Deron Harrington’s letter to the FB Star
“I wanted to follow up to your recent commentary “The Importance of the FBISD Bond Election”. I appreciate you taking the time to research the issue and applaud you using the Fort Bend Star in a responsible manner to highlight the importance of this bond referendum to our community. I fully concur that this bond proposal is in the best interest of our school district and also believe it is necessary to continue to maintain the quality of life of students, residents, and business owners in Fort Bend.
I have personal knowledge surrounding this proposal. As some may know, I ran for a Board of Trustee position this last May. While I was unsuccessful in getting elected for this position, the positive aspects included gaining more insight surrounding our school district, and resulted in me visiting with numerous community members about the issues concerning FBISD. Ms. Kristin Tassin was elected for that position and she is well qualified, genuine, and a great addition to that Board. I believe collectively — this current Board of Trustees is one of the best-qualified groups of individuals this community has ever assembled and they are working very hard on the affairs of this district along with a well-qualified school administration led by Dr. Dupre.
After the election, I was asked to serve on a Bond Oversight Committee that the district assembled to serve in an advisory capacity to the District, working collaboratively and cooperatively with the Board of Trustees, Superintendent and District administration regarding the prioritization and phasing of proposed projects to be included in the November 2014 bond election. That Committee included a cross cut of very talented and knowledgeable individuals that held knowledge in construction, business, finance, engineering, and other much needed areas of expertise. I am an Attorney and Certified Public Accountant so I sought to contribute in step with my areas of expertise along with my additional insight gained as the result of the recent election and community interface. I was deeply impressed and learned a great deal in areas I have no background in — such as construction and engineering. The composition of the skills on the committee was well served for FBISD. The work of the committee was business like, at times frank, and genuine effort by all in trying to act in the best interest of our school district.
The Bond Oversight Committee collectively contributed in many respects to the final bond proposal including a recommendation that the Board of Trustees adopt specific measures to ensure that any excess bond funds can ONLY be used on facility-related needs (land, renovations, repairs, etc.). Your Board of Trustees, based this recommendation from the Bond Oversight Committee, approved a Bond Accountability Resolution squarely addressing this. In addition, that Bond Oversight Committee will serve in a post bond election capacity to ensure any bond program proceeds approved by our voters are spent as intended.
The bottom-line is this bond proposal dynamically meets real and tangible student need. Over eighty-three percent (83%) of this bond is directly tied to providing student capacity for a growing student population. Our school district has grown and is continuing to grow – independent demographic projections point to our school district adding over 12,000 new students in the next ten years. Right now – over ten percent (10%) or over 7,000 of our students are in portable classrooms for their learning environment. We have let our needs go unmet and the impact is greatly impacting our students. The primary capacity constraint the district faces is in elementary schools and without this bond approval that need cannot be met. The remaining seventeen percent (17%) deals with much needed technology enhancements, safety/security, and transportation.
As with anything proposed – there are folks who propose arguments in opposition. While I respect the right of anyone in our democracy to have differing views, I want to briefly highlight some of the more creative and interesting views in opposition, why those views are misguided and not factually based, and not in the best interest of our community. I certainly will not address some of the views in opposition that are complete embellishments and sensationalism that rivals tabloid news.
“This whole thing has been rushed.”
FACT: Nothing could be farther from the truth. Within months of our Superintendent being hired, Dr. Dupre and the Board of Trustees implemented a visionary process starting back in September 2013 to begin assessing the long needs of our school district. That process has served as the foundation for a capital plan and in turn drove this specific bond proposal. Throughout that process extensive community engagement was undertaken. This whole process has been unprecedented for FBISD, was sorely needed, and has been extremely strategic in nature by any measure.
“We need to adjust zoning/feeder patterns first”.
