Monday, June 26, 2017


By Juan Montoya
A 4-2 vote by the board of trustees of the Brownsville Independent School District approved a 11.35 cent increase on property taxes that will see the tax rate go from $1.265000 to $1.1525000 cents per $100 valuation on the average residence in the district.

The motion to pass the increase was made by trustee Carlos Elizondo and seconded by Phil Cowen.  The only trustees who voted against the rate hike were Dr. Sylvia Atkinson and Minerva Peña.

With only trustee Laura Perez Reyes absent, the four members of the board voted to go along with the recommendation of Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas and CFO Lorenzo Sanchez to raise the rate. They will decide where the additional funds will go, recommended by Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas to be based on a five-year capital improvement plan to be presented at a future meeting.

The members who made up the majority were Joe Rodriguez, Cesar Lopez, Cowen, and Elizondo.

Dr. Sylvia Atkinson questioned both Zendejas and Sanchez on whether the additional funds were included in this year's recommended 2017-2018 budget and both answered that they were not.

Figures presented by the BISD administration indicate that the average district residence is valued at $85,832 and that the average homeowner can expect to pay an additional $82.70 in taxers. Under the old tax rate the homeowner who paid $691.42 will now pay 774.12.

Sanchez explained that the $1.1525 of the levy will go toward maintenance and operations and 0.11350 will go toward debt service to replace the monies moved from debt service to operations in the 2015 Tax Ratification Election.

And while some people in the community have said that they were under the impression that the district will get the money in the tax rate back from the state, Zendejas said that the district will have to borrow "significant" amounts of money to complete the project list over the next five years.

"We will come back to board," she said. " The five-year plan will see us borrowing significantly more money than the 11 cents can pay back," she told the trustees.


Anonymous said...

It was not a unanimous vote. Atkinson and Pena voted no because they
want the district to built a Taj-Mahal in one phase and not in a piece meal method. Where do they think they can get the money or do they want all the money to go for that. The Dodge Arena was not built by the School district - it belongs to private owners. Hablan por hablar.

Anonymous said...

I just hope they continue cutting the fat with all the lead positions that are not really needed and pay more attention to expenses.

Anonymous said...

Yet, when they do cut the fat, those cut complain and grieve and the district lands up paying like $230,000 for dismissing someone, especially when they deserve to be dismissed. Nobody seems to understand attrition and nobody wants to have their taxes raised, so what do they suggest be done? If the District were doing so bad as some claim, why is it that it is recognized nationally as one of the top districts? People are never satisfied, but never opt to try and help and just complain and bitch about everything. Minerva and Sylvia are right about building top-of-the-line buildings, but how can that be done when they complain about an 11 cent raise. Where do they want the district to get the money to provide such fine-arts center that is on their dream list. And, if Sylvia says it, Minerva "concurs" or if Minerva says it, she looks to Sylvia for approval. What happened Minerva, no eras tan bule con Cati - que the pasa ahora - speak for yourself, girl!

Anonymous said...

How many students has BISD lost to Charter Schools?

Why did they lose them?

What have those parents found at Charter Schools that they didn't have at BISD?

BISD should NOT increase taxes until they improve their performance.

Anonymous said...

They have no incentive to do this.

Anonymous said...

Da Blimp is being played for a fool again. Idiot

Anonymous said...

The news article in the Herald today said that BISD was named for equity...equal ability of poor and other students. Can that be because many of the parents that want their kids to have an above average education have opted for Charter or private schools. BISD is therefore the best of the award given where parents are ignorant, and see schools as a day care facility. If the parents don't have to make an investment in their kids education....what do we expect. BISD is not focused on education, but on socialization. BISD has made itself a "day care facility".

Anonymous said...

I thought BISD was "the best kept secret on this side of San Antonio" (Esperanza Zendejas words).
BISD has lost over 2000 students per school year to charter schools because in charter schools is not who you know but how much you know and how well you behave.
Minerva said that the passing of some legislation last year would prevent from increasing the taxes. I guess she lied.
I have yet to hear Zendejas say she will take a pay cut due to the loss of student population. In the meantime, the population they serve gets the same crappy instruction with a high tax rate, but hey they got a pay raise last year.

Anonymous said...

Juan how much did we spend on coachs business friends before the election and post election?
How many times did BISD reject the chiefs education program before it was finally passed (after he was elected)?

I wonder what the numbers look like? Or maybe there isno connection

There has to be a reason they love this supt while other boards throughout the country said NO MORE

Anonymous said...

People are so stupid and a bunch of fools. Those who elected Carlos, Cesar, Joe & Cowen you should have seen it coming bunch of self interest worthless pieces of Menure/Feces proclaimed to be for the students. In order let's break it down:

Cesar hmmm Buy Board of course wheel and deal ask him about the print shop Graphic Spot and BBQ including all the other deals and vendors from the Buy Board.

Joe viejo pero bien que chinga quedito all the Athletic Contracts and Buy Board Vendor eliminating the Bidding Process hmmm Wow

Cowen he proclaimed he was all about making BISD better wait a minuet you wanted
to join Joe just like when you were on the Board 20 years ago so you can wheel and deal

Carlos portrayed to be this man of honor he is worthless and will screw anyone if and when he gets' a chance Ambulance, EMT, Firefighters Program he has really found a way to make money since he can't make it on the Fire Chief Budget.. En pocas palabras tambien le saca jugo al BISD..

La Luara Perez Reyes worthless trembles to speak can't stand on her own she is called many names in the County Court and they aren't pretty names at all. We have no voice with her clueless individual that needs to be replaced at the end of her term.

Sylvia A well vendetta but at least she questions things yet she is seen
on a picture with Cesar Lopez, Ron McVey former Mercedes Board President that
hired Cesar Lopez to work in Mercedes ISD Purchasing Department and also seen
with Baltazar Salazar who is close to Carlos Elizondo. What a mes!!!!

Minnie Pena looks at Sylvia to make a decision can't make a decision without looking at Tonto or her Chief, Kisses everybody and stabs them in the back because
it's about pleasing everyone. Worthless person be independent and stand up for what's right on your own.

Superintendent has got to goooooo enough of the abuse and dictatorship.

Baltazar Salazar is also the Cancer in BISD and he has got to go like yesterday this District will continue to loose students because of the lack of true leadership that has no respect for the citizens/voters. Policies are broken and or used only to benefit themselves .

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for the 10:51 blogger who is astute enough to notice how Minerva acts with fear towards "Tonto" and won't act without her approval. At least Laura is trying to make up her own mind and not let La Sylvia text her how to vote. I say remove all cell phones from the actual meeting, for they text each other throughout the meeting instead of paying attention to what citizens are saying, or other board members are proposing. You may be exactly right with your descriptions of each board member, but this needs to be expressed to them in person.