2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chron: Jenney Pushing "Global Taj Mahal" Start Before Spring Elections!

...In May, David Wallace, former Sugar Land mayor who heads a committee that has studied the project's financial feasibility, said it is estimated to cost $26 million to be constructed and equipped, and $800,000 a year for operation, including insurance, utility, maintenance and transportation of teachers and students.

The district has been trying to secure donations from numerous corporations and organizations. Wallace told district officials then that possible private funding could amount to at least $400,000, which is half of the building's expected annual operating cost.

However, it’s unclear how much the district has raised so far. District spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said the administration plans to present an update on the project to the school board, possibly on Dec. 14 or later.

"There will not be any new information available before the time the update is presented to the board," she said....

...The project has spurred mixed feelings among teachers, parents and other residents of the district from passionate backing to harsh criticism and legal threats. (search FBW for more on this controversy and $30 million dollar vendor feeding project by the district during a recession and near $20 million dollar budget deficit and record bond debt ranking the district in the top 10 in the state for debt.).

Get the full piece at: http://www.ultimatefortbend.com/2009/11/global-center-construction-could-start-spring


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Did we expect anything else?
Submitted by taxpayer_beware on November 17, 2009 12:50 pm
..it’s unclear how much the district has raised so far. District spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said the administration plans to present an update on the project to the school board, possibly on Dec. 14 or later. Back to keeping information from the public again? I remember when they refused to release documents to the public even after the Texas AG ordered them released.

Anonymous said...

Running a current budget deficit near $20 million---Good timing?
Submitted by anonymous on November 17, 2009 12:55 pm
Looks like they are trying to get this duplicate project started before the spring elections and against the modifications made by the board last August about the fund raising requirement.

PBK Whooooo???
Submitted by taxpayer_beware on November 17, 2009 12:52 pm
I wonder if they are actually putting this project out on bids or letting PBK handle all this? "The district’s use of PBK Architects, which initially designed the project, also has come under fire by critics due to the firm’s involvement in a school project in the Judson school district that is under government investigation. According to a report by San Antonio-based television station WOAI and an audit disclosed by the station, the Judson district handed out the job of implementing a 2006 $236 million bond package, which includes a $100 million high school, to companies without going through a legally required bidding process. One of the companies is PBK, which the audit found to have paid certain district employees to play golf at resorts including Torrey Pines in San Diego and Spyglass in Pebble Beach. Jenney expressed to the Chronicle earlier this year his faith in PBK as "a highly reputable company”

Anonymous said...

Global Taj Mahal
Submitted by gOLFINbUDDY on November 17, 2009 1:48 pm
Isn't is amazing how fiscally iresponsible a Superintendant and School board can be when they are spending someone else's money. Last Year $$10,million in the Red , this year $$20 million , plus, in the red..... Now they want to push ahead with another $$26 million dollar Taj Mahal boondogal project so they can feed thery're vendor buddies with your tax dollars. Lets see, 20 million in the + 26 million more = ANOTHER TAX INCREASE NEXT YEAR TOO!. How long do they (BOT) think we are going to let them keep wasting money on "pet projects" , instead of fulfilling the districts real needs ?, and raising our taxes to pay for it !!!! The time for action is MARCH -April folks. You have a chance to vote out two of the irresponsible bums who want to keep spending your money to give it to their vendor buddies. Will you help effect change, or just gripe about paying more taxes ?? YES YOU CAN !!!! MAKE A CHANGE, VOTE THEM OUT !!!!

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers need to unite
Submitted by ftbdteacher on November 17, 2009 8:35 pm
This is the most colossal waste of money I have ever seen in this district and that's saying something. There's not a reputable science teacher that will tell you this will do anything to help science scores. The district has been cutting science department budgets and cutting teaching staff the last couple of years and, yet, they have the money to do this? The best thing the district could do to boost science scores is to provide a stipend to hire competent science and math teachers. FBISD taxpayers need to contact school board members and stop this boondoggle.

Anonymous said...

That well is pretty dry...
Submitted by Mike on November 17, 2009 9:22 pm
Remember when this "idea" was going to be built 85% with business partnerships and 75% of the operating costs would be "donations"? Now it's 0% partnership for the build and maybe 50% of the operating costs - IF they're actually only $800,000.

Now, the district has already been operating in the red for two years now - of course, if you read the headlines earlier in the fall, it seemed to be the fault of the faculty and staff and their raises and not mismanagement on the district's part. The "well" that this duplicate monstrosity was to draw from apparently is running dry already - before the administrative photo op of the groundbreaking was even scheduled!

Here's just another reason why this project should be put on the bottom of the list: a number of teacher friends/associates of mine tell me the technology is terrible; there is no "System" of standards or design whatsoever for software and hardware. Apparently the students are still being taught Microsoft Office 2003, a 7+ year-old program as well as other outdated software; in addition, the computer network is about as stable as a 1960 Corvair. Now I'm no technology expert, but I'm guessing that $26M up front plus $800,000 per year would go a LONG ways in stabilizing the entire district at all levels. Compare the entire district of 70K students plus staff that would benefit from an improved technology system to the couple of thousand of students/teachers that will get to use the Taj Mahal once or twice a year? Logic tells me that the technology department needs the cash infusion more, but it looks like the administration's logic tells them that they'll build the TM now and just demand more money on the next bond. Anybody agree?

Anonymous said...

We get stuck with the bill!
Submitted by anonymous on November 18, 2009 5:48 am
I'm with you Mike. There are far better ways to del with this and I can guarantee you they won't even be able to raise half the operating expenses year end and year out for Jenney's mistake. They sure could have used this money elsewhere and developed the partnership with the HMNS crowd instead, but since when has logic been a central office practice.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that the superintendent is going to delay the academies because of the budget deficit but continue to push for an early start to the science museum, which costs far more.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I didn't think they were still pursuing this project. It doesn't make sense.