To the Editor:
How bold and arrogant Belton officials have become because nobody has challenged past schemes and today’s effort to bypass voters for $7 million via certificates of obligation.
It’s no surprise that Bell County Judge Jon Burrows and Precinct 2 Commissioner Dick Cortese sit on the TIRZ board and encourage the act.
Remember, the last fiasco left taxpayers paying $5.7 million for an empty jail with $60,000 in new mattresses.
And now Belton officials are following that example, claiming costs are rising and they want to save taxpayers money.
What they won’t tell you is that their goals may entail ripping up infrastructure built in the area where they live, have businesses and constituents, then making it better, like the sidewalks and drainage in front of the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor.
They demolished sidewalks and re-constructed better ones with fancy brick inlays — all the while, streets like Comay, Neil and Center remain a public danger, and will for another 20 years.
Belton officials are crafty too — stating that $1 million of the CO funds is “yet to be determined” where used.
All the while they sit on $800,000 reserved for the Ninth Avenue Bridge that will primarily serve UMHB’s mega-million-dollar football stadium.
More appalling is Councilman Craig Pearson’s remarks, “I think the voters DO get an opportunity — and the only way to vote, is to NOT sign the petition for an election in order to save time…”
Craig also claimed that “WE” have had an “Open and Inclusive Process” for input; yet, he and his buddies configured a 20-member C.I.P. committee with only one African-American from South Belton and zero Hispanics.
Before bypassing voters, officials should disclose the accumulative debt.
(City: $21,366,439; BISD: $235,288,379; Bell County: $158,839,770, etc.).
Texas is second to California in this type of debt.
Who will be left to pay for it?
Joe Trevino Jr.