Speak up when it matters

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The chance to make a $450 million decision is coming up.

Burn the date May 6 into your mind.

It’s the day of the Bexar County general election and your opportunity to speak your voice.

In addition to mayoral, city council and other bond elections, the ballot includes the Alamo Community College District Capital Improvement Plan bond.

The district is requesting $450 million to renovate and build facilities across all of the colleges and construct new regional centers.

Do you trust the Alamo Community College District to represent your best interests in their use of your tax dollars?

Earlier this year, the board earmarked $60 million in revenue funds to construct a new district support office at 2222 N. Alamo St.

That money could have been used to improve the campuses, but the board instead decided to spend it on the administration and let campus improvements take a backseat, leaving the decision to hang on whether the bond passes.

District officials say these projects are needed because current facilities are old and insufficient, and they say enrollment at the colleges will soon exceed their capacities.

They have not yet presented the public with definitive numbers for college enrollments or capacities to back these claims, and they project large percent increases in enrollment by 2025.

Enrollment numbers and projections published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are much more conservative.

The district is able to raise property tax rates to fund the bond, but says it does not expect a raise to be necessary.

The specific projects and the amounts that go toward them can be found on www.theranger.org.

Regardless of your leaning, we ask only for your participation in what we hold to be a critically important decision.

If you have any regard for democracy, if you believe in a society controlled by its many rather than its few, we urge you to vote May 6.

Or better yet, get your vote out of the way during early voting between April 24 and May 2.

Students: The issuance of this bond affects you by constructing and renovating campus buildings. Classes may be disrupted or moved to accommodate construction.

If or when the projects are completed, you may have access to educational resources and programs you otherwise wouldn’t.

Faculty and staff: You are the gears in a vast, bureaucratic education machine.

You faithfully work day and night to produce the highest quality education experience you can for students.

Consider if this bond affects that goal. Consider if your administration’s goals align with yours.

Will this money produce a better experience for students, and if so, at what cost?

Consider the specific projects the district intends to fund with the bond. Are they the best use of funds for students?

Taxpayers: Will this bond lead to a more productive, thriving, intelligent Bexar County?

Make no mistake: You matter, and you don’t have to be an expert on policy to be qualified to have a say.

Many powerful interests would have you believe your voice is worthless. They’d have you think you’re better off at home while their friends and cronies vote for them.

This is not a decision to be made by the powerful.

It is ours.

It belongs to those who study and sweat in Bexar County and deserve to be represented.


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