Monday, September 12, 2016

CCR 09-12-16 However....

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”


   Yes, dear readers, the Irving ISD TRE proposal passed.  And we might admit…with a healthy margin.

   However, many of the questions posed in previous reports still remain unanswered.  Additionally, the IISD board has not approved the effective tax rate for 2016-17, nor announced what the disposition of the $9M drawn from the Reserve Fund Balance will be.

   Perhaps, the most significant question remaining at this time could be: What might a Texas Education Agency review, prompted by a concerned ISD tax payer, find/discover concerning any direct/indirect electioneering by ISD personnel/board members?  Is there a possibility less than transparent modes were used to promote this issue to IISD personnel?

   Since the "Penny Exchange" brochure propaganda did not list a disclaimer and ISD personnel have not taken credit for producing this ‘vote yes’ push card, who is responsible?

   Not only who is responsible for the brochure, but why wasn’t a disclaimer, as to its funding source, printed on the placard?  There is no doubt the brochure was biased in support of the TRE proposal!  Period.

   Considering the brochure was 4-color process and thousands were printed, someone or some smoke-filled room gatherings, which had the drapes of transparency pulled, produced this election piece at a significant cost.  Shouldn't this information be made public, or is the funding as secretive as "Shadowy Bucks?"

   And did any of those smoke-filled room meetings or possible phone calls involve ISD personnel or board members communicating with PTA heads, church members, civic group leaders, teachers, blog posters, or former board members?  One can only imagine what daily schedules or phone records might reveal for the primary pushers of this biased electioneering process.

   Otherwise, how did so many of the brochures find their way to campuses in the district.  And when the brochures arrived on campuses, how were they distributed and by whom?  And who were the parties informing some teachers "they would get a higher pay raise if they voted yes" on the proposal.

   While some might contend these questions represent a sour grapes whining by the CCR with the TRE passing, all the previous unanswered questions, actions by the administration and board members and the mere margin of ‘vote yes’ ballots cast a serious doubt on circumstances which might have been taken to assure passage of the TRE.  And that, dear readers, is not whining, but ensuring transparency in governmental affairs is played on top of the table.
   (After all, staff of the CCR didn’t just fall off the political turnip truck this past month.)

   Perhaps, in an effort to establish a new era of IISD board transparency an analysis and detail of how the TRE funds will actually be included in the 2016-17 could be presented, plus a three year projection of budget requirements with/without these additional State funds in ensuing years. 

   Proposed future tax rate considerations to meet budget demands should also be determined for requirements beyond 2016-17.  

   However, staff of the CCR presently agrees to yield to the TRE ‘voter yes’ contingency…uninformed as some might have been.  And we await future actions of the board as they are now very, very flush with tax payer funds to spend indiscriminately.

………………………Mark Holbrook

Publisher’s Note:  With 74,352 registered Irving voters, only 2,195  or 2.95% took the time and effort to demonstrate an interest in the TRE issue.  While the Dallas County Elections department doesn’t have the verifiable statistics, one could imagine 80% of the 2,195 voters were part of the ISD Lemming Scrum.