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

April 26th, 2013
Letter: McCoy says school bonds ‘good for business’

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The San Marcos Mercury welcomes letters to the editor in support of board candidates and letters in support of or opposition to $77 million in voter-authorized debt for new, expanded and renovated facilities. Early voting starts Monday, April 29. Election Day is May 11.

» Send letters to Editor and Publisher Brad Rollins by email here.

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I will be voting ”yes’ for the San Marcos CISD Bond Election and for both Prop. 1 and 2.

Our improvement in academic results and reputation must be combined with better quality and completeness of our physical infrastructure. And I know this: Moving forward will be good for business by preparing our students to be more effective in the workplace as well as enticing new businesses and families to locate right here in San Marcos.

We have the leadership, administration and faculty taking us to new heights, and now is the time to back them up with the facility improvements we need, all for the benefit for our children today and our leaders tomorrow.

San Marcos

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McCOY is president and chief executive officer of McCoy’s Building Supply.

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75 thoughts on “Letter: McCoy says school bonds ‘good for business’

  1. Mr. McCoy,

    We are very lucky to have business leaders in our community that are visible and take an interest in our schools. I commend you for your civic leadership!

    Thanks again

  2. It seems like customers with higher tax burdens would have less cash to spend at McCoys. How is that good for business, unless SMCISD is buying materials from McCoys?

  3. Craig, I doubt you are serious or really wanted an answer but here it is, from the letter itself.

    “…enticing new businesses and families to locate right here in San Marcos.”

    Pretty much any engaged person – those hiring, selling houses or mildly curious – will agree that school quality is a MAJOR factor for those deciding to reside or establish a business here. Whether or not this bond offers any tangible solution is more debatable but I happen to think it does. If the repairs and improvements paid for with these bonds are instead paid from the general fund that limits money available for other important projects like improved computer labs, science materials and math programs.

    Like it or not, a developed athletics program is a barometer for decision makers. Our facilities at the high school were shrunk in the last bond cycle and are far inferior to neighboring districts.

    I urge voters to go to the web site, specifically the Frequently Asked Questions tab at and read for themselves rather than forming an opinion from slanted letters to editors.

    As to customers having less to spend at McCoy’s, if your house is worth $100,000 and both bonds pass it will cost you $5.83 per month. If we think about how much we spend on fast food and premium cable I think this is a good investment.

  4. 114 words in the “letter to the editor” with NO warrants to back up claims.

    Athletic programs do not create jobs nor do they prepare our students for the job market. Maybe the author of the letter can afford the extra tax burden, but most of the residents in San Marcos cannot. Maybe the parents should be making premium investments, which are free, such as literacy.

    Has the curriculum even been developed for this Pre-K center? The research is quite revealing that there is not even a universal operational definition of Pre-K and what it embodies. So basically we are voting on a boondoggle with out the details. If you have kids (a) teach them how to read (b) pay for your own childcare. Pretty simple.

    Warm Regards, LMC

  5. SMsince95: Let me fix it for you:

    “…enticing new businesses and families to locate, right here in River City.” You may be too young to remember “The Music Man”, but that was a con as well.

    From Wikipedia:
    ” . . .intrigued by the challenge of swindling the famously stubborn natives . . .”

    “Professor Hill plans to con the citizens of River City into paying him to create a boys’ marching band, including instruments, uniforms, and music instruction.”

    These cons have been going on for many, many many years. The cons are easy to pull off on honest, hard-working citizens because they do trust and believe the con men who “only want the best for our children in the community”. The twist on the SMCISD bond con, is that “Professor Hill” doesn’t plan to hop the train after the passage of these bonds. Professor Hill will definitely stay in the community to reap the rewards of the next bond; and there will be another bond.

    Are you unable to see the similarities with Austin’s $892 million Bond Package, just a different amount in a bigger River City?

    I am not equating Mr. McCoy with Professor Hill. I’ve never met Mr. McCoy, but have shopped at McCoy’s Lumber. If the bonds pass, it will be interesting to see how much bond money is spent with McCoy’s vs. Lowe’s vs. Home Depot vs. Tuttle.

    Oh, thanks SMsince95 for using a $100,000 home value for your example. What is the average cost of a home in San Marcos these days?

  6. Hubby just reminded me of the good ole days on Knox Street when I would come home from grad schools with 14 kids on our front porch playing musical instruments. The same children kicked out of Phoenix. It takes a village, and THAT IS FREE.

