Five-and-a-half months or 10.5 hours to arrive at an $89 million bond proposal for the school district? Understanding the value of and the distinction between these two numbers is imperative for the taxpayer as the plans for Hays USD 489ís proposed school bond moves forward.

In a recent article, the spokeswoman for the architects running the planning process for USD 489ís next bond proposal essentially said the five-and-a-half months the Vision Team spent pouring over details before they came up with a plan to present to the school board was enough time to sufficiently vet all the issues. But I believe it is imperative that the public have all information before it decides whether or not the Vision Teamís plan has been well-thought out.

Starting in February this year, the Vision Team met a total of seven times. Each one of these meetings lasted approximately 1.5 hours. In other words, the Vision Team spent a grand total of 10.5 hours to come up with a plan to spend $89 million of taxpayer money on school improvements. And the first few meetings just informed the Vision Team of the current condition of the existing school buildings.

Only 10.5 hours to arrive at a plan to spend $89 million has to be some sort of record. The citizensí committees that planned the Hays sports complex and the building projects for Ellis County, for example, spent one-and-a-half to two years to fine tune their plans before they presented them to the public for a vote.

Perhaps common sense and prudence would suggest that more time should be spent on developing plans before asking the taxpayers to support an $89 million school bond.

Tom Wasinger,