Basin PBS to broadcast live bond town hall

Basin PBS will broadcast a live town hall and panel discussion on the Ector County ISD bond at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Ector Theatre.

It will also be livestreamed on the station’s Facebook page. People are welcome to attend and they can ask questions via the Facebook page. The event should last about an hour. Audience members should arrive by 6:30 p.m.

The event is free.

The three proposition $436,209,000 bond comes up for a vote Nov. 7. It will not impact the district’s tax rate of

Early voting is Oct. 23-27, and Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

If passed, the bond will not require an increase in the district’s total tax rate of $1.014 per $100 valuation.

The previous total tax rate was $1.17 per $100 valuation.

The town hall will be moderated by Pat Canty, regional vice president/publisher of the Odessa American and CBS 7 Anchor Mary Kate Hamilton.

Among the panelists are ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri, ECISD Board of Trustees President Chris Stanley, Sara Moore, co-chair of Odessans for a Bright Future, the political action committee advocating for the bond, Anthony Garcia, principal at Odessa High School, and Jeanette Fierro.

Information on the bond can be found at

“The town hall is unlike a debate. It is truly a town hall on … dissecting the bond, what’s in it and then discussion on why those things are important,” Basin PBS General Manager/CEO Laura Wolf said. “We’ll be taking questions via our Facebook page. We’ll also have an opportunity for the live audience to write down questions or connect to our Facebook page if they want to ask any questions.”

Producer Carma-Lynn Muscroft said Ector Theatre can hold at least 500 people.

Wolf said part of Basin PBS’ mission is to educate the public.

“We’ve discovered this about four or five years ago by doing debates — mayoral debates, city council debates, legislative debates — and then we went into town halls. This is just something that’s in our wheelhouse an something that we believe viewers need to be educated on before they go to the polls,” Wolf said.

Wolf said they are just trying to get the information out.

“… Using our over the air signal, we’re able to reach more people in the comfort of their homes,” Wolf added.

“Realistically, we can reach the whole population of Odessa. We have over 350,000 people in our DMA, in our market area, with our signal so I would say realistically over 100,000, if they choose to tune in and that’s just for Odessa. Same for Midland, over 100,000,” she said.

Muscroft said it takes a month to six weeks to plan for a live town hall like this.

The town hall is sponsored by Toby and Sondra Eoff and donated the Ector Theatre for the event.

“… There’s a definite hard cost to everything we do as far as local programming. We have very small staff of nine people. That’s why we bring Carma-Lynn in to produce our shows. But then we also have to bring in freelance camera operators, floor manager, teleprompter, so every time we do a show it there’s some hard costs with that. We also have to find sponsors and Sondra and Toby Eoff donated the Ector Theatre for the town hall. They’re also sponsoring it,” Wolf said.

“… We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” she added.

Wolf noted that Basin PBS has a mobile unit now so they can broadcast from anywhere in the area.

“But it takes a village to get all that equipment over there and set up. By doing the Ector, they saved us a lot of money because there are already lights and there’s a good sound system. That was a real blessing to us,” Wolf said.

She added that they would like to start doing more events in Odessa.

“That’s a huge part of our donor base for members and it’s also part of our DNA, who we are. Our license is actually based in Odessa, even though we house in Midland. We’re trying to reach out to Odessa more,” Wolf said.