in Houston, Texas
Robstown ISD voters will decide fate of smaller bond issue after $1 million mistake
Thursday, Oct 04, 2012, 03:00PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

A last-minute change of plans and human error created a $1 million mistake for the bond issue on the November ballot for Robstown Independent School District voters.

District leaders discussed plans over the summer for a $12.5 million bond issue to demolish and reconstruct 30 Robstown High School classrooms and a cafeteria and library. Days before the final vote, trustees increased the bond issue to $13.5 million after input from financial advisers, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports.

The district’s bond counsel didn’t amend the election order, and the board secretary, who was absent from the special meeting for the final vote, didn’t notice it before sending it to Nueces County elections officials, the Caller-Times reported. Officials of the district of more than 3,300 students about 20 miles west of Corpus Christi sought the $1 million cushion in the bond for unexpected higher costs for the projects.

The district chose not to spend $15,000 to change the ballots, the newspaper reported.

Robstown ISD School Board President Osvaldo Romero wasn’t happy when he noticed the mistake on a sample ballot.

"I was livid,” he told the newspaper. “That's a million-dollar mistake.”

If voters approved a $13.5 million bond, Robstown ISD tax rates would have increased to $1.67 per $100 valuation from $1.61 per $100 valuation. That will drop if voters approve the $12.5 million bond issue on Nov. 6, though the dust hasn’t settled enough for officials to say by how much. When they do, we hope they’ve checked those figures twice.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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