San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


EDITOR:

Many claim a commitment to investing in our youth and their education. But most are unfamiliar with the costs — let alone the value — of those commitments.

Years ago, I was privileged to participate in the largest bond in San Marcos CISD’s history. From the board’s unanimous support and the voters’ commitment came new and renovated school campuses across the district.

Some have been misled to believe that the new bonds before us are required because of poor or incomplete work done on the schools following last decade’s bonds. Still others are being misled to believe that new projects represent lay-offs and possible pay-cuts for teachers and staff.

Neither of these suggestions is correct. The opportunity to invest while construction costs and interest rates are low is smarter than waiting for a “better time”.

An editorial a few weeks ago emphasized how much our debt would climb with new bonds. But the writer overlooked any increase in the value of the assets owned by the taxpayers and placed in the care of the the school district. San Marcos CISD property values have increased considerably as a result of the $133 million invested.

There is one very controversial choice: Do we need our own football stadium? It’s possible there may be more opinions than people that actually vote

San Marcos was once home to a small college and we have been fortunate to share their stadium forever. Even after the relocation of the stadium to the other side of the tracks, our Rattlers were not only welcomed, but often drew more fans than our Bobcats could muster at home games.

But that was then. Our town-and-gown relationships — while still very good — are overwhelmingly lopsided in favor of one of the largest universities in the state of Texas. The gown is a lot bigger than the town and SMCISD deserves to have our own football stadium and move towards our own bright future.

In closing, I’ll quote a friend that recently moved to San Marcos: “a bond issue is a message to the San Marcos community, to impact the mindset of people who have turned their noses up at SMCISD. Passing the bonds says we’re willing to move forward. Defeating the bonds says we’re content with the status quo.”

So, yes matters. And no matters. But it’s your vote that matters most. Please vote on Saturday.

PETER BAEN
San Marcos

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BAEN served seven years on the San Marcos CISD board of trustees, from 2003 to 2010.

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One thought on “Letter: Time to get serious about improving our schools

  1. If you truly care about education you will vote against a bond package that places sports above academics. Arm students with laptops not football stadium seats. Give the students free print outs at computer labs vs. handing them debt for athletics. One reason why the United States may be behind other nations on our educational system is due to the over reliance on leisure activities which make contractors RICH. Remember, the medium income in San Marcos cannot afford new taxes. Recall the district chilled free speech rights when this came to the public in hearing. So who is really pulling the puppet strings? Do you want critical thinkers or those who walk lock step to pep rallies? Your choice San Marcos. Im sure you will get your bonds due to massive public mis-information campaign. But, i’ll go vote on Saturday NO TO THE BONDS.

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