the Controversial Committee Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”
Here we go again!
Some members of the Irving ISD board of trustees are at it again. In an attempt to bamboozle members of the Irving city council, these individuals may have resorted to chicanery, trickery, flimflam, collusion or possibly a violation of the Open Meetings Act. The latest antic by some members of the school board might be closely akin to the farce they perpetrated on the city council in 2011.
Follow this closely and see if you wouldn’t agree that conspiring school board members -- with the possible knowledge and acquiesce of the Superintendent -- are not only wrong, but may have again demonstrated a total usurpation of their official elected positions and responsibilities. After all, psychic powers by some board members have not replaced the provisions of the Open Meