The Rio Hondo ISD bond election on Saturday, May 12, was decided with fewer than 150 votes out of 1,475 registered voters. Less than 100 people voted in favor of the $20 million bond issue.
It is not that the people of Rio Hondo do not care about the bond issue.
I believe the administration and school board did everything possible to keep the information from reaching the community.
The Administration and school board won the bond election but they lost the confidence of the people of Rio Hondo.
I am not sure any law was broken but I do believe officials prevented eligible voters from voting by not providing adequate information about the bond issue and date of the election.
The “Notice of Bond Election” was in the April 17 edition of the San Benito News. The Valley Morning Star newspaper is a more widely read medium but there was no notice about it in that newspaper.
Superintendent Garcia is quoted in the Valley Star saying he was very happy the community rallied for the $20 million proposal to purchase land and build a new middle school.
If we knew more about it maybe there would have been more community involvement. Maybe administration and school board were afraid people would question the need for a new middle school when there are not just a few empty classrooms in three of the five campuses.
People might even start questioning RHISD ranking and scores.
I like what the La Feria community members had to say when their voters were opposed to their bonds, “the district needs an honest conversation with the community … and for the board and superintendent to come up with constructive and practical ways to demonstrate good faith and trustworthiness.”
So now we move forward. For some, it means paying more taxes.
With the state of the economy, the taxpayers might have chosen to do with what we have, but now it is out of our hands since the administration and the school board members decided to hide things from the taxpaying public.
Diana Bates Rio Hondo taxpayer