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Research, Read, VOTE!

Oct. 31, 2017 at midnight

On November 7, 2017, residents of Victoria Independent School District will be voting in local elections on the $141,200,000 VISD bond. This bond will be primarily addressing the needs of the school district. These are the facts, and as a citizen of our fine community, we hope you will use the information here, along with discussions among you and your neighbors, to make an educated decision regarding this important issue.

The bond in question will be divided up as follows:

· $99,075,000 would be directly committed to our schools

· $42,125,000 of the $99,075,000 would be spent on VISD projects

· $35,000,000 of the $42,125,000 will be allocated for the Multi-Activity Complex

· $19,765,000 of the $35,000,000 goes to the total cost for the soccer and football stadiums

There are those that argue that the above facilities are woefully aged and in needing of replacement. Some Say that this is not a time for more debt for Victoria county. In a debate on October 4, 2017, Emett Alvarez, managing editor of Revista, made that point. There are also those that counter that the cost of the bond is beyond the capacity of the community to pay back. $141,200,000 is a lot of money to be borrowing, and we should definitely look at this twice.

Counterpoint? Lou Svetlik, VISD board president, argues, “Low construction costs and low-interest rates make the issue timely.”

Robert Jaklich, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, gives his take on it here. In Dr. Jaklich’s view, this bond is needed. He mentioned the refunding of monies “from Bond 1998 in November of 2014 for a savings of $2.4 million dollars, and refunding bond 2007 in November of 2016 for a savings of $23.5 million dollars for a total savings of $25.9 million dollars to our local taxpayers.”

On the other hand the local owner of Shaw Realty, Caleb Shaw, says on his public Facebook page that home values are going down and now is not the time to raise taxes. He put it this way: "We know the Suburban is broken down, we know it needs repairs ... We'd be willing to fix the Suburban, we'd be willing to give them an Escalade, but what the school board wants from you is a fully-loaded Ferrari, and I'm sorry, but the Victoria taxpayer just doesn't have that ... " That post has over 250 Facebook shares.

So, what do you and your neighbors think? This is certainly a time to be community-minded, and rumor doesn’ t stand up to facts, so check your facts. Study this issue, and try to come up with an educated decision of your own on November 7th.


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