FACT: This “which came first – the chicken or the egg” argument has no validity. The long term facilities master plan and the capital plan driving the needed capacity assumes fully optimized zoning/feeder patterns. In other words – the capacity needs do not go away with simply adjusting zoning/feeder patterns. A simple shuffle of the deck does not create additional capacity nor eliminate the need for new capacity. Even a modified argument such as “well, how do we know where to build” is intellectually flawed because the long term facilities plan and the bond proposal seeks to address broad areas and specific sites for many of the facilities will be identified as time goes on. The Board and administration recognize the need to minimize disruption to our children and their families. To do that, any zoning/feeder patterns will be phased in. This sort of delay argument is what got FBISD into the mess it is in now – delaying much need elementary school capacity additions for more “paralysis by analysis” and more hostage takers– these delay tactics are not in the best interest of our community — it’s time to get on with it.
“This going to raise taxes”
FACT: Approving the bond proposal simply authorizes the Board of Trustees to issue bonds in the future and allows them to begin implementation of a capital plan. Our tax base has been growing around ten percent (10%) and the plan assumes a very conservative growth projection in the six to seven percent (6-7%) – (the majority of which is new tax values not tax value increases). In addition, the very timing of bond issuance and build out largely prevents us getting into a “build it and they will come” scenario. In effect, we will be paying as we go with regards to debt servicing any new bonds as we get additional revenues from a growing tax base. In addition, the current bond portfolio has ample flexibility to ever prevent a tax rate increase. It should be noted that district on a comparative basis has very modest debt ratios compared to comparable school districts and largely is in great financial shape as a school district.
Let’s not lose sight of the big picture. Dr. Dupre, his administration, and our elected school board set broad strategic vision for our district. They undertook an extensive process to vent all of this. They believe we need to increase the capacity in our facilities to meet the educational needs for our children now and in the future. They base this belief on solid data, personal first hand observation, educational training, and a long process in getting to this point. I believe they are doing exactly what they should be doing in this regard. I applaud the vision in undertaking such a comprehensive long range-planning endeavor and the courage to act. Doing such is extremely strategic in nature and the district will be well served to implement the findings this process has produced – and that includes this bond proposal.
In my opinion – there simply is no valid weakness in the bond proposal that can overcome the precision and the strengths of this bond proposal. This bond proposal is hitting the nail on the head in terms of real need. We have an obligation to provide an adequate education for our children. Facilities play a critical role in doing that. Our children need a place to sit down. There is real identified need here and this bond proposal squarely addresses that. I would encourage anyone who has question surrounding the bond proposal to visit http://www.fortbendisd.com for comprehensive and factual information surrounding this bond proposal. In addition, I would be happy to visit with anyone to discuss this and share any insight I might hold or help point you to the pace to obtain such information. I can be reached at 281-598-0313. Thank you for your consideration on this important issue for our community.
Please vote YES on the FBISD bond proposal – and help us keep Fort Bend County moving forward.
Deron Harrington, JD, CPA”
Vote for the bond.
Local control of the district is important, keep the feds and unions out of our schools. If you want to ensure we have quality education in FBISD, then get involved and volunteer.
FBCStaff-The US Constitution says no.
“Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.”
read more from the Washington Post
It is documented that democrats have used non-citizens to vote since forming their party in 1828. Democrats deny voter fraud exists but don’t deny election fraud exists because it does.
If 14% of the estimated 14 million illegals in the US are registered, that is roughly 2 million potential voters. President Obama is preparing to give amnesty to the estimated 14 million here illegally. When this happens and it will, will the democrats still control the US Senate blocking any action against this president?
Democrats use voter/election fraud to win because it is the only way they can further their agenda. If the democrats win the 2014 elections will you be surprised?
Americans are staying at home refusing to vote, while democrats are using election fraud to take their country away from them.
FBCStaff-The Missouri City HCC branch located in Sienna is being revisited for relocation to Lexington Blvd. next to City Hall.
“Two vacant tracts totaling about 45 acres sit on either side of the Lexington Boulevard extension near City Hall, which officials have targeted for the possible relocation of HCC–Missouri City.
“These sites have some great opportunities,” Esch said. “We are looking to increase the temporary or permanent population along this area [to] create an opportunity for events and other activity.”
City officials have been looking at ways to redevelop Texas Parkway for several years by making the corridor more attractive to prospective developers and tenants. Various concepts—such as a possible charter school, a technical college, a multifamily development and a youth sports complex—have been reviewed, he said.
