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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas Heraidzeltungg Sunday August a Comal ISD bond proposal needs rethinking I wOUlQ IlKC tO tflKfi tnlS EMRIHSiSPMHttMHMMiMn ortttrtrtte n J I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself My name is John Bcrtelsen My wife Linda Bertelsen is a Subcommittee 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 will 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 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 valuation We also voted in a million bond election that narrowly passed by eight votes We learned that another bond election had just passed for million We were very concerned as to why the schools were requiring so much money We decided to research the 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 C1SD T h e 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 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 open minded 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 childrens education If you dared to bring this issue to the front you were looked at as if you were robbing your childrens piggy bank The truth is that we are the ones that are filling 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 for 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 start 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 fullyloaded 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 the seven new band rooms at each They did not discuss the two covered play areas at each Nor did they say anything about the 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 the employee payroll costs over the next five years It was said that the taxpayer must pay those costs anyway Shouldnt the taxpayer know how much the gas oil tires insurance etc is going to cost him over the next five years This does affect the amount that he can spend on car payments bond 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 They 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 thatflew Cadillac and when you went back for work to be done the dealer says Sorry I changed my 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 If we enlarge our high schools for enrollment sizes to we will save million now and another million in five years We do not 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 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 fo thank Pfluger and Associates fora tremendous job of putting togetherja manual that can be handed down to the next LRPC We feel that these tools will be of great value to you board members when you ace deciding the future of CISD Coma ISD is presently faced with severe budget restraints Administration has already suggesteid that we may be at rollback tax rateis this year Balancing the major budget cuts needed and the presentation of a massive bond issue will require tfye wisdom of a school board wh0 knows it must look at new ideas tb achieve the goals of the district John Bertelsen is a resident of Comal Letters to the Editor Reiner places undue burden on parents Editor I am writing in response to Rob Reiners article headed Early Years Make All The Developmental Difference in the Thursday June 19 Herald Zeitung Im sure the intentions of the I Am Your Child campaign are very noble However the tone of Mr Reiners piece in my opinion places a tremendous burden on parents of children with emotional problems ADHD Autism and Disorders that goes back to the turn of the century and is neither helpful nor is it fair and wellthought out I refer to his statement it is caused by our inability to provide these children with the nurturing stimulating and jsafe care they need in the crijical first years of and further in the article 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 selfcontrol can be 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 everyone I am a parent of childFerTwho 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 or if you spank him more hed behave These kids do want to behave and they cant 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 selfcontrol and sometimes aggression As a Pathologist I see many children whose parents have 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 Reiners 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 Foreign countries names should not be on our flags Editor As a person who is retired and a 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 Dont forget to sign letters to the editor and include address and phone number for confirmation Thanks TO THE PATIENTS AND FRIENDS OF HILL COUNTRY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES We have a new Medical Exchange Number For after hours and weekend calls for Drs Warren Albrecht Gary Bird Ronald Cohle Randal Jacks Dorothy Overman Dr Zachary Windrow and William Reeves please note the new number 6082616 Vott STACIE RICKEL NBISD ATLARGE TRUSTEE Meet 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 volunteer Why STACIE 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 districts goals for the children She is an independent decision maker She will encourage open lines of communication and mutual respect for all opinions STACIES 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 tech nology in the classroom and an emphasis on a well rounded education Encouraging and receiving district parents and taxpayers as welcome mem bers of the NBISD team will be crucial to becoming an exemplary district Lets 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 Center Election Day Saturday August 9th Paid Pol Ad paid for by the Campaign to Elect Stacie Rickel 948 Twin Oaks New Braunfels TX
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