  7. I used the $100,000 amount because I think it’s helpful for folks wishing to understand exactly what this will cost them; more helpful than using the median home value (which I don’t have without a little research). So if your house is valued by the appraisal district at $150,000 your taxes would be $8.75/month.

    I think it’s interesting that among the comments I don’t find anyone denying that there’s a problem with the schools and I don’t see any solutions proposed. Just cries of poverty and over-taxation. Let me state also that I am generally a fiscal conservative. I don’t believe throwing money at a problem should be the default response – but in this case, having been close to the issue, I believe it is appropriate.

  8. San Marcos Medium Income Data – – $15,000 per year – here the distribution of income is available – $13,468 medium per capita income in San Marcos

    Again, how are the families going to pay for this extra tax burden?

    Pre-K does not get to the root cause of the problem.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Why not write grants for parenting classes, so EACH child in the household learns to read. Teaching parents to read to their children will solve all the problems cited as rationale for Pre-K. After all, our grandparents and parents, many also immigrants, knew that reading to your child builds bonds.

    Do home school parents get tax credits for teaching their kids how to read early? I cannot afford the moving target figures quoted and bet MOST of our residents cannot either. Policy makers should be focusing on job opportunities and job training, not speculations on perception.

    Warm Regards, LMC

  9. Ellie, your analogy is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!! Justifying spending 12 million on a football stadium due to not being able to rent TSU’s stadium 5 times per year is asinine! How many SMHS football players ever won a college scholarship or make it to the PROs? Only one that I know of, Alan Everest. It’s my understanding that Mr. McCoy is adding multiple new employees in anticipation of the BOND-doggle’s passage.

    As far as the Kindergarten idea, the term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in BAD BLANKENBURG as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school. His goal was that children should be taken care of and nourished in “children’s gardens” like plants in a garden. Well, with SMISD’s pass success with the older students, that, will insure that the Pre-K plan will only produce weeds. My mother was a migrant farm worker from Mexico settling in Austin Tx in 1950. And she taught me to read Spanish by age two by reading to me in Spanish and this led to my teaching myself to read in English by age three. My mother only had a third grade education. I have worked in the school district as a substitute teacher from pre-k to seniors in high school and found the kindergarten program to be woefully lacking to say the least. Spending precious taxpayer dollars by the district is not only a shame but a crime against humanity living in financially desperate times. Mr. McCoy, your financial empire along with the other local business empires, could easily pay for these improvements you hail as the proverbial silver bullet without burdening local tax payers. You and your supporters are about to push hard working taxpayers off a financial cliff as you and your fellow town criers, laugh all the way to the bank.

  10. You guys imagining some back room deal where McCoy’s will get business from this just crack me up. All these projects go out to competitive bid. The layers between the school board/superintendent and the sub-contractor who will actually buy the materials are so distant there is NO way anyone could promise McCoy’s any sales out of this bond.

    As to use of the stadium, I’ve said I’m a bit on the fence on bond #2 but I support it for several reasons: we currently pay about $13,900 per game to play at TxState. There is no guarantee of how long we’ll get to use the stadium (our arrangement is a year to year lease), it will never be cheaper to build a stadium, Thursday night games are disruptive to home and away teams, we don’t get any concession revenues at TxState and not having a stadium diminishes our image in the eyes of those choosing where to live based on the school system.

    I’m not a rich person but this doesn’t seem like much money to me.

  11. SMsince95, you must not be the medium income of San Marcos. Are you aware many home owners in San Marcos have up to three generations under one roof? It is irresponsible to raise taxes in this economy. The elected officials may be giving raises to themselves; however, most citizens have not received one in some time. Football stadiums do not create jobs for our students. They do not teach job skills. I don’t see increased debate funding. All i’ve seen is that the Debate Team has to host fundraisers for events that should be a “given” in the budget.

  12. I said it before and I’ll say it again — if these bond propositions do not pass this time, there will be future bonds to vote on. I just hope in the future, SMSCISD listens to the voters (not consultants) and will separate the needs from the wants. It’s not so difficult to line item vote. Really let the voters decide.

    SM95 – “I’m not a rich person but this doesn’t seem like much money to me.” Remember, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

  13. If you attend one of the presentations on the bond ask Mr. Eades about the costs to do each project one, two or three years in the future. He has those figures and it’s quite a bit more.

