La Feria News

Reject the New LFISD Bond Proposal

I recently found out that Mr. Rey Villarreal, the Superintendent of LFISD, is in the process of trying to convince the LFISD voters to pass a multi-million dollar school bond in May 2016. I was rather surprised considering that the Facilities Steering Committee rejected his proposal to burden the taxpayers by increasing the tax rate from $1.30 to $1.47 per $100 valuation. At the time, the administration failed to sell the $25 million bond to the committee because of the exuberant and unnecessary costs to our struggling taxpayers. I just couldn’t believe the wish list compiled by the administration, including the construction of a sporting complex, and other excessive items across the district. We were also disappointed with the maintenance neglect evident as we toured both La Feria High School and CE Vail. We even asked the Superintendent to demonstrate good faith by getting rid of the useless and unused facilities and land in the district before making any attempt to pursue a school bond. The administration never bothered to address these genuine concerns brought up by the committee.

Not surprisingly, after providing written feedback to the administration and board members in February 2014, the Superintendent chose to completely ignore our recommendations by recently resurrecting the whole proposal again. Most of the members were not even invited to attend the committee meeting held by the administration on June 22, 2015. The Superintendent conveniently handpicked members who are not going to oppose his so-called new bond proposal. We just can’t comprehend why would the Superintendent leave out the original committee members if he is really committed to getting us on board? This is not a good strategy for the Superintendent to follow knowing that the voters will reject this bond in May 2016.

I politely emailed the administration and board to let them know how disappointed I am with the recent developments. As expected, both the Superintendent and board members ignored my communication and chose to move with their plans anyway. As a community advocate, although I try my best to provide valuable feedback by addressing the school board every month, they don’t bother to see our perspective on things from our, or any other, angle. The Superintendent arrogantly ignores us and does what he pleases without any serious thought or consideration.

I’m urging our community to aggressively reject this huge multi-million dollar bond. We are asking the voters to be proactive by letting the school board know that we are against these kinds of expensive proposals without getting the community involved. We need to send a strong message to the administration about its failure to include us in the decision making process. This is the time to unite so we do not raise our already high tax rate in the district. Please join me by attending the board meeting every month.

– Yosef Mughrabi
Community Advocate

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