Letter to the Editor

Additional Observations on the PISD Bond!


Dear Editor,

All the following is germane to the upcoming 2023, May 6, PISD bond election. Observations of facts have been interesting if not telling! Of all the bond Elections held in Pampa, over the years, no one I’ve talked with can recall such an over-the-top publicity campaign including but, not limited to direct mailings, media advertising, bill board-type signage, yard signs etc. The mailings resemble some political-type presentations.

As a now-retired long-time business man, I can tell you that this kind of advertising costs a great deal of money! Who is paying the bill? Someone suggested it might be a group they call “Bonded Together and Building Together”! If so, who are these people? There are folks whom I’ve heard who wonder if there is something surreptitious afoot here because of the strong seemingly excessive push for passage of the bonds, especially Proposition A.

My answer is frankly, I don’t know but, I hope not? I have tried to deal primarily with monetary facts which I do know since they came from PISD Administration. The parts I have found somewhat troubling are: On Proposition A, most mailings say “Travis Elementary Additions and renovations...” however, one mailing in particular clearly states in bold upper case larger print “NEW TRAVIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL” essentially what was rejected in the attempted 2015-2016, failed bond election. So which is it? Clarity and total transparency should have been the achieved objective here!

This extreme advertising for a multi-million dollar bond issue in such a low population district can have and seems to be having a counter-productive effect. There certainly are people in Pampa, who now wonder who must have a monetary interest in the bond besides PISD itself!? Unfortunately even if there is none at all, the very thought of possible impropriety can have a deleterious effect on good, capable, people at PISD Administration with zero complicity themselves! My own experiences at PISD Administration was nothing less than friendly, courteous, and helpful, from our excellent superintendent, Hugh Piatt, chief financial officer, Heath Parker, and others as well.

Now, to further address the mailings: Many of these pieces state “16 Years Since Last Bond” which is a true statement in and of itself however, contrary to the part “2006 Bond On Time, Target & Under Budget” which implies to most folks I’ve visited with that the Bond is now paid for. That belief is absolutely untrue. I take it as a Bond Payment as the 2006, bond has an outstanding balance of well over 42 million dollars at this writing. We will continue to pay on that one until 2037 at maturity then!

Under their  “Pampa ISD Bond History” it appears that much of the repairs/renovations talked about in the present 2023, bond have been or will be addressed in the 2006, bond. You need to read that as well for your own understanding! So are some of the elements in the 2023, bond redundant?!

As for the folks who seem to disparage our school buildings because of their age, I suggest these structures have stood the “test of time” unlike many new buildings already exhibiting problems! Remember the statement from a building “expert” from Lubbock, along with other qualified individuals after complete, examination of our 1941, High School when they concluded and he said; “your High School is built like a Battleship!!” This was stated at one of the 2006 PISD school board meeting.

Hopefully, the additional observations and presentations will aid you May 6, 2023, if you have not already voted. Remember as disclosed in a letter to The Pampa News April.22, 2023 if this bond passes, the total of it with applied interest will be nearly $126 million dollars to mature 30 years hence. Coupled with the existing bond addressed here in, the balance of total outstanding debt will then be over 168 million dollars. Whatever you the voter of PISD decides, is your choice, it won’t matter unless YOU VOTE! Either way, PLEASE VOTE your convictions!

May God Bless!


J. Cleo Meaker


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