    Lisa – there are roof, HVAC, door, window, parking lot and plumbing repairs that MUST be made to the buildings. If these repairs are funded from the general fund there will be even less money for the debate team.

  14. While “listening ” to Mark Eads speak about the bonds, the question was asked what if? The bonds don’t pass. How will you pay for it . Wow ! there are funds set aside just for that ! VOTE NO FOR THE BONDS!!!!!!!

  15. And NEVER! NOT ONCE! Has anyone been able to answer the question “How will the Pre-K program be funded ?” NOT ONCE!!!! And I have been to three different presentations ! They just beat around the bush and try and change the subject ! Lets get real ! They are just wishing on a prayer that enough kids enroll in the program that will pay and will cover the other kids that cant pay ! Wish in one hand and S*it in the other and see which one fills up faster !!

  16. JMO,

    Is it that they are not answering your question…or is it that you are not listening or don’t understand? Just curious.

  17. Oy, I have not wanted to weigh in on this one b/c it’s emotional ~ I speak for myself and for Jaimy Breihan when say VOTE NO. Like Ellie emphasizes there will be more bonds, this is not the only train to hitch yer wagon to.

    PARTICIPATE and VOTE whether u agree or not, apathy is despicable, we ALL have busy lives, that’s no excuse to be a “blind stander” in your own town.

  18. OMG

    Please attend LOWV tonight. Ask the question, and see how its answered. Trust me, I understand exactly what they are NOT saying!

  19. SMsince95 if there are HVAC situations, then this means people could be getting sick. Please help me understand why it has not been repaired. Do home owners let these sorts of situations go out of control? NO. Please help me understand why the Administration Building was not placed on the ballot. There is DOCUMENTED mold in there. And, when the district pays for an indoor air quality report, they may want to REQUEST that the company they pay for said services, ACTUALLY PROVIDE the base line data of the exterior readings to compare the internal readings. NO TO FOOTBALL STADIUMS, NO TO PRE-K. If you want your HVAC then place it on a separate bond measure. Of course, this pre-supposes the Citizens Advisory Board is actually invited to the process, which was not the case if you know the trajectory of how the bond ended up on the ballot.

  20. SMsince95 I don’t see the Debate Team getting a new room, akin to A TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR STADIUM. You fail to come to terms with my argument that FOOTBALL DOES NOT CREATE JOBS NOR PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THE WORK FORCE. This is a good ole boy, wink, wink, nod, nod boondoggle. Folks looking for a new place to live do not simply make these decisions by a silly football stadium Moreover, the businesses we want to attract more than likely will place their kids in private Pre-K or manage their own child care versus relying on San Marcos tax payers to foot the bill for their child care. And, you fail to come to terms with that parents should be teaching their kids to read. If they don’t, then funds would be better spent to teach them how to teach their kids to read.

  21. Let me preface by saying that I haven’t yet decided how I’m going to vote on the bonds. However, I notice that some people keep saying that football doesn’t prepare students for the workforce. But organized sports actually do teach students discipline and other skills that would be quite helpful for the future — like how to work toward a goal. How to function as part of a team. How to both win and lose gracefully. Social skills. Confidence. Integrity. Determination.

    I think most employers would consider all of those things to be pretty important.

  22. SMsince95, SMsince1978 here,how would a 18 millon dollar football stadium register as a priority to movers and shakers seeking out a nature rich paradise like SM? Your imagined demograhic target would dismiss SMISD and go privite (not chater schools) aka SMBAcademy. And they would purchase a home here due to SM’s beauty and not based upon the performance record of SMISD, due to the fact, that they have none. All that hard earned tax payers earnings are being wasted on physical facades, white washing a tired and failing system. Is Mr. McCoy providing the white wash? You claim that there is no better time (money wise)to build a stadium for 18 million (plus) @ 4.5 % over 20 years (not adjusting for inflation) will cost closer to 36 million.

  23. “But organized sports actually do teach students discipline and other skills that would be quite helpful for the future — like how to work toward a goal.” If this were the case then we would be investing this kind of money for female sports as well as the debate team. Debate will prepare students X 100,000 what football will prepare. Team building can be taught in the classroom. We don’t need MILLIONS OF DOLLARS for a violent game to teach team building.

