Longtime City Hall naysayer Dave Wilson and other anti-tax activists gathered on the grounds of an elementary school that was slated to get $3.7 million from the last Houston Independent School District bond measure but instead was closed for lack of enrollment. Their message was that politicians cannot be trusted to spend your money wisely.
“There hasn’t been transparency. There is no accountability so that with this present bond election there’s no way anybody can vote for it. What we’ve got to do is send them back to the drawing board, look at something a little more reasonable,” Wilson said, focusing largely on HISD.
HISD has pledged a bond oversight committee, quarterly reports on spending on a special website, independent construction audits and project bidding managed by school procurement officials as safeguards against waste.
“There is going to be accountability,” campaign spokeswoman Sue Davis said, which includes a Web page for every affected school “that says how much they’re going to spend, what the problems are, what problems they’re going to correct and what they’re going to do.” Each school also will have its own oversight committee with parents, teachers and community leaders to tell architects what they want done. “I don’t know how much more accountability you can add.”
Here’s the HISD bond overview page, and here’s my interview with Superintendent Terry Grier. Since Wilson also opposes the city bonds and the HCC bond, because of course he does, see the links I included with my interviews with Mayor Parker and Richard Schechter for more information on those issues.
When asked if she believed Wilson’s message would gain traction, Mayor Annise Parker answered simply, “No.”
Sounds about right to me. Campos has more.