The May 6 Aledo ISD school bond election is about a month behind us but that doesn’t mean all of the business of the election is complete.
The results are final — voters in the school district voted to approve the bond issue, paving the way, both figuratively and literally, for Lynn McKinney Elementary School, which will be located near the Morningstar subdivision.
The bond monies will also be used to purchase school buses, make technology upgrades, and provide other improvements around the school district.
I’ve been watching bond elections in this school district for more than 25 years, and in the more recent elections I have seen a pattern develop.
The school district discovered that it was advantageous to invite the entire community into the process, both by forming a committee of residents in the district to evaluate needs and develop a plan, and to invite input from the community at large.
Throughout the process, they committee spends countless hours hearing from demographers, architects, and others to help them arrive at a decision that they feel is in the best interest of the students in the school district.
From there, the committee makes a recommendation to the school board, which then decides either to approve the recommendation or not, and a bond election is called.
The pattern I’ve seen develop is that there are people in the community, and it’s pretty much the same faces every time, who do not heed the invitation to participate and do not provide input, but once all the work is done they form organized opposition to the proposal.
It is our right as citizens to support or oppose a bond election, but time after time when I receive alarming mailers about taxes going up, I have to ask myself, “if they are so passionate about it, why don’t they participate while the decisions are being made, rather than waiting until all the work is done?”
Why don’t they attend the meetings and suggest alternate strategies?
It certainly calls into question their sincerity in wanting to keep taxes down when they make no effort to do so during the process.
But that’s not the unfinished business of the most recent bond election.
Voters in the school district received mailers from political action committees supporting and opposing the bond.
We know who sent out the mailers supporting the bond. These folks were happy to have their names attached to their efforts, and they filed the legally-required paperwork making their donor list public.
We still don’t know who sent out the mailers opposing the bond. Two different “groups” sent out mailers. Both groups had the same return mailing address, and both had the same postal imprint.
The big problem is that the group Concerned Parents of Aledo political action committee still hasn’t filed its finance report that was due in April.
You may ask, “what’s the big deal? The bond passed.”
It’s not about whether the bond passed or failed, it’s about free, fair, and transparent elections.
The mailers sent out by the Concerned Parents of Aledo PAC stated that they did not receive any outside money — that it was funded by local parents. Yet for some reason they don’t want us to know who they were.
If my suspicions are correct, the money may not technically have come from afar, but I’m betting the livelihood of the donors does.
So once again we’ll ask the question: Concerned Parents of Aledo and Leading Local — come out, come out, wherever you are.
Voters deserve to know.
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