  24. It’s pretty popular to focus on expenditures for football stadiums when bond elections like these come up – no matter where they are. Football facilities end up being the scapegoat for all of the issues facing the school district.

    However, the school’s current sweetheart deal with Texas State won’t last forever – some have suggested that it’s only a matter of a couple years – and if the writing is on the wall, then we need to begin planning for that NOW due to construction lead time, etc.

    Like it or not (especially in Texas), suitable facilities for our athletic teams (especially football) are a simple necessity for our districts. In many districts, successful football programs are able to generate enough revenue to actually contribute to the budget of the district – can you say that about the debate team?

    The old saw about how football doesn’t teach our kids life or job skills has been disproven so many times that I’ll just suggest that anyone making that claim simply use their web browser for a quick search.

    Finally, the “football stadium” will not only house events for the football team, but also other events from track meets to band competitions, and so on.

    We need new facilities for our student AND our student athletes. I’ll be voting “yes” to prop two. I will, however, be voting against prop one because of the pre-K program, for reasons I’ve outlined in other posts. I encourage you all to do the same.

  25. Ummm, no –

    The stadium *is* clearly a FOOTBALL stadium. The track and field and activities facilities are completely separate. The following info is taken directly from the bond website (

    ” New Student Activity Complex and Track and Athletic Field Renovations at San Marcos High School: $13,600,000

    • New indoor field, gym area and 6-lane running track to be used by a variety of extracurricular activities

    • New weight room, locker rooms, office and conference space

    • Renovate existing track and field, softball and baseball fields”

    And here is a link to the drawing:

    Please vote! But please READ the proposals first to know exactly what your vote supports or rejects…

  26. From the same website you cite, the stadium is also listed as a “multi purpose athletic stadium”.

    Thinking of the new stadium as simply a “football stadium” is short-sighted and acts as a perjorative term against the proposal.

    Yes, if both proposals pass, there will be an indoor facility for “band use” (among other things), but if you’ve ever been to a marching band competition you’ll know that these happen outside – preferably on a football field because of the yard markers. I would strongly suspect that the indoor facility will serve as a “band hall” for practice use only.

    Will the new stadium host track meets? Depends on whether prop 1 passes, I guess. But the capacity to do so will be there.

    It doesn’t take a ton of imagination to think of other uses for a “football stadium”….in addition to the ones listed before, it would be suitable for soccer games/practices, outdoor ceremonies, and many other things.

  27. One of the arguments for the stadium has been that the kids don’t want to play on Thursday nights. Well, if they want to be a team player then they will play on Thursdays! If they continue to pay Tx. State to play in their stadium they can play there for 250 years+ for 18 million dollars !

  28. I’m not advocating a vote one way or another. But – you cannot run track without a track : ) There is no track in the drawing for the “multipurpose” athletic facility. I’m sure it can be used for things other than football – in fact, where I grew up, most football stadiums included a track. Why are these uses not combined here?

    And yes, I do believe sports are very important for youth. I participated 3 seasons a year all through high school. Our high school managed to field a full, very successful sports team roster (including football), practicing on a shared field big enough only for a 300 yard “track” – which meant that we had to use borrowed and rented facilities for events.

    35 years later, they are using the SAME facilities, and have the same high rate of participation and success. So, while a huge, dedicated stadium might be nice, I don’t see it as a necessity for success, given that the track already exists, and TX state rental for football games is a possibility. Wouldn’t a truly combined facility save money?

    Are there really 8,000 fans at HS football games in San Marcos? I’ve looked, but I can’t find any attendance numbers.

  29. JMO,

    How can you be sure that the agreement with Texas State will continue? It is my understanding that the agreement is year to year.
    Fees have already gone up in the last five years.

    It is not a matter of “if” we will need a stadium…it is a matter of “when.” Interest rates and construction costs are as low as they are going to get.

    I’m just saying…….:)

  30. Don’t forget the League of Women Voters event tonight at 7pm at the Activity Center. 5 minutes from each candidate and then 20 minutes from the superintendant.

  31. Cori, the supporters for the stadium and pre-k are in lala land at best! Can anyone especially DANO, deny that the stadium will end up costing 36 MILLION dollars.

  32. @DAS:

    It’s true that the cost of the stadium, when you include interest, will be more than the “advertised” price. This is, however, the case with ALL projects that require financing.

