Who pays up?

The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office has 154 trials and retrials to prosecute stemming from the deadly 2015 Twin Peaks biker shootout which saw 177 people thrown into jail on million-dollar bonds on questionable charges. It’s highly improbable our prosecutors will win every case. In each case the prosecution does not win, the county will have to pay certain court costs while increasing the prospect of civil lawsuits winning . Should a defendant sue for damages in civil court and win a judgment, the award also will be borne by the county. There is no realistic model by which county commissioners can project these costs into their budget or fiscal plans.

What will be the source of these payouts? These expenditures will not benefit the taxpayers, thus they should not have to pay for these costs in the form of increased fees and taxes.

Don Garretson, West

Bold Waco ISD plan

As a graduate of Mountainview Elementary, J.H. Hines, Lake Air Junior High and the first class of the new Waco High School, I am a product of Waco Independent School District. There are stressful situations, tough decisions and difficult changes facing Waco ISD in the days ahead. Finger-pointing, blame-shifting and second-guessing won’t move WISD forward. And for the sake of thousands of students, there must be forward motion.

There’s no such thing as a perfect plan, but I believe Dr. A. Marcus Nelson, WISD superintendent, has designed and articulated a bold, decisive plan: A partnership with Prosper Waco and a strong balance between increased technology and old-school reading and writing are much better than closing schools or turning local control over to the state of Texas. Dr. Nelson’s plan will cause some uprooting, demand some sacrifices and probably even incur short-term pain, but a tough decision is often the right decision.

Parents, principals, pastors and politicians must pull together to make this successful — all for the sake of children who are the future of our city and our nation. I, for one, trust Dr. Nelson and I cheer him on as the right man with the right plan.

John Durham, Pastor, Highland Baptist Church, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Trib opinion editor Bill Whitaker will discuss with Dr. Nelson and Prosper Waco executive director Matthew Polk the partnership between Waco ISD and Prosper Waco to operate an in-district charter school system under the guidance of the Texas Education Agency, a venture so unprecedented in Texas that TEA officials are still crafting rules for how such a system will operate.

KWBU will broadcast a short version of this lively interview at 11:30 a.m. Friday and a more in-depth version at 8 p.m., also Friday.

Listeners can hear the interview on 103.3-FM or online at kwbu.org.