“We believe there was potential for development along Texas Parkway by relocating [HCC’s] entire campus here,” Esch said. “We believe it is a potential catalyst project. This is an opportunity that would provide significant capital investment.”
read more from Impact news
This is a smart move as it makes the campus more accessible and should increase enrollment and utilization.
FBCStaff-The malcontents are angry because ex-BOT Bruce Albright hasn’t been prosecuted or hung for stealing campaign signs.
If a District Attorney doesn’t prosecute the theft of property when a knife is NOT involved, will the use of a knife make the DA take another look?
This is the scenario in Harris County from just the other day.
Remember when Fort Bend District Attorney Healey would not prosecute the person who tore down and destroyed the campaign sign of FBISD Trustee candidate Kris Allfrey?
Kris Allfrey I am sure you do Mr. Sudhalter because it appears you do very little research before writing them. Your lack of knowledge in the FBISD Bond Package is very telling since you gave it a raving endorsement on the front page. I guess the community didn’t rely much on your reporting because they are still going at it over on FBISD Concerns. Mr. Sudhalter personally you and I get along fine but professionally I believe you have under estimated the political establishment in Fort Bend and you need advertising dollars to survive. That in and of itself leaves you in a very unique situation that is neither bad nor good unless you decide money and readers are more important than news and reputation. Just a suggestion you may want to just stick to your printed newspaper and leave Facebook alone, it is not helping you. IMHO.
Kevin Tunstall I am assuming those endorsements are contingent on advertising revenue by the vendor welfare recipients. Your tax dollars at work and our sorry excuse for “media” in the armpit of Texas.
Michael Lee The DA will probably stall until the statute of limitations expires. Michael Sudhalter the public wants to know what the DA is doing. Investigate, analyze, and report the facts. You are new to this area? Investigate the Stafford Ice House murder. I understand there were 6 perpetrators. How many were indicted? The public wants to know if the DA is earning his pay.
Are they still angry about the Star printing this?
Now people up and down the street are calling each other, emailing and comparing notes about what a man calling himself “Jim” has done. Meanwhile the real Jim Young snapped the picture included in this column of the purported “Jim” who has been identified as Chris Calvin, a Pecan Grove resident who has been barred from living in Sienna by the courts and supposedly can not live in any Larry Johnson development anywhere in the whole world. I guess that would make me bitter too.
Every time Missouri City has an election, Mr. Calvin stirs up as much trouble as he can, accusing everyone but himself with a lack of character. This is the same Mr. Calvin who had a blog and created several different bloggers to keep talking to each other. It was quite amusing to read. Talk about multiple personalities. Mr. Calvin gave them a home on his blog.
read more from the Star
Chris Calvin working for Kevin Tunstall was caught stealing his opponent’s signs by Bev Carter.
This is simply a group of juvenile malcontents fighting among themselves using tax payer monies. Albright was in Tunstall’s group until they had a falling out. Or is it? Is this destructive juvenile behavior or has it moved past that stage?
Wisely DA Healey has chosen not to take the case forward, and he shouldn’t Not one more penny of tax dollars wasted on this senseless foolishness by a group of immature malcontents.
By FBCStaff-After being on the left side of issues for many years the Fort Bend Star seems to be making an effort to right the ship. The left leaning rants of the Star was the main reason I started this blog was to refute many of the outlandish assertions f of the Star.
With positive well researched and written articles about the FBISD bond and Missouri City Golf Course:
“Missouri City’s acquisition of the Quail Valley Golf Course was one of the biggest developments in the city’s 58-year-history, and one of Mayor Allen Owen’s proudest accomplishments in two decades in office.”
read more from the Star
After the first full year of operations, the course only lost $300,000, and not over a million dollars as the malcontents alleged.
The refurbished course has enhanced home sales in Missouri City, proving the mayor and council made the right decision in purchasing the course.
I would retire but I have one more group of malcontents making false assertions I want to expose to the residents of Ft Bend County.