    However, these inarguable truths remain:

    1. we cannot count on being able to use the TxState stadium forever
    2. even as we continue to use it, we cannot count on the lease rate for the TxState stadium staying as low as it is forever
    3. interest rates are at historic lows right now, making financing a project like this much cheaper than it would otherwise be
    4. construction costs, currently holding steady, are projected to increase substantially over the next 2-5 year time frame

    I’m not saying that spending the money on a new stadium is a perfectly palatable thought. Like everyone else, I want to be sure that we’re spending our tax dollars as wisely as possible. What I AM saying is that if you project the cost of doing it *now* vs doing it *sometime in the future*, you realize that there won’t likely be a better time.

    Or put it another way….would you rather spend $12 million plus interest now or spend $18 million plus HIGHER interest in a few years?

    I pick option “A” all day long.

  33. “4. construction costs, currently holding steady, are projected to increase substantially over the next 2-5 year time frame.” Dano please site your sources for number 4 statement. Thanks.

  34. WOW. Lots of good reasons stated here to VOTE DOWN THIS BOND PACKAGE!

    Why would a school district have to pass a bond to fund maintenance items like roof repairs and A/C units repairs or replacements? Aren’t these items expected to wear out and shouldn’t their repair/replacement be budgeted and saved for in years before the need arises? What appended to planning for future expenditures by accumulating a ‘rainy day fund’?

    Why us it assumed that spending more and more money always fixes education issues? We’ve thrown money at public school education for years without much improvement.

    Maybe it’s time for school choice, vouchers, charter schools, etc. to be tried. Public school education seems to be one of the only things we still operate the same way we did 100 tears ago. Maybe children and parents should have a choice.
    With some competition maybe things would improve.

  35. For $36 million dollar savings maybe we should just go to a six man team and play on an empty lot somewhere.

  36. Dano, how many college football scholarships have been earned by any Rattlers, ever? I think Intrepid has the right notion, lets go with Iron Man football then the Rattlers can get the lead out and the BOND irony can truly rattle its tin pans.

  37. By the way SMsince95, SMsince78 here again, your guesstamation on how much “WE” spend on fast food is spent mainly by those earning 15K or less, working two to three part time jobs with no health benefits. Your arm chair quarter backing is not worth a wooden nickle and please remember to generously tip your Palmer’s restaurant servers.

  38. First, to be clear, I am working for an IPad and there will be a grammatical error or two. It is clear that there is a division in opinion as to whether the bond(s) should pass. To that end, citizens should vote their conscience. I know many on both sides of the argument and like and respect both. I’ve been asked by both sides to support their position, not that my vote is more important than any other. The thought of a bond package of this size concerns me, though not as much as how we got to this point. The current administration is playing a lot of catchup and catchup costs money. We have essentially been told that we must build a stadium. stadiums cost money but this is more than just a stadium but a a center that will serve many purposes. people have their opinions. Because of the anonymity of the Internet I have no idea how many of the posters run and own businesses, homes, make a payroll etc. at times it can be a scary proposition. Likewise, I don’t know how many engage in community service other than to be against something. BTW, I’ve been against plenty in San Marcos and that is not a bad thing. Like many of the posters, I have some trouble voting for the athletic center not because of what it will do but because there has been a terrible job done of explaining what it will do. The answer is plenty. I remain very concerned about parking and more importantly the abject failure of SMCISD and the city in having even a semblance of a traffic control plan. Ifyou want to have a reason to complain then go to the school for afternoon pickup and view insanity at work. Our traffic at SMHS is an embarrassment and failure in a modern society. It looks like a Third World country. Notwithstanding this, I am going to vote for the Bonds because our schools need to be maintained. As to to the poster that suggested that McCoy’s might make some money off of the job, think twice. Our district and city are famous for hiring out of town companies who do little if anything to help local businesses participate. They buy their supplies usually elsewhere. I believe that Brian is supporting this bond package because he, like many other long time citizens, believe that our schools can do better when given the opportunity to excel. This vote gives our community that chance. Charles E. Soechting, San Marcos High School 1969, Distinguished Alumnus 2010

    For the record, I grew up poor to almost poor and San Marcos public schools gave me the skills to go to college and law school and for that I am appreciative. This election needs to be about more than winning or losing an election. Rather, it should be about doing what is in our community’s best interest. I am not going to proofread this.

