Sunday, May 26, 2024

Letter- Gene Auerbach

In favor of VATRE


After 22 years of Naval service and 25 years of executive retailing (Costco, AutoZone, Estee Lauder), my wife and I have lived all over our country. When it came time to retire, we wanted to select a location with a wonderful community, close to our granddaughter, a lake for me to fish in, and great neighbors. Granbury was the perfect choice, and our 10 years here have been superb.

Giving back to my community is an important family value, and I am fortunate to be able to have the time and the opportunity to do so. Helping the children in our community is the best way to invest in the future of our town, as well as our state and our nation, so I joined the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center (PRCAC) Board as my first step. From there I began assisting GISD with volunteer needs, from scholarships to solutions for growth issues.

There are two propositions up for a vote this year. Prop A, the VATRE, (Voter Approved Tax Rate Election) is for staff salaries, and Prob B is for facilities. Both are critical to meeting our kids’ needs as our community grows. The VATRE brings our teacher and staff salaries to competitive levels with a 10% permanent wage increase, a major step in hiring and retaining the best staff in GISD. Prop B is a $151.7M bond that adds a new elementary school, the first since 1996. It also adds classroom space to Acton Middle School, addressing overcrowding caused by increased enrollment numbers. It improves elementary and middle schools with increased security and much-needed repair and renovation, enhancing the academic environment. Further, it will put a new bus barn in the north section of the district plus 30 new buses to improve and shorten the travel experiences for our young children.

Unfortunately, there is quite a small, but vocal segment of our community that votes negatively on everything that requires money or updating. They are lining up against these two common-sense bonds, even though the propositions will lower the school taxes (6 cents per $100) and provide more classrooms for GISD’s rapidly increasing numbers of students. Please, research these issues and learn how these propositions will resolve them. Detailed factual information is available at under the heading “Election.” Turn out and vote, preferably early. Whether you are a young family with children in the schools, businesspeople, or seniors who have benefitted from having a well-educated and strong community, it is time to embrace the future to help our children. Please remember, it takes about 3 years to build a new school, and during that time our population continues to grow, so the time to act is now. My friends, please become engaged to help our children prepare for the future by providing them with the support they need and show our wonderful teachers you value their hard work. Vote “yes” on Prop A and B!

Gene Auerbach

Captain, SC, USN (Ret)