One poster is addlepated and may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s:
Jim White let me give my honest opinion…. bully is often someone who uses his or her position or influence to intimidate or manipulate others… When they dont like something that is not on their agenda or fits into their “box” they tend to retaliate rather than facing the problem or comments head on…. On facebook ,, its called blocking… In politics government officials verbally abuse citizens.(Ive heard it at MC council meetings).. These folks hit and run…. they are not man or woman enough to stay and conduct a debate… sort of like,,, “Its my ball, Im going to take it and go home”
Bless his heart, Jim a huge fan of candidate Chris Preston. He even carpooled several hundred of his neighbors to help Preston win. I won’t say I told you so…..but.
National Night Out A Huge Success
Missouri City just recently celebrated National Night Out on October 7th across the city. The evening started at the Target store on Highway 6 where there were games, food and fun to be had by all. City staff then divided forces and visited over 60 registered block parties. Police officers, command staff, elected officials and code enforcement investigators attended the various parties and met with residents of the city where they answered a wide variety of questions. Before the formal event on October 7, the Police Department held their fifth annual “Pre-National Night Out” kickoff event at the Mini Station on Texas Parkway. A large number of residents attended this event and had a great time while trying to “Dunk A Cop” and eating good food.
IT/Police Team-Up Featured In Latest Edition of StateTech
Missouri City’s collaborative approach to solving problems received national attention with a recent feature in the latest edition of StateTech magazine. StateTech, which focuses on technology solutions that drive government, ran a two-page story on the Police Department’s motorcycle unit and how our IT Department outfitted the units using efficient and simple technology. The article includes a diagram on the City’s motorcycle unit and a photo of cover models Officer Robert Lawson and Technology Director Sedrick Cole.
Firefighter Ryan Meets Little Ryan
On September 9, 2012, Missouri City Firefighters responded to a medical call for a pregnant female. Firefighters assisted with the delivery of the baby. At the recent Open House, the family relayed the story to Chief Sander and at the time of the delivery, the family had not selected a name for the child. When they heard one of the firefighters call the name of “Ryan”, one of the firefighter attendants, the family found the name for their baby boy. On October 16, the McNamee family stopped by to reunite both Ryans’. Firefighter Ryan Connor and Ryan McNamee met and took the opportunity to takes some photos. Helping name the baby…that’s special customer service.
City Holds Small Business Purchasing Workshop
We held the first of the Small Business Purchasing Workshops on Wednesday morning at the Community Center, and had a turnout of 50 business owners and managers. We reviewed the small business program, vendor registration and purchasing methods. We also stressed the importance of the businesses to be enrolled with the various purchasing cooperatives to increase their opportunities with the City and other municipalities. Most guests remained after the presentation to learn more about doing business with the City and the procurement process from staff. Existing City vendors were able to visit with additional staff beyond the immediate team members they partner with on a regular basis. Some in attendance commented that they were able to use the networking portion to build business relationships that they were unaware existed in the area. We are e-mailing a survey to those in attendance to get their feedback on the presentation and future events. The Communications Department put together the initial feedback they heard this morning from those in attendance:
“Great to make a connection with the City.”
“Excited to see a small business policy finally implemented.”
“We are looking forward to future workshops to learn more about the procurement process.”
“This allowed me to put a face to a name; I’ve talked to Al on the phone and it was good to meet him (Purchasing & Risk Manager Alfonso Guerrero).”
“Look forward to having an opportunity to do business with the City.”
“We want to be involved with the Leadership Luncheon.”
“Nice setup and format.”
“Presentation was informative.”
2nd Annual HOA Basketball Tournament on the Horizon
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural tournament, Missouri City is once again hosting a youth basketball tournament on November 8 – 9 at the Recreation and Tennis Center, 2701 Cypress Point Dr., starting at 8:00 a.m.Homeowners Associations from all corners of the City are invited to create teams of youth ages 8-14. Missouri City staff and public safety officials will also be creating teams to compete against HOA-made teams. “The inter-HOA competition, now in its second year, is a fun, exciting and healthy way for staff and residents to support and foster youth involvement with the City,” Community Resource Officer Evett Kelly said. “We’re hoping to build on the success of last year’s inaugural tournament and draw even more teams from all corners of the City.”
