CIP passes by two-thirds of voters

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Correction: A quote from board Chair Yvonne Katz was incorrectly reported in an earlier version of this story and has been corrected for this version.

Courtesy.

The board views passing of bond as support for board actions.

By Zachary-Taylor Wright

zwright9@student.alamo.edu

Two-thirds of Bexar County voters in the local election May 6 approved the $450 million Capital Improvement Plan bond issue.

The $450 million bond will fund the construction of new buildings and renovation of old buildings at the Alamo Colleges and purchase land for future construction.

During a special elections meeting at the May 9 committee meeting, board Chair Yvonne Katz, District 7 trustee, cheered for the passing of the bond and thanked the board of trustees and “executive faculty” for educating the public on the bond.

Katz said vote canvasing should show that 67 percent of voting residents voted in favor of the bond and said these numbers show the city and county public appreciate the board’s efforts.

“I’m so excited that it’s a 67 percent message from all of our people in the city and in the county to say, ‘Yes, we like what you all are doing. We like the way you’re doing it, and we want you to continue to do it, continue to improve because you’re on that improvement trajectory,’” Katz said.

According to the Bexar County unofficial voting results, 66.83 percent of voters supported the bond issuance and 33.17 percent voted in opposition.

The results state that 112,405 county residents voted on the bond issue, with 75,123 voting in favor and 37,282 voted in opposition of the bond.

According to the Bexar County Elections Department website, there are more than 1,049,400 registered voters in the county.

Approximately 10.71 percent of registered voters in Bexar County voted on the bond issue.

District 5 trustee Roberto Zarate said the community’s trust in the board and the board’s involvement with faculty was low, but he said the passing of this bond issue shows the community’s opinion of the board has improved.

District 8 trustee Clint Kingsbery expressed gratitude for the bond’s issuance.

Kingsbery recommended the board educate the one-third of opposing voters on the board’s good intentions for the Alamo Colleges.

District 1 trustee Joe Alderete seconded Kingsbery’s call to action, saying the board needs to reach out to the opposing voters.

Alderete commended the board on their “perfect timing” in putting the bond issue forward and the board’s ability to work together to produce the bond issue.

Student district trustee Alicia Moreno thanked faculty, staff, administration, the board and voters for “recognizing that we (students) are worth the investment and will continue to give back to the community.”

District 3 trustee Anna Bustamante thanked residents of Bexar County and the citizens advisory committee for passing the bond and vowed to educate the public on how beneficial the bond will be to the community.

The Citizens Capital Improvement Plan Committee, or citizens advisory committee, was a group of citizens appointed by the board of trustees at a June 29 meeting. They were charged with recommending projects for the bond and the division of the $450 million among the Alamo Colleges and regional campuses.

Katz joked that Bustamante “came out smelling like a rose,” after both the Alamo Colleges and the $59.7 million Southside Independent School District bond issuances were passed during the May 6 county election.

Bustamante is a music teacher at Southside High School.

Katz thanked John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operation and construction management, for his efforts in “defining the projects” and his work with the citizens advisory committee to outline the final bond issuance.

Katz jokingly advised Strybos to avoid inflating his ego.

“Don’t let your head get too big, John, ‘cause now you’ve got to put on your work boots and those work shoes and roll your sleeves up as we get started with our construction calendars,” Katz said.

Katz thanked Chancellor Bruce Leslie for “educating” the public on the bond issue and said she heard several people say, “Dr. Leslie just explained everything so well.”

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