On Tuesday morning, the efforts behind the Ector County Independent School District's bond election gained a little momentum from the 200-member Odessa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
ECISD administrators and members of the Odessans for Kids, the political action committee backing the bond, gathered as members of the chamber presented their resolution of support for the $129.75 million bond election.
If passed, the bond would add three new elementary schools, one in northeast Odessa and two in West Odessa. The bond would also move the district toward a middle school concept and therefore add additional space at both of the high schools to make room for freshmen. The impact for an owner of a $100,000 valued home would be $57 per year in annual tax increases for ECISD.
Diana Chavez, board chair for the Chamber, said the support about the chamber was unanimous after the PAC presented the information to the group at a recent meeting.
"We want to show our support for the school bond proposal," Chavez said.
Chavez said she was in support of the bond for a couple of reasons. Chavez said she liked the fact that it would change the grade configuration -- adding that she liked having freshmen at the high schools. Chavez said she also liked the fact that the bond addressed overcrowding issues like long bus rides for students.
"These kids need to be in a neighborhood concept," Chavez said.
Manny Puga, chamber president, agreed adding that the bond was very much needed.
Renee Earls, PAC member, thanked the chamber for its support. Earls went on to say that more people are moving to the area and one of the two questions people ask before moving to the area is about the quality of the schools.
"We need to say we're very proud of our schools," Earls said.
Filiberto Gonzales, executive board member for small businesses on the chamber, said he agrees that the importance of schools in the business is significant. He said he wanted to be part of something he thought would enhance the work administrators were doing.
"I want to be part of this because I am a product of ECISD, so we need to support this so we can maintain the district," Gonzales said.
--Early voting begins Oct. 22 and goes until Nov. 2. --Election Day is Nov. 6.
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