MCPD Gives Presentation To Mayor’s Youth Commission
Members of the Missouri City Police Department had an opportunity to give a presentation to the Mayor Youth Commission on Monday, October 13. Sgt. Phillip Englishbee, Community Resource Officer Evett Kelly and Captain Dwayne Williams provided a presentation on how to become a police officer and promote through the ranks at a the police department. The youth were provided an opportunity to ask questions and pose any concerns to MCPD members. The interaction between the youth and police department members was very positive and afforded the police department an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with our youth. The meeting was one of eight meetings scheduled each month for the Mayor’s Youth Commission.
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FBCStaff- Early voting sites and hours of operations: click on link FBC Elections
To find your sample ballot, go to the voting locations and find your precinct number and down load the sample ballot for your precinct.
Fort Bend Conservative recommends you vote for all republican candidates.
Prop 1 vote No We’re taxed by the state and feds. Both misuse the taxes collected for “other projects” the feds send taxes collected from Texas to fund foolish projects like the Kerry/Kennedy boondoggle the “big dig.” Both Kerry and Kennedy personally profited from our tax dollars. Tell your confressman no more money. Tell the feds stop sending Texas dollars to democrat states.
FBISD Bond vote Yes The FBISD is the making of the past several superintendents and BOT’s lack of fiduciary responsibility. Help Supt Dupree clean up the district and it’s our job to elect competent BOTs. If they don’t want to be there, or aren’t doing the job get rid of them. Its your money.
FBCStaff-We know the democrat chair’s wife does. Do we have a republican who will keep an eye on her?
Democrats knew their hands were tied with the voter ID, even though they tried with a last minute illegal ruling from an Obama appointed judge. That was quickly found to be unconstitutional. They have sunk a ton of money into the mail in ballots where ID isn’t required.
” And since y’all raised a hunk of the money to do the mail-ballot program, I want to protect your investment.”
Investment? But who will keep an eye on her? Remember the hanging chads when democrats tried to steal the election from Bush in 2000.
Democrats have increased mail in ballots by a gazillion percent and will try to use that to turn Texas blue.
read more from the democrat party
Democrats call it protecting their investments most would call it LBJ II
Democrats don’t mince words when it comes to stealing elections. They readily admit they steal elections, but choose to call it election fraud instead of voter fraud. Get ready for some angry democrats and massive election fraud. I’m just afraid the republicans running the state party and the FBCGOP may have helped just a little too much.
FBCStaff-Liberals do love to make over the top accusations to draw attention to themselves. I recently noted a recent column on the FBISD bond was a good, a fair, and an informed piece followed by this outlandish comment a local wannabe politician made about it:
“Kris Allfrey So Michael how much advertising are we going to see in the next paper for FBISD? I hope you got a lot like Community Impact because I know the district has nothing better to do with our tax dollars. Glad to see the vendor feeders have mobilized.”
Allfrey responded with this comment:
“As my grandmother use to tell me the proof is in the pudding! Don’t believe that local print media can be bought off with tax payer dollars? Remember all those articles in the Community Impact newspaper that also so featured a significant advertising contribution from FBISD? Remember that “editorial piece” in the Fort Bend Star along with all the advertising from FBISD using tax payer dollars? Well now I will encourage you to read the Fort Bend Independent. You see they haven’t got a windfall of tax payer dollars like the Ford Bend Star and Community Impact have from FBISD. They chose to do the ethical thing and write a story that outlines all issues with the bond both good and bad. Still think your local media is not for sale? FBISD surely attempted and succeeded in buying off two of them. Will they now try to buy off the Fort Bend Independent after they read this post? Time will tell!”
followed by these comments from the author and others:
“Nancy Dunham Wow, Kris Allfrey, I thought this was the editor and newspaper that you said had zero credibility just a few months ago?
Kris Allfrey I can only guess he is upset that he did not get bought off!
