The Sound of Music and Cleats

In a perfect world, I would be singing like Julie Andrews and here would be a list of a few of my favorite things:

Raises for all city employees
Hiring more police officers
A hug from Mayor where the hatchet is buried, and I don’t mean in either of our backs
A Code of Ethics passed and adhered to
No low-income housing is needed
The schools are outfitted with the most up to date technology and equipment ever
We get a city council consisting of real professionals who look, talk, and act the part
There are no more murders in Wylie
I can eat as many Peanut M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as I want and not find them permanently adding to my ass mass
Lake Lavon fills with water, the Zebra Mussels die a slow and painful death, and tournaments and races return to our lake
Our retail tax cup runneth over ridiculously reducing our tax burden
Macy’s closes up shop in Garland and moves to Wylie so I can die happy
Parks & Rec gets the most boffo master trails ever throughout Wylie
I can close this blog and spend my time reading, drawing, traveling, making a crapload of money, drinking heavily, and making out with my s/o

This is not to be however.  At least not at the moment because I received an email from WISD regarding a bond proposal just approved by our trustees.  Here goes tonight’s make out session with the hubs.  Damn.

From the Wylie ISD Community Newsletter 2.23.12:

The WISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $21,125,000 bond package and called for a May 12 election for new construction and renovation at both high school campuses. If passed, this proposal will not raise school property taxes. The action came during the regular Board meeting on February 20.

The district has conducted detailed facilities needs assessments at both high schools and reduced the number of proposed items to just those that meet the most immediate needs. These items include:

At Wylie East:
•            Finish out second floor classrooms
•            Additional career and technology classrooms
•            Cafeteria expansion
•            Band hall expansion
•            Dressing rooms and field house
•            Artificial turf
•            Addition gym space
•            Weight room

At Wylie High:
•            Science lab renovations
•            Dressing room space

Early voting begins April 30 and ends May 8. Election Day is Saturday, May 12 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All voting will take place at the WISD Educational Service Center (Administration Building), 951 S. Ballard Street. For more information on the bond, visit
www.wylieisd.net.

 
In an ideal world where Julie Andrews swirls her skirt and petticoat and sings high atop a mountain, I suppose that we should vote yes for this bond because they say it will not negatively impact our taxes, yet something stinks in Austria.  It seems to me the school board members are like the cutesy von Trapp family children singing their So Long, Farewell song as they try to hide what is really about to take place behind the scenes.  Could it be?  Is this a bait and switch?   Will more bonds come?  Will our taxes ultimately increase in a couple of years just cuz they still have that little tax allotment we voted them to have and they are holding their aces rather than playing them right now?  I don’t see our taxes going down anytime soon, do you?


Oh I’ve heard it all before, the schools need stuff, yadda yadda yadda.  Uh huh.  I know they do, but screw the turf, weight room, and band hall.  Is this stuff really intertwined with our children’s level of smarts?  Oh yes I forgot football is king.  Well football is fun and all, but good God you people have your freaking priorities messed up down here.  Our kids can’t spell worth a shit, never learned cursive writing, and are failing science TAKS but hells they have a rocking stadium and fresh, groovy, green turf.  Oh I forgot about the Jones’.  They sure are hard to keep up with.

My only hope with this new superintendent is that a lesson had been learned regarding fiduciary indiscretions of the past school boards who spent like Michael Jackson in his gluttonous years while times were aplenty in the Wylie land of milk and honey.  I hope he would know to work it in the budget to take care of general maintenance as part of the budget rather than come to taxpayers with bond requests as we are shuttled from school to school on the caravan of shame as happened in those famous ménage à trois bond request days.  Sure, we need cafeteria and classrooms but I fail to see why the hell AstroTurf is so damned important unless you are one of those elusive Jones’.  Really, did turf come in over other educational requirements?  I shudder to think what was left off the list for turf.


To add to this monetary strife, because it has not been widely publicized, is that I want to know why our WISD school board is adopting a whole new curriculum and how are they going to fit THAT expense in? Surely they don’t think the teachers aren’t doing their jobs that they need a new curriculum.  In all the years my sons have attended Wylie schools, I have found every teacher they had to be absolutely stellar, well all except for that one dingbat who rammed ADD, ADHD, and speech at us since she didn’t want to deal with a kid bored out of his skull because he is color-blind all colors and couldn’t read yellow marker on the whiteboard, but even she was quasi palatable.


Does anyone have any idea just how much money a new curriculum will cost?  I can’t help but think that the $15M used to buy land for some fictitiously needed 3rd high school in 12 years would have gone a long way toward paying for all of these ‘needed’ upgrades in this $21M bond request coming our way in May.  I know, I know, I’ve heard the rhetoric before; we need the land, there are only a few pieces of land large enough left for a high school in Wylie.  Whatevs.  Yet they bought that property in an area that would be absolutely ridiculous to put a high school on.  My but how on earth does Allen do it with one school?    I would rather see teacher raises.  Horrors!  Um, add on to the existing high schools and don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.  All of these recent murders and bad publicity in Wylie are hardly a big draw.  I mean like it happens every day, a young couple reads about a murder by two young adults and a teen pleading guilty to bludgeoning a man to death in the Wylie News headlines all in the same weekly edition and they simply can’t wait to move the chitlins to Wylie.


How are they going to finagle no tax increase to the citizens?  OK, so they refinance the current bonds; money is cheaper to borrow at the moment.  Then the tax rate goes down and in exchange for this new bond approved the tax rate goes back up to take up the empty space vacated thus no tax increase to us. Ya, smoke and mirrors routine.  So howsabout a little tax cut then, because last time I checked my tax statement I was sick at the thought of giving my left tit to live here year after year.   

What if the state suddenly hands us yet another bonk on the head with reduced funding because they still haven’t learned their lesson in Austin?  Oh, and our brand spanking new curriculum has to be paid for because heavens, the loss of ground in TAKS is wrongfully attributed to the curriculum rather than the fact we have all these low-income kids flocking and being welcomed with open arms to Wylie and consequently bringing our student’s scores down.  Oh, then we will need more schools to be built to cover the growth and suddenly, the sickeningly unsatisfying frottage of one magic lamp rubbed against another no longer gratifies anyone and our taxes never decrease and more bonds are needed in the future.  Jeezus, does anyone live within their means? 


I suppose this bond thingy will pass too, because they are going to require voting at the administrative building, and everyone knows our voter turnout in Wylie is an abject failure and embarrassment.  While we are supposed to be voting at the ISD building, we are also supposed to be voting at city hall for the city council seats and the whole confusing double voting trip cluster will mean a whopping handful of teacher votes, all in the affirmative of the bond, and thusly this will pass without nary a second glance by citizens. 


So what’s next on their plate?  Will we see another bond request next year for all of the said items left off this bond shopping list?  Right now I’m kind of thinking the trustees had better be thanking their lucky stars the low-income housing project in Sachse was scrapped for had it not been, they would have been violently bent over ready to take it as 200-300 poverty level kids made their way into the district.  Oh that deal is off the table…..for now.  Maybe it’s the Detroit in me, but I don’t trust the people involved in that deal and I suspect it will come back for a redux. They always do and it seems to be Herzog's M.O.


In that fairytale world of von Wylie clap Trapp, I wish our school board and our city council would realize they are hitting up the same wallets, but none seem to be truly cognizant of that fact and the two entities loll merrily on lacking any thought to reducing our tax burden anytime soon.  As we look to the future it is time for taxpayers in Wylie to get a tax break.  No even-steven exchanges, no smoke and mirrors, but a real honest to goodness tax break so my left tit can get a rest.