The ACCD Bonds: A Flawed Package!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
February 3, 2005
For far too long, the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) refused to recognize the legitimate demands of the Northeast area of our County. Now that they have decided to recognize this important part of the entire community in the form of a Northeast Campus, they have also decided to centralize the health education currently taking place at Palo Alto, SAC and St. Philip's Colleges into the Medical Center area. But who cares? Didn't the well-connected and mighty decision-makers of years past do the same with the University Hospital, our indigent hospital, when it moved to north of Oak Hills? Didn't they do it when UTSA was moved just two miles closer to downtown San Antonio than to downtown Boerne?
American Revolutionary War pamphleteer Thomas Paine said, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first, a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason."
So it is that inconveniencing the most needy students, not just the most students, has been thought to be right. Disinvesting in the central part of our community has also been thought to be right. Regarding inconvenience, a community college exists to be convenient to students. Surely the neediest if not the most numerous students come from the central part of our city. In addition, with respect to the health campus, the greater concentration of clinical experience needed by the health students is in the central city. This is not just supposition; it is the opinion of Dr. Robert Jimenez, M.D. and noted local psychiatrist. He has a special perspective as Chairman of the University Health System Board of Managers, which voted seven to nothing requesting the ACCD place the health campus in the central city.
Regarding disinvestment, we have seen over the last fifty years and in particular in the last ten or so years that the effect of economically collapsing communities creates an outpouring to the suburban communities and an overloading of their neighborhoods and schools. Of equal concern are the residents left to live in declining communities. Ultimately this pattern if allowed to develop can manifest itself eventually in suburbia and exurbia as well.
It is with this in mind that we should stop thinking that inconvenience and disinvestment are right. We can and must do the best for all. The current proposals for the Northwest Vista College and the Northeast Campus are sound. However, they are part of a flawed package, which can be fixed. To fix it, we must vote ‘em down, bring ‘em back and do it right!