Preparing for a fight: Local woman files complaint on Rio Hondo bond

RIO HONDO — Diana Bates will be front and center to voice her opinion on the recent bond election at the next school board meeting Monday.

“I’m hoping people will go,” Bates said of the meeting. “They gave us no vote and no voice.”

Rio Hondo voters approved the $20 million proposal 80-42 during the May 7 election.

The bond election was called by the school district board of trustees to buy property and build a new middle school for the district.

Recently, Bates filed a complaint with the Texas secretary of state in hopes of contesting the $20 million dollar bond.

Bates says the school district did not prominently provide notice of the bond election nor did it prominently announce the bond election on the district’s website.

In her complaint to the secretary of state, she said public resources were used to inform teachers and staff about the bond election, but little effort was made to inform the public.

She said she did not know the item was on the ballot until the results of the election were published in the Valley Morning Star.

The bond election was held at the Rio Hondo administrative office on May 7.

She said most citizens did not know about the bond election.

“I believe the Rio Hondo ISD superintendent and school board purposely and maliciously kept information subdued from reaching the public in order to pass a $20 million school bond election,” Bates said. “The 80-42 vote represents less than 10 percent of the 1,475 registered voters.”

Rio Hondo Superintended Ismael Garcia said in a previous interview the district is confident it complied with all aspects of the law during the bond election.

He said he was very happy the community rallied for the $20 million to purchase land and build a new middle school.

“It’s going to be a great investment in our student’s future education,” Garcia has said.