TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas - Eanes ISD voters spoke loud and clear last during the last bond election by rejecting a nearly $90 million bond. This year they will go back to the polls to vote on a smaller bond with a price tag of $52.5 million.
According to the district the school board would not have to raise the tax rate but two former board presidents are calling that misleading. They say appraised values keep going up therefore people are paying more in property taxes and Sayers calls that a misrepresentation.
During a press conference, called by Al Cowan and Clint Sayers, the two laid out their case for voting no to the upcoming bond. Both served as past school board presidents.
"They've got the microphone and we're the underdogs and just the opposition trying to put out the information," said Cowan. "We believe the voters want tax dollar spent wisely on teachers and academics and not bureaucracies and buildings."
Both say the district has a deficit of $5.4 million and the priority should be fixing that instead of putting the bond election together.
Rob Hargett came to the press conference as a concerned citizen but he's the current school board president. He challenged Cowan to a debate which started almost immediately.
"You know you were a school board president and you know the budgetary crisis the district faces it's easy for you to spout out generalities," said Hargett to Cowan.
One of Cowan's concerns is spending money on items he calls a luxury like upgrading the public announcement system to the cost of $250,000. Hargett says there are only five speakers and one works.
"You can't just ignore needs because they have to be addressed," said Hargett.
As Election Day nears both sides plan to ramp up activity within their respective political action committees.
Ultimately the voters will have the final say on May 9th.