On Election Day, May 11, voters approved a $99.5 million bond package for the Boerne Independent School District. A great deal of work by staff, expert consultants and a host of dedicated volunteers went into developing the bond and executing a successful campaign for its passage.
Still, when word was received on the night of the election that voters had approved the bond, my second thought was, “Now the work really begins.”
My first thought was a feeling of elation for the students of Boerne and for this community. In the years to come, I believe we will look back on this day as a pivotal point in our shared desire to strengthen our community by providing excellence in education for our students.
Almost 73 percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of the bond initiative. Results like that suggest to me that this campaign was a team effort and that the people of Boerne, Cordillera Ranch, Fair Oaks Ranch, and surrounding neighborhoods truly place a premium on excellence in education. Accordingly, there are many to thank for the successful passage of the bond. First, I want to commend the voters who took time to become informed about the bond and who turned out in impressive numbers to cast their votes. As I said all along, I trust the process; having an informed electorate exercise its right to vote is critical to that process.
The 70-member citizen’s committee that initiated this process back in the spring of 2012 with its planning and development of bond recommendations deserves our thanks, as does the Boerne ISD Board of Trustees that reviewed those recommendations, unanimously approved them without change, and called for the bond election. An independent citizens group, Vote FOR Boerne Schools, organized to promote passage of the bond and worked tirelessly to achieve that goal. That group’s financial contributors helped make possible the signs, advertisements and website that promoted the proposition.
The mayors of Boerne and Fair Oaks Ranch supported this bond. The board of the Greater Boerne Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bond. Local media coverage was impartial and clearly committed to informing the public about the school district and the issues to be addressed by the bond. All of this was very important and deeply appreciated.
And I would be remiss if I did not thank my colleagues on the Boerne ISD faculty and staff who worked in so many different ways to help develop and support the bond initiative. I am humbled to be a part of your team.
As I said at the outset, now the work really begins. Now that voters have entrusted us to move forward, we will do so quickly and expeditiously. We relied on communication, transparency and inclusiveness in the processes that led up to the election; we will incorporate those same qualities into our work as the projects supported by the bond begin to roll out.
This fall, I will appoint two oversight committees to assure the district is fully accountable in its use of taxpayer-approved dollars. One committee will have responsibility for oversight of the majority of the projects contained in the bond package. The other will focus specifically on the $14 million technology component of the bond. I will be looking for folks in the community with specific areas of expertise and industry knowledge to advise us as we commit ourselves to using tax dollars wisely.
Work on our campuses will actually begin this summer as we start to enhance technology infrastructure in our schools and replace generations-old desktop computers so that our teachers will have enhanced instruction capabilities. The summer months also will give us opportunities to address some of the short-term projects called for in the bond, such as upgrading electrical and ventilation systems in our Champion High School welding shop in order to enhance capabilities in that facility.
We will begin immediately to implement the approved security measures on our campuses, focusing on reconfiguring the entrance points to some of our schools and adding other security enhancements. Our students’ safety is our first priority.
There is much more to come and I look forward to keeping residents of the district apprised of the progress we make. The voters of our district have made a significant investment in our students and our schools. I thank you for that and I pledge that we will be exemplary stewards of your trust.