New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, August 3, 1997, Page 5

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

August 03, 1997

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Issue date: Sunday, August 3, 1997

Pages available: 56

Previous edition: Friday, August 1, 1997

Next edition: Tuesday, August 5, 1997

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Publication name: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas Herald-Zeitung g Sunday, August 3,1997 Q 5&Comal ISD bond proposal needs rethinking I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is John Bcrtelsen. My wife, Linda Bertelsen, is a Subcommittee j Chairperson on the Comal ISD Long Range Planning Committee. Before we continue, I would like you to know that my method of speaking is very blunt and direct. This wilt, undoubtedly, offend some people. To these individuals, I would like to offer my apologies in advance. The purpose of this letter is not to attack anyone or hurt anyone. We wrote this letter because of our concerns about the future of ClSD. We moved into the Comal ISD two and a half years ago. Our school tax went up by 12 percent the first year we were here. The following year our school tax went up again. This time it was 13 percent. We were referring to increases in bottom line tax, not property valuation or tax rate per HOO valuation. We also voted in a $17 million bond election that narrowly passed by eight votes. We learned that another bond election had just passed for $17 million. We were very concerned as to why the schools were requiring so much money. We decided to research die issue of John Bertelsen the schools needing more and more money. All ,the information that we could find suggested that the need was created by a severe growth problem in ClSD. The information was not thorough enough for us. We are concerned taxpayers and also parents of school-age children. Where could we get more information. Where would we help? These questions lead us to the LRPC. Because we are parents of school-age children, we are concerned about the quality of education in Comal ISD. We also felt that larger schools would be more economical. But, at what cost to our children? Therefore, my wife, Linda, volunteered to head the subcommittee on school size, boundary alignments and grade alignments. After seven months of research, discussions, meetings, votes, etc., we came to a very sad conclusion. We know now why people refer to voter apathy in this district. We are struggling very hard to remain openminded. This is very difficult to do when you have been involved with the budget hearings, tax hearing and most of all, the LRPC. The LRPC never considered cost to be a factor in our children’s education. If you dared to bring this issue to the front, you were looked at as if you were robbing your children’s piggy bank. The truth is that we are the ones that are Riling those piggy banks. We want to see that the money is spent as wisely as possible. The LRPC voted on what they wanted in their school district, not what they could afford. Grade alignment, school size, district boundaries, playgrounds, computers, athletic facilities and so on were all decided with no concern for cost. This is like shopping fW a fully-loaded luxury car while never considering the monthly payments. After the decisions were made, the LRPC was told it needed to make cost reductions because the bond package would be too large. This is the time what you should startLetters to the Editor Ralnar places undue burden on parents Editor . I am writing in response to Rob Reiner’s article headed “Early Years Make All The Developmental Difference” in the Thursday, June 19, Herald Zeitung. I’m sure the intentions of the ”1 Am Your Child” campaign are very noble. However, the tone of Mr. Reiner’s piece, in my opinion, places a tremendous burden on parents of children with emotional problems. ADHD, Autism and Speech/Language Disorders, that goes back to the turn of the century and is neither helpful nor is it fair and well-thought out. I refer to his statement, ”... it is caused by our inability to provide these children with the nurturing, stimulating and safe care they need in the cri{i<&t first years of life, and further in the article, ’’...scientists tell us that when a child is abandoned or emotionally neglected early in life, critical abilities, such as the capacity to form trusting relationships with adults, to make friends with other children and to develop self-control, can be impaired.” These and other statements in the article failed to acknowledge that there are neurological, biochemical brain disorders that have nothing to do with ”bad” parenting. By failing to mention this, Mr. Reiner runs the risk of having others pointing ’fingers (again) at parents of children who display these characteristics secondary to real neurological deficits that may not be visible to other people, but the effects of those deficits are nqticeablc.to everyone. w I am a parent of children who have hidden neurological disabilities. Getting appropriate assistance has taken Herculean effort on my part, with only partial success. I have not “emotionally neglected” or “abandoned” my children in any way, but I also have not always been able to protect them from other people who judge, “they could do it if they wanted to,” or “if you spank him more, he’d behave better.” These kids do want to behave and they can’t. As coordinator of New Braunfels Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, I come into contact with a number of other parents who are nurturing their very different children well, and yet our children continue to display impulsively, poor self-control and sometimes, aggression. As a Speech/Language Pathologist, I see many children whose parents have looking to cut extras on that Cadillac, or better yet, look at a Ford. That is not what happened. What happened was the actual need list was increased so that the bond issue would provide something for