  39. jmo, would you please send me a link to the Rattlers winning record? If the record stands, then what formula would translate attendance approximating 8 THOUSAND seats filled with any population but parents and relatives of the team members. Future wealthy prospective home owners (if it even registers on their radar) want a feisty wining team to finance. They earned their money by being critical thinkers and football is just another venture capital investment game and if the Rattlers have no interest to bring to the bargain table they will walk away without a crumb.

  40. Point of Inquiry: Why is the chamber of commerce pushing this so hard? That is my perception as a resident here in San Marcos. Thanks, LMC

  41. Not all that local Chambers do is good or bad as opposed to the United States Chamber of Commerce, which is all bad. That’s another story, but the local Chamber (I am not a member) would likely have taken a vote from membership. I would hope and expect that the Chamber felt sufficiently informed to note its support.

  42. How informed could they have been Charles, it was pushed right through? They did not even get thru the citizen’s comments when it came up for the vote. I have great respect for your advocacy at City Council Meetings. Best Regards. Lisa Marie

  43. One thing that shocks me is how impotent the school boards have become. Not just in San Marcos but elsewhere the school board members act like its their job to simply rubber stamp everything the overpaid and over hyped Superintendent puts in front of them. It truly shocked me when a board member recently replied to a question to the effect that they didn’t know about a particular budget issue because ‘staff had not brought that up yet’.

    Folks, wake up and take charge of the schools away from the educrats. Throw out the entrenched bureaucracy that is choking the life out of public education.

    The best first step is to VOTE NO on this bond then demand the school board actually does its job.

  44. I’ve been in this town a long time and it is embarrassing the small degree of travel SMHS Debate Team experiences. Residents should be celebrating their victories at national tournaments each weekend.

    While the football team has a loosing record, the SMHS Debate Team is sending students to state in UIL. Tournament after tournament the Rattlers have shined.

    If our business leaders truly cared about student performance they would be funding this program so that debaters/individual events competitors can travel on a regular basis to nationally competitive tournaments, preparing them for college competition. And, full ride scholarships to summer debate institutes. If you are blinking twice at my suggestions, imagine how horrified some educators are at your lavish desire to build a multimillion-dollar stadium with our tax dollars.

    The business community should be embarrassed supporting a boondoggle stadium when it gives so little attention to academics. This is all about infrastructure for perception for your companies. If you truly cared you’d be sending the Debate Team to national competitions each week. These are the students you want in your workforce. And, these are the types of parents you want to attract to San Marcos.

    The process of how this bond got to the ballot box and how it is being “discussed” is the most embarrassing element of this entire scenario.

    Thanks for posting the record of the football team. Wow. It makes the entire bond proposal even more bizarre.

    Finally, not one proponent of the bond has explained how families are going to pay for these taxes. The medium income in San Marcos is online for you to review. This is literally money out of their pantries, not some extra mocha breve with carmel on top.

  45. The unfortunate consequence if the bonds don’t pass is that many people in our community and surrounding communities will chalk it up to San Marcos residents not caring about the quality of our schools. Sadly, that’s not the case. We likely all care about the schools and the quality of our kids education, but the bulk of these bonds aren’t about improving education, just the perception of education and facility wealth by wrapping our students in top-notch athletic buildings. It’s not a “if you build it, they will come” scenario. It’s a “if we demonstrate to everyone that San Marcos provides great quality, exemplary schools and a community invested in education” they may change their perception of the town. If this bond package was a line item vote, I suspect all repairs and maintenance would be funded. Instead, we’re presented with pork. The same crap that irritates everyone at the national level.

  46. “If our business leaders truly cared about student performance they would be funding this program…”

    Have you asked them? I have done a good bit of fundraising in San Marcos and found businesses to be very generous, especially considering all the requests they get. Cattle Baron’s, Hats Off for Hospice, CTMC, Hays Caldwell Womens Shelter – these events always have tables of auction items donated by LOCAL businesses. If you ask them they might be willing to support the debated team.

    Also, I would want athletes in my workforce. They are typically disciplined, fit and not afraid to work hard.

  47. My points regarding the business community and the bond support are specifically related to the unabashed signs all over town PRO the bond via the Chamber players in town.

