to keep the honesty flowing.  So I’m pretty sure I will continue to get nasty looks from certain people, but I chalk it up to ignorance on their part and I will continue to pat myself on the back because I must be doing something right in order to have opened up new thought avenues among the players in the city.  Hey, the Superintendent wouldn’t swap cell phone numbers with me and broach the topic of bonds (yes again) with me if he didn’t realize how poorly that could play out on my blog and within the community.  Another blog will be forthcoming on that discussion however, but I digress yet again.

Red Byboth told me, in one of those moments of wisdom that can only come from the bottom of a good bottle of beer or two, that people who are critical of the council should walk in council’s shoes.  As far as I can agree with that statement, I vehemently believe that if I were to run for council, there would be nobody willing to take my place as the blog girl, as I am commonly referred to (you know who you are).  This is probably the largest reason I don’t care to run for the council.

Also in my conversation with Byboth, he told me he was over his stint on the city council and though he would not resign because he owed his supporters the completion of his term, he was ready for it to end.  Frankly I agree that Red’s time has come, because it seems his business and the poor economy are getting in the way of his ability to serve the community in the way I think he wants to serve. He said he wanted someone intelligent and who cares about Wylie to run for his seat so he can happily go pursue his lifelong dream (don’t look to me for gossip about that because I will not be blogging about his personal business).  Though I am flattered Red finds me a formidable candidate, what I really think he hopes for is that if I were to toss my hat into the ring, his pal Carter Porter would run against me or against Bennie in order to keep the old red tide on that council.  Like a red tide at night, as thrillingly bioluminescent as Byboth may be, I think we can do better without.

However out of the other side of his face, Red also told me that if some moron who never attends council meetings steps up to run for his seat, then he will stay and run again.  I find this highly disconcerting because he has already missed 3 meetings since January due to his business (having missed last night’s meeting also), and he has already been caught numerous times texting during meetings, mostly due to his business.  Red is all sorts of fantastic as a citizen and a bar-mate, but as a councilman I think he needs to move on and get his sweet little self in order.

Since many people have approached me to run for council it begs to be asked, who is going to step up in my place and keep the council and candidates honest?  I don’t see anyone nipping at my heels so it is here I will remain.

While I’m posting these thoughts, I should also ask what makes a good council candidate?  Who is going to actually take the time to show up at meetings, learn a little something something and make the run?  So often I have people call me or write to me and tell me they want to run for city council or the school board.  My first response is always, “Show up for every meeting from here on out.”  Why do I say that?  Because it shows me as well as the community that the person who wishes to run is truly serious about it.  I think it is important for someone who wishes to run for council to know what exactly is taking place in those meetings.  One can learn a tremendous amount by observing the dynamics and relationships.  One can also prove themselves worthy by sitting in that audience and learning how things work for a year before they sign up, and more importantly before they speak up (which was the downfall of Mr. Dunn).  Sitting in at three council meetings does not a council member make, nor does it show you are serious. You have to learn to walk before you can run.

This notion then leaves me with the routine cast of characters sitting in city hall for council meetings month after month:  Library Ladies (oh hells no), Gilbert Tamez (oh dear), me (a card carrying conservative), Bill Baumbach (a card carrying liberal).  Will Carter Porter be joining us in the audience now?  That remains to be seen, but I have my suspicions about his appearance last night.

Could I have a meeting of the minds with Porter?  Possibly.  He claims to be a fiscal conservative, and he did try to push that stance at the February retreat when he complained about the travel portion of the budget.  He claimed that travel should be reduced as a measure of cost savings.  Though such a cut is a conservative idea, I am suspicious of that stance due to the reasoning behind it.  It appeared the underlying attack being made was against Councilman David Goss and Councilman Bennie Jones and some of the travel they did on the city dime.  Travel expense is in the budget because our leaders should further educate themselves.  However at the February retreat, Porter stated that his job was not to educate himself, it was to sit up there and vote.  Wow, now those are some words of wisdom to write on your steamy mirror at home after a shower.  My assessment of Carter’s discussion at that retreat was that it was more about who was hitting those funds up vs. who was not, than it was about actually attempting to cut the budget.

Why exactly am I on my soapbox about Carter Porter’s attendance at last night’s meeting?  He certainly has a right to show up as he pleases.  I suppose it is because I have election time on my mind and May is simply not that far away when time whizzes past the holidays.  I am highly concerned in moving forward as a city when we continue to have good old boys running the show.  I don’t think Wylie needs the same old cast of characters slipping in and out of seats and dragging the same old garbage bag along behind them.  I believe we need new blood. 

To back that statement up, I can point to the fact that people were very upset about Superintendent Fuller and the WISD school board, and the ramming of bonds down our throat in packaged and repackaged form over and over again.  The community seems thrilled that we finally voted the good old boys and girls out of the school board and what remains seems to be a good mix of minds.  I believe it is time to do the same with the city council.  It is time for the good old boys and girl like Spillyards, White, Porter, and Byboth to be removed and for some new blood to be instilled.  Because of this I dislike the idea of Carter Porter campaigning in October because he didn’t campaign in March and April and he lost his seat. We said Sayonara to Porter. I don’t think we need him back.

Is there anyone out there who is willing to do the work and put forth the effort into running for the council, or is everyone so fat and happy they are just fine with status quo, sustained spending, increased debt to pay for fire equipment and a 4th firehouse, the possibility of increased taxes to pay for it all, and all sorts of internal bickering and muscling?  Can we truly afford this and make it into 2014 without bouncing and skidding out of control?   At this point I’m not certain, but I can say that voting the old hats back on the council will definitely not do the trick.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time.