everyone. Kind of like getting someone to give you money toward that fully-loaded Cadillac and in return, you will let them drive it once in a while. The LRPC did include alternative options in their proposal. However, they strongly advised against them. The LRPC did not even discuss the campus improvements that would bring all campuses to a model level. They did not talk about die seven new band rooms at $220,000 each. They did not discuss the two covered play areas at $60,000 each. Nor did they say anything about the $30,000 for coat hooks. We never did find out why we have to repaint hallways in a school that has not been open for one year yet Another issue that was not addressed was die employee payroll costs over the next five years. It was said that the taxpayer must pay those costs anyway. Shouldn’t the taxpayer know how much the gas, oil, tires, insurance, etc. is going to cost him over the next five years? This does done all the “simple things” alluded to by Mr. Reiner, yet their children still have developmental problems. Are there children who display these symptoms because of poor parenting? Undoubtedly. Do we need to deal with it? Of course. But Mr. Reiner’s article would lead one to believe that this is always the cause and places an undue burden on good parents with developmentally disabled children with hidden disabilities. We have enough misunderstanding to deal with without going back to this type of dark ages mentality. Thank you. Karen Owens New Braunfels Partlgn countries’ nam*! should not bo on our flogs Editor: As a person who is retired and a affect the amount that he can spend on car payments (bond issues). What will happen if we build the new schools and cannot pay for the employees to work there? The voters passed a bond election that was to pay for Mountain Valley Intermediate School. The voters were told that the school would be built with core facilities that could handle a student enrollment size of 800. Jhey told the voters that when the number of students increased, classrooms would be added to accommodate another 800 students. Well, the LRPC is advising against that. They would rather put a new school in the eastern district and not add to the existing school. That is like buying the extended warranty on that view Cadillac and when you went back for work to be done, the dealer says, “Sorry, I changed my mind.” We hope that you (board members) will address this issue. Will the voters trust you next time? We also ask that the board members revisit the issue of enrollment size of our high schools. lf we enlarge our high schools for enrollment sizes to 2,500, we will save $18 million now and another $18 million in five years. We do not veteran, I strongly oppose Toyota running advertisements on television with their Toyota name on our state of Texas’ flag. We should never allow foreign companies to do this. Will we see China putting its name on the Stars and Stripes? Jerry White New Braunfels feel that this issue can be decided by a handful of people in the LRPC. We suggest to you (board members) that two plans be put on the ballot. Both plans should be identical with the exception of high school enrollment size. This would let the taxpayer decide if he wants to spend an additional $18 million to keep the high school enrollment size as they are. We would like to thank the school district personnel for all of their assistance. We would also like lo thank Pfluger and Associates for‘a tremendous job of putting together ;a manual that can be handed down lo the next LRPC. We feel that theie tools will be of great value to you (board members) when you ate deciding the future of ClSD. Comal ISD is presently faced with severe budget restraints. Administration has already suggested that we may be at rollback tax rates this year. Balancing the major budget cuts needed and the presentation of a massive bond issue will require thje wisdom of a school board whp knows it must look at new ideas tb achieve the goals of die district. (John Bertelsen is a resident of Comal County.) Don’t forget to sign letters to the editor and include address and phone number for confirmation. Thanks! IO I 111 PAI IIN IS WI) KUI I NUS OI Mil l ( OI VI RY MEDICAL VSSCX I VI I S We have a new Medical Exchange Number. For after hours and weekend calls for Ors. Warren Albrecht, Gary Bird, Ronald Cohle, Randal Jacks, Dorothy Overman, Dr. Zachary Windrow and William Reeves, please note the new number: 608-2616 ElectComate ayA"$"s‘ 1 Aspect*,7nty Cou-pectfuUy ask for, Made R,ckefSTACIE RICKELNBISD AT-LARGE TRUSTEE Af (Eft STACIE! • Mother of two boys attending Lone Star Primary • Educated in Texas public schools and a 1977 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston • 15 years of experience as sales professional • PTA board member, HOST volunteer, and classroom volunteerWhy STACIEI • She is committed to the children of the district. • She will diligently do her homework, respectfully communicate with all constituents, and ask "How will this policy support our district's goals for the children?" • She is an independent decision maker. • She will encourage open lines of communication and mutual respect for all opinions STACIE'S focus on the future! • Supporting Dr. Reaves, his staff, our teachers, and continuing to hire outstanding personnel • Board policies which support a consistent curriculum including additional technology in the classroom and an emphasis on a well rounded education. • Encouraging and receiving district parents and taxpayers as welcome members of the NBISD team will be crucial to becoming an exemplary district. Let's get Stacie elected by voting early - Monday, July 21st through Tuesday, August 5th at the Comal County Courthouse Annex (Room 306) or the basement of the NBISD Education CenterElection Day -- Saturday, August 9th!Paid Pol. Ad paid for by the Campaign to Elect Stacie Rickel 948 Twin Oaks New Braunfels, TX ^^^=s===ssssss=sss=s^sssss==ss=s=ss=ss=s ;

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