Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ZAP! #73: Ho, Ho, What the...

ZAP! #73...December 13, 2011

Just what was IISD trustee Christian thinking at the last school board meeting? Wait! That may have been the problem...he wasn’t thinking.

If you missed it -- as did the Dallas Morning News, coffee shop gatherings and other local watering holes in the city -- Christian was attempting to push through a resolution that would have caused IISD trustee elections to be changed and held starting in November, 2012 in only even-numbered years. (This would mean that there would not be a May, 2012 school board election.) This action -- having elections only every TWO years -- would also have extended the terms of office for all of the current board members… some by over a year.

Leaning on a State statue (that he became aware of back in September) that could be changed or eliminated by the legislature in 2014, why did he wait until the last board meeting of the year to spring his proposal? And he sprung the proposal without due diligence with regards to the public being adequately informed of this monumental change in conducting IISD elections! Was his agenda really political in nature?

Looking at the magnitude of what his actions could have created, his disparaging comments about Dallas county and Irving elected officials at the board meeting did little to instill confidence in his proposal, or keep the doors ajar to pursue workable partnership relations with these entities. Maybe one of the other school board members could send a Christmas fruit cake to Irving’s mayor and the County Judge as a token of reconciliation during this season of Peace! The IISD may need this nice gesture for the verbal tirade voiced by Christian in the meeting.

Additionally, Christian’s proposal would have placed IISD board elections in the thick of state and national elections if the county two-year cycle was adopted. As one might envision, this would create the probability of making school board elections extremely partisan in nature. After all, Irving voters do not elect Republican, Democrat or Independent school board members. And now is not the time to start.

Another side effect of November elections every two years would be voter turn out. Perhaps, Christian could check with Houston and see how well their system of local November elections is working. The term disenfranchised voters and poor voter turn-out should be all that one needs to hear to agree that his plan is not good or workable for the benefit of voters who care about open and fair operations of the Irving district.

Luckily, after discussing his proposal in executive session, Christian moved to table the item during the board meeting. (How did this resolution even qualify as an executive session item in the first place? Would someone check on this?) Also, someone please call the district’s maintenance department and ask that they nail this tabled resolution down firmly? The resolution should not see the ‘light of day’ until there is open, public discussion similar to what is being conducted for single-member district proposals at this time.

While staff of the CCR is generally supportive of change, we do not favor secretive Pearl Harbor-approaches to bombing a system that has worked well in the past.

…………………..Mark Holbrook