Wake up Fort Stockton! | Fort Stockton Pioneer

Below is an open letter that was received in an e-mail shortly ago by the Pioneer from Fort Stockton ISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Zamora.

The letter is in regard to the result of the Fort Stockton bond election. Please note, there were 10 ballots that needed correction forms returned to count and three have been returned as of today. The seven correction forms unreturned can still be returned by 5 pm on Friday, May 13 to count towards the May 7 election.

Dear Fort Stockton ISD employee, parent, student, and/or resident,

On the evening of May 7 something sad occurred at Fort Stockton. Proposition A, an $84 million bond for educational purposes, was voted down despite having a 39-vote lead during early voting. This took place even though FSISD was not asking for an increase in the tax rate and a pledge from the school board that the already low rate would not be increased.

Over and over we tried to communicate that a vote against the bond propositions would not result in a tax savings. And, that if the bonds were approved the projected increase in property values ​​would most likely result in FSISD lowering the tax rate again during our annual budgeting process. FYI, FSISD has lowered the tax rate a total of 9.6¢ to just under $1.13 per $100 of valuation since 2019.

Registered voters have the right to vote however they choose, but a vote against Prop A was a vote against providing a better education and future for our community. This lack of support for our schools is disheartening to say the least. It saddens me that certain community members and influencers either for personal gain, vendettas, ignorance, or disdain of public education sent this dismal message to current and prospective educators of FSISD. Take note of the people of Fort Stockton, for every action there is a reaction. Cause and effect is a very real phenomenon.

The results of this election broke the hearts of many and served as the final straw of disillusionment for one, Coach Mike Peters. Coach Peters served as Athletic Director for six years at FSISD. During this time he has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards. His efforts boosted our students’ athletic performance, while also emphasizing the importance of academics and work ethics.

Yesterday morning Coach Peters informed me that, despite his dream to continue with and retire at FSISD, he and his family will be leaving the district at the end of this school year. Before rumors or speculations begin, and without putting words in his mouth, I can attest that Coach Peters has turned down numerous job offers over the years and that the results of this election finally drove him to informally accept a new position.

Losing a great man and educator hurts me and our district dearly. However, I want to publicly thank Coach Mike Peters and his wife Mrs Prissy Peters on behalf of those that they impacted in such a positive manner and from those that truly supported Fort Stockton ISD during his tenure. Coach Peters, you have proven that you will do a fantastic job no matter where you find yourself. I hope that you reconsider and stay, but if you must go; may you and your family find happiness in a place where your efforts are wholeheartedly appreciated.

For everyone else that this message reaches, I hope that you chose to continue fighting the good fight! Do not allow yourself to be fooled or listen to scare tactics. Seek out the facts and ponder why certain people opposed the bonds.

Please visit our website https://www.fsisd.net/site/default.aspx?DomainID=752 and/or do some research to see what not passing Proposition A prevented us from addressing. Look at the attached pic to see how much you will save now that the additional Homestead Exemption has passed. The bonds not passing saved you nothing. It only prevented us from providing better facilities and attracting/retaining quality staff.

Finally, listen to this 3-minute clip to confirm how much money voting against the propositions is going to save/cost you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ou-9PdTT2k (If you can’t be bothered to listen for 3 minutes, the Cliff Notes answer is “Nothing”).

People of Fort Stockton, wake up! Our children and our community need you more than ever. You have my word that I will continue fighting to make things better. I ask that you do the same but before you do, ask yourself what you need to be fighting for and what you really need to be fighting against.

respectfully,

dr Gabriel Zamora, CSM

Fort Stockton ISD Superintendent

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