    Working in higher education with athletes and pro and minor league athletes, agree that these competitors are in most cases: respectful, prompt, take instructions well, have good follow up, polite, and organized. Hundreds upon hundreds of the athletes I have worked with are testimony to these traits. We are close friends. However, this holds true for all other extracurricular activities. It does not justify such a large expenditure for the bond issue. And, it does not justify the current funding for athletics in terms of staff, budgetary allocation, and now throwing out bonds with zippo public input.

    Remember, San Marcos ISD chilled free speech on this issue ON THE NIGHT IT CAME UP FOR A VOTE TO PLACE ON BALLOT. There has been no transparency and it is being ram rodded through to the public.

    I’m reviewing the budget right now. Thank you to San Marcos ISD for such quick responses to Open Records Requests.

    Regarding the current expenses on football ” 176 students are served by 13 coaches” is a bit over the top in staffing. “The SMHS football budget is $30,000 for football supplies, with an additional $3,000 for football transportation. ”



  48. Any comparison between the debate team and the football team that considers expenditures and does not consider revenues fails to be serious. As noted above, the school district rents Bobcat Stadium for $13,900 per game, which is $69,500 for the five-game season. If they bring 5,000 people through the front gate at $6 per ticket, that’s $30,000 per game at the ticket window — $150,000 per year. Subtract $69,500 in rent for the stadium, along with $30,000 in football supplies and $3,000 for football transportation. Now, the football team is operating $47,500 in the black. That’s money to fund the other sports and activities that are money losing operations, including the debate team, which, for its $6,575 budget, generates zero. I’ve never heard of anyone purchasing a ticket to watch a high school debate meet. Heck, I’ve tried to attend high school debate meets just to watch the kids argue and they usually don’t even let you into the room.

    That’s neither here nor there. Debate is very important, it exercises the intellectual skills of the brightest kids against top competition and it’s an absolute necessity in any kind of serious secondary school environment. However, arguing against football is not arguing for debate. To the extent that the extracurriculars are funded from the same pool (and I don’t know if/that SMCISD does it that way in its particular version of a budget), then football supports debate and certainly does not detract from it, because a football team with any kind of support is a money maker for the benefit of all activities.

    As it happens, the school district isn’t even close to maximizing its football revenues. SMCISD gets none of the concession money at Bobcat Stadium. Figure $5 per head and 5,000 heads per game and we get $25,000 per game at the concession stand. Multiply that by five games and we get $125,000 in a season. Then add in the $69,500 in rents that SMCISD wouldn’t have to pay with its own football stadium, and the football program could generate $194,500 per year that it’s not generating now. Add in playoff games, and we can safely call it $200,000. We all know that the Rattlers haven’t been to the playoffs in a while, but it has happened and, even when it doesn’t, other playoff schools need neutral sites for their playoff games and SMCISD would receive rent for those.

    The problem isn’t that the SMCISD board is asking for a football stadium. The problem is that $18 million for a stadium is way over the top. Not far away, Hays CISD all but built a new football stadium 10 years ago for $5 million. That $200,000 extra per year for SMCISD over the 30-year life of school bonds (which might also be the life expectancy of the stadium), comes to $6 million, which doesn’t even come close to giving the tax payers back $18 million in value. If the board came along with a proposal for a $10 million stadium, one might say the extra-economic benefits (its uses for other sports and large assemblies like graduations, the new revenues football would generate for other activities) are close enough to make up the difference. At $18 million, the value just isn’t there. Even if they brought in 10,000 per game at $8 per ticket and those extra 5,000 each spend $5 on concessions, that new $200,000 per year becomes $400,000, which is $12 million over 30 years. That’s still well less than $18 million over 30 years, but it’s more than $10 million, and it’s not silly to suppose that price inflation and winning football could make those parameters real over time.

    I like football as much as the next guy, and I don’t have a dog in this fight, except that I used to live in San Marcos and I like the place. From afar, though, not only is the value for an $18 million stadium not there, but it’s not even conceivably there in the future. If I were voting in SMCISD, I’d throw this stadium out and have the board come back to the public with a proposal for a $10-12 million stadium, which would be a reasonable value proposition.

  49. Whoa… about high school athletic programs being “revenue generators” makes me really nervous. At the college level, this attitude has shown time and again to lead to exploitation of student athletes (what else can you call it when these same athletes fail to graduate, or do so with virtually worthless degrees?) Why is this even being discussed at the high school level?

