• 2018 Dripping Springs School Board Candidate Surveys

    Citizens for Academic Excellence in Dripping Springs developed a questionnaire for 2018 Dripping Springs School Board candidates, to provide them the opportunity to outline their positions on DSISD's $132 million 2018 Bond, Proposition A.

    We gathered this information as a service to our community of supporters, as well for voters and taxpayers throughout the District. We are publishing candidate responses AS RECEIVED, up to only 600 characters, as was outlined in survey instructions. "[...]" indicates a clipped response that exceeded 600 characters.

    We thank all the candidates for their willingness to serve our community, and further thank those who took the time to respond to our questionnaire. "DNR" entered as response to any question indicates that we did not receive a response from that candidate to that question .

     

    Candidate responses are in alphabetical order by surname. Candidates are listed immediately below. Click any candidate's name to go directly to their response, without scrolling.

     

    You can also view the candidates' biographies and filing papers on DSISD's website by CLICKING HERE.

  • Sharon Armke

    1. What's the most important thing for voters to know about the Bond?

    "Relocating the Admin building at WSES and then rebuilding WSES will cost over $38 million. We will not, however, add any additional student capacity from this $38 million being spent. The administrators will have a building that is really too large for them. "Administrators First" is the wrong approach. Hays CISD passed a huge bond by 70% of the voters at the request of their previous superintendent. Hays then built one of the most expensive high schools in the state of Texas. Property taxes doubled for some homeowners in just five years in that district. Yet even with these tax increases,[...]"

    2. What is the highest priority, or most important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "The highest priority is always the needs of the children, the students, of DSISD. Of course, providing adequate salaries for teachers and staff is also crucial, but these cannot be addressed by a bond. This bond provides for needed improvements at the high school. It also provides for one new elementary school to be built at some undisclosed location. All the items in the bond related to providing for the instructional needs of the children are good and helpful."

    3. What is the lowest priority, or least important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "Having a new administration building, and child care facility, at some point needs to be done. My concern is that this is over reach at this time. As recently as December, the Town Center Project listed a new administration building as part of that development plan. Not providing for the growth in student population, but providing an admin building that is actually too large, while saying this bond is all about student growth, is less than transparent."

    4. Which, if any, Bond line item(s), would you have chosen to exclude from the current Bond Proposal?

    "Excluding the administration building would have been the better solution. Providing for the needs of a growing student population should be the focus."

    5. Do you support the Bond? Why or why not?

    "I am personally voting against the bond. I would like to see a new bond submitted in November providing for the same needs of the students now listed, such as the high school improvements, and everything that addresses student needs, but providing for two new elementary schools. Rooster Springs will not have the capacity for all the students in Belterra when Belterra is built out. A new elementary school in that southeast quadrant of our district has been promised, yet it is not included in this bond. "Children First" is my campaign motto."

  • Mary Jane Hetrick

    1. What's the most important thing for voters to know about the Bond?

    DNR

    2. What is the highest priority, or most important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    DNR

    3. What is the lowest priority, or least important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    DNR

    4. Which, if any, Bond line item(s), would you have chosen to exclude from the current Bond Proposal?

    DNR

    5. Do you support the Bond? Why or why not?

    DNR

  • Carrie Fontana Kroll

    1. What's the most important thing for voters to know about the Bond?

    "The most important thing for voters to know about the Bond is that it was crafted by many voices after months of meetings and included the involvement of parents, teachers, administrators and other community members to address the incredible student population growth the district has faced, and will face, in the coming few years. Additionally, it is important to note, that if the bond fails, the district will still have to account for educational space for children and the current learning environment will look much more different as portables take over and we ask teachers and administrators to get even more creative in how they educate students in confined spaces with limited resources."

    2. What is the highest priority, or most important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "The most important components of the bond are those that plan and account for the continuing growth of our student population. Dripping Springs High School is currently at student capacity. Dollars included in the bond package allow that campus to expand to meet the needs of its growing student population and provide resources to build upon its current, outstanding educational programs that range from additional space for the Fab Lab and Health Sciences to expansion to the Ag Facility and renovation of the Auto Tech spaces. Additionally important, are dollars directed toward land acquisition for future campuses and the building of a fifth elementary school."