Nancy Dunham I wonder how many people on here believe Michael Sudhalter wrote his column because the Star was paid off? That’s a pretty serious accusation and I, for one, believe he was sincere in his editorial. I think he has made a huge improvement in the Star since he arrived and I view the Star as a much more balanced and newsworthy paper since he joined the Star and since he has worked to engage the community on this site.
J.R. Atkins I share Nancy’s views on this one. I think it is more believable that someone has a viewpoint after research that leans towards a “Yes” vote than it is for the paper to be paid for a good review. I also seem to remember at least one article that explained the “No” vote stance.
I’m also looking forward to the letters to the editor that respond to the article. Tammy has a compelling argument that is direct and does not claim wrong doing by the powers that be. If I was against the bond I would probably feel that way because of her thoughts. It sells better in my opinion.
Michael Sudhalter Kris Allfrey you’re totally off base with this one. I remember that FBISD went with a lower bid to post some legal ads in a recent edition. If anything, by your logic, I would have been inclined to write something negative. The truth is we’ve taken an extremely balanced approach over the past few months in presenting the issues, including substantial input from yourself and other members of “FBISD Concerns”. The most recent article was a Commentary, not a regular news article, in which I gathered from months of researching the bond, listening to concerns and yes, listening to the district’s response as well. As the Editor of a newspaper, I write a weekly commentary piece. You can agree with it or not, but to claim some ulterior motive without proof isn’t right.
Kris Allfrey I put the facts out as they exist, sorry that it does paint a very ugly picture. Voters are free to make up their own minds.
Nancy Dunham Kris Allfrey you can prove that the Star printed a positive bond article due to receiving advertising? If you can, I would certainly like to see
Kris Allfrey So sorry you disagree Nancy but that is your god given right. I put the facts as their appear, I made no statement of illegal activity. All three papers are free to accept advertising from whoever they want. They are also free to write any story they want. Readers are also allowed to draw their own conclusion based on those facts. Again sorry you disagree.
What facts? These are simply dumb unfounded allegations. Michael is right, to make a dumb unfounded allegation without a smidgen of proof isn’t right but it is a tactic that Allfrey frequently uses. Why? The general consensus of psychologists that assert emotional intelligence is more important than IQ, is a lack of impulse control. Some psychologists have suggested unfounded attacks are a cry for help based on a deep-seated anger, some good old boys would say “that boy has a screw loose,” and my grandmother would say “bless his heart.”
I’m thinking there’s some merit there. I could do a poll or you can certainly weigh with your comments as many do here. Or we can chuckle at Allfrey’s expense, shake our heads and wonder what “the nut” will say next. After all we do have free speech and he is entitled to make an azz of himself anytime he chooses.
FBCStaff-We have a lack of focus in the FBCGOP and I’m sure it isn’t by design but simply poor leadership, like we are experiencing in DC.
There is something happening in Texas and it isn’t the Christmas party at the RCC.
More than 14 million Texans have registered to vote in the November elections, the secretary of state’s office announced Thursday, calling the number a record high.
read more from the Chronicle
The total marks an increase of 2.8 percent since the most recent presidential contest and 5.7 percent since the last time candidates for governor were on the ballot. In Bexar and Dallas counties — two of the most populous in the state — voter registration outpaced expected population growth from 2012 to 2014.
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan said the trend was impressive given the fact it’s an off-year election.
“Having multiple statewide offices open for the first time in years — there’s just a lot of voter interest,” Sullivan said. “Statewide, the candidates are campaigning hard. Both of the primary parties are campaigning hard. There’s been a lot of media covering the candidates. Texas is just a huge state that people pay attention to.”
The democrats haven’t won a statewide election in over 20 years and they are desperate.
The FBCGOP lacks leadership and it won’t be coming from the chair or DC. So it is left up to us.
Do you want to stand idly by or be distracted by party politics and help turn Texas blue? It is critical we take the US Senate. A key statewide seat and the democrats holding the US Senate will allow an unchecked President Obama to implement changes that we may never recover from.
Then you had better show up, stand up and get the vote out.