** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **
Contact: Christine Parizo
Christine Parizo, Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees Candidate, Denounces ‘Irresponsible’ Vote to approve Staff Gratuity Payments
It is the wrong time for the Board of Trustees to spend $2.8 million on bonuses when the cost of winter storm damage to CCISD schools is still unknown
LEAGUE CITY (Feb. 23, 2021) – Christine Parizo, a candidate for the Clear Creek Independent School District Board of Trustees, District 5 Position, today announced her opposition to last night’s Board vote, which granted some CCISD staff a so-called “One-Time COVID-19 Employee Pay Supplement.”
In a 5-2 vote, the Board approved a resolution – proposed by CCISD’s Human Resources department – that authorized single-instance bonus payments to select district employees of up to $500, in part for the purpose of “maintaining employee morale.” The total cost of the package to the district, and to taxpayers, is $2.8 million.
“In a time when we are likely facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of unexpected plumbing and water damage repairs to CCISD schools, not to mention a projected 2021-22 budget deficit, spending nearly $3 million right now on ‘morale’ bonuses is a tone-deaf and shockingly irresponsible decision by the Board of Trustees,” Parizo said. “There’s no question CCISD staff is overworked and underpaid, but this decision should be made as part of the district’s standard budgeting process, not when its financial situation remains unclear, and certainly not to score political points with special interests prior to a Board election.”
Many CCISD residents are still recovering from the effects of Winter Storm Uri, which brought to the area record cold temperatures, widespread power outages, and frozen water pipes, damaging what are believed to be thousands of homes and businesses across Texas. The exact cost of damages to properties owned by CCISD taxpayers is unclear, but is expected to be well into the millions of dollars. According to CCISD, 82% of its campuses sustained damage as a result of the storm.
The current District 5 Trustee, James J. Cunningham, voted in favor of the $2.8 million package.
“This is sadly just the latest in the incumbent’s long history of advocating for the frivolous, unnecessary spending of his constituents’ tax dollars,” Parizo said. “He consistently supports reallocating funds away from important, voter-approved projects to instead fund the Board’s personal priorities, because he believes he can always reach into taxpayers’ pockets for more. I’m running for the District 5 position because I believe taxpayers in west League City have had enough.”
A key pillar of Parizo’s platform is improving CCISD’s accountability to taxpayers. She believes that to keep tax rates low, and avoid asking taxpayers to fund a never-ending series of inflated bond packages, CCISD must improve its long-range planning, avoid gratuitous short-sighted spending, and provide much-needed transparency into how its funds are allocated.
“Few taxpayers realize that the District 5 incumbent and the rest of the Board of Trustees have already hired consultants to begin scoping out how to justify CCISD’s next bond package. So it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’” Parizo said. “After more than $800 million in taxpayer-funded bonds over the past decade, I believe CCISD’s out-of-control spending must be stopped. And that will only happen by voting for change on the Board of Trustees.”
Parizo, a longtime local education advocate, is running for the District 5 seat on the CCISD Board of Trustees, which stretches across central and west League City. This area includes 10 CCISD campuses and nearly a quarter of the school district’s 42,000 students.
The theme of the campaign, “Success for Every Student,” reflects Christine’s belief that all students deserve the best education the school district can provide, and that the district can do so while adopting a much more fiscally conservative approach to budgeting and cost savings.
Interested parties can learn more about Christine by visiting the Christine Parizo Student Success Committee website at https://christineforccisd.com, and on Facebook at https://facebook.com/christine4ccisd. There, visitors will find more information on Christine’s campaign platform, volunteer opportunities, and an online donation portal.
Early voting in the Spring 2021 CCISD Board of Trustees election runs from April 19-27, 2021. Early voting locations include:
– Creekside Intermediate, 4320 W Main St, League City, TX 77573
– Education Support Center, 2425 E. Main St., League City 77573
– Clear Brook HS, 4607 FM 2351, Friendswood 77546
– Learner Support Center, 2903 Falcon Pass, Houston 77062 (Formerly Clear Lake HS 9th Grade Center)
Election day is Saturday, May 1, 2021. Election day voting locations include:
– Ross Elementary, 2401 W Main St, League City 77573 (for District 5 Precincts 220, 263, 401, 455, 464, 482, 487, 488)
– Ralph Parr Elementary, 1315 Texas Hwy 3 South, League City 77573 (for District 5 precincts 453, 454, 471)
CCISD residents can determine their voting precinct here: https://bit.ly/votinglookup. The last day to register to vote in the Spring 2021 CCISD Board of Trustees election is Thursday, April 1, 2021. Galveston County residents can register by mail for the election by visiting the Galveston County Voter Registration website: http://www.galvestoncountytx.gov/to/Pages/VoterRegistrationInformation.aspx.