    3. What is the lowest priority, or least important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "A wide array of parents, teachers, administrators and other community members actively discussed and developed the components of the bond during the Long Range Facility Planning process. Another similar group prioritized the components of the bond package during the Bond Steering Committee (BSC) process after much deliberation. Everyone had a different reason for being there and spoke to a different priority. For me to infer that there are items of low priority would be akin to choosing one student population over another. Many requests and needs of the district weren’t ultimately included in the bond package. The BSC established those items of top priority that fit within our fiscal parameters."

    4. Which, if any, Bond line item(s), would you have chosen to exclude from the current Bond Proposal?

    "I would not have excluded any of the components proposed in the bond. Members of our community put many hours into crafting this bond proposal. I sat through all but one of the planning meetings (which were publicized by the district and open to the public) and listened to many thoughtful discussions centered on how to ensure that the district is positioned to continue providing an exemplary education for each DSISD student as our student population rapidly grows. Every phase of this process included voices championing fiscal responsibility. As someone who grew up in Dripping Springs, a mother of fifth generation DSISD students and as a local taxpayer I feel confident supporting the bond as proposed."

    5. Do you support the Bond? Why or why not?

    "I support the bond. I believe in public education and am very supportive of DSISD. In 2017, the Texas Supreme Court told legislators that while constitutional, their approach to financing public schools needed fixing. Lawmakers; however, were unable to come to a consensus on a different method of finance. As more unfunded mandates are pushed down to schools, this broken financing system ensures that districts like DSISD must make hard financial choices when it comes to ensuring our students have access to appropriate educational resources. As more people choose to live in Dripping Spring, in large part because of our schools, they should know that bonds are an inevitable component of our present reality."

  • James E. Meeks

    1. What's the most important thing for voters to know about the Bond?

    "It's a colossal mess. It reads like a wish list for Santa. The district put the cart before the horse when planning the "Town Center" before a bond proposal was passed. The district's Administration has elevated it's wants into needs. At a time where the district is gaining 300+ students a year this administration wants to close Walnut Springs so they can remodel it into a central office. Fiscally absurd. Since we would have to replace that school the ultimate cost for the new central office would be 38 million dollars. We can level the current building, build on that site and save taxpayers 2[...]"

    2. What is the highest priority, or most important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "Building a new elementary school."

    3. What is the lowest priority, or least important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "The proposed 2 million for new turf to replace turf that's only part way through it's projected 15-20 year life. The turf only needs routine maintenance refurbishing. Did we get a warranty?"

    4. Which, if any, Bond line item(s), would you have chosen to exclude from the current Bond Proposal?

    "3 million bucks to renovate the bus barn & add additional parking & lighting. How about neighborhood schools instead so kids can walk to school & reduce these transportation costs?"

    5. Do you support the Bond? Why or why not?

    "NO. The bond needs to be re-written. The vague ballot language of this current proposal makes accountability difficult and responsibility to carry out each sub project easier to weasel out of.
    Due to the vagueness of language funds can be moved around & re-allocated within the general umbrella of the bond proposal. Where I work I asked technology about the tech portion of the bond and they have no idea what "Refresh" is supposed to mean. Vague ill defined maintenance projects at each campus. Vague language translates to "Administration can do whatever they want and their accountability is mini[...]"

  • Shannon O'Connor

    1. What's the most important thing for voters to know about the Bond?

    "Due to the method by which public school districts are funded by our legislature, bonds are a necessary part of any endeavor to build infrastructure or to engage in capital projects. DSISD is a fast growth district and shows no signs of slowing down. This is a great testament to our community and the quality of our schools. However, it does put pressure on the system resulting in the need to build schools and expand services to best serve our students. Every effort is made to be mindful of the tax burden by stakeholders and this bond was no exception. This bond does not call for a tax rate inc[...]"

    2. What is the highest priority, or most important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    "The highest priority addressed by this bond are our students. Our students do not succeed when there is overcrowding and limited resources."

    3. What is the lowest priority, or least important component, for our District (that's addressed by the Bond)?

    DNR

    4. Which, if any, Bond line item(s), would you have chosen to exclude from the current Bond Proposal?

    "The District has an even longer list of necessary expenditures that did not even make this bond package. This bond reflects the prioritized items that are necessary for our students or have now become of critical importance such as the safety of the Administration building."

    5. Do you support the Bond? Why or why not?

    "I am in favor of the continual investment in our growing school district. Bonds are necessary to expand our infrastructure and services to support our students. This necessity is rooted firmly at the feet of the Texas Legislature."