    I wish there were some other way to finance athletics programs in the community that was not tied into the education system. There is simply too much conflict of interest.

  50. Cori, I don’t think the point is to focus on the ability of the football program to generate revenues for the school. But if people insist on bringing up the cost of the program, then it becomes necessary to at least remind them of the fact that, of all extracurricular activities, football is the ONLY one that pays for itself (and then some). It’s also a perfectly valid point that finding ways to generate additional football revenue only benefits all of a school’s programs.

    Do you want the debate team to have a bigger budget? Or the band? Or cheerleaders? Then build a strong football program. You may not like it, but that’s the reality of life in Texas.

    Oh, and $18 million isn’t out of line for the cost of a new stadium. Heroes stadium in San Antonio cost $27.5 million according to its Wiki page. Also, don’t forget Texas State just spent $33 million (IIRC) just on renovating its stadium.

  51. Dano, who are you, and, do you have a dog in this fight ( building profession, etc}? If not then please allow Mercury readers to be blessed with yur Christian name and the proud last name of your parents.

  52. If football is to be offered at SMHS into the future, it would be wise to divorce the school district from SWTSTC, I mean TSU. As the college grows more and more to be too big for its britches, it seems inevitable that SMHS athletics will have to go at some point in time. (I would rather a child of mine play on natural grass rather than artificial turf anyway for a myriad of reasons related to microbes and their infections.) So, build an athletic field and concession stands capable of serving play-off games for schools up to 4A. San Marcos is centrally located in the state and it has other attractions for families when the athletes are not on the field. (Can you say Outlet Mall?) $18 Million sounds pretty steep and there may be a semantic distinction between what constitutes a stadium versus a field and I say build an appropriately sized money maker/saver and call it a stadium. My last home game was played at Evans Field and my last game ever was played at Kyle Field soon to be enlarged to seat 102,500. Regards, SMsince59.

  53. Well spoken Bill. However, your comments don’t play into the fight that some think is required for San Marcos. What many do t realize is the caliber of people SMHS has produced over the years, including you. FYI Bill Haney is an Eagle Scout, United States Air Force Academy graduate, USAF pilot and longtime businessman in the Central Texas area and he forgot more about football than all the posters combined ever knew.

  54. Surely you are not trying to say that the existence of *some* exemplary graduates is evidence that the system is working well for everyone.

  55. That. Is one. Abysmal. Football record.


    Let’s reward that performance with an $18 million football palace. It makes perfect sense to me.

  56. Ted, what I said was that Bill Haney is, to you your words, an “exemplary” graduate. San Marcos is well represented in many professions. Just in my profession I can think of Harry Max Reasoner (managing partner at Vinson Elkins), Allen Van Fleet, an outstanding attorney nationally recognized, and the list goes on. We have doctors, builders, engineers, scientists, bankers, researchers and government employees, musicians (even a famous opera singer), military officers, manager of vast water systems and a long list of other professions so long that I am doing no justice to the many other citizens who all started their lives as students in San Marcos public schools. Their common nucleus was an education. I keep saying, vote your conscience. I’m not crazy about this package, probably because I haven’t bothered to learn everything that I should. We do need a stadium. The deal with Texas State is over.. That train has left the station. In closing, San Marcos has produced not some but many exemplary graduates. Like I said in an earlier post, this administration is playing catch up and for me, I choose to move it in the future rather than stay angry about the past. Typed but not proofed.

  57. Charles, I don’t doubt that there are many exemplary graduates. There are also many who are not doing well at all. Too many, IMO. Whether this bond will help them, I can’t say. It is not the direction I would have chosen to go, but the pre-k program is at least an indication that people have moved past the “perception problem,” and are looking for real solutions.

  58. JMO, thanks for the football links. Just got around to seeing them today and not only is the win/loss ratio beyond the pale but the margin that the Rattlers lost by is out of the world!!! By the way SMsince95 and DANO, SMsince78 aka DAS is spelled Daniel Angel Scales.

  59. That’s great, but why would I care? Knowing your “real” name – or what you claim to be your real name – does absolutely nothing to strengthen or weaken your arguments.

    All it really does is put a dab more of your own personal information out there on the internet, to possibly be used against you somewhere along the line.

  60. Dano, is that why you do not use yor real name because YOU are afraid your info wll be used against on the interenet? I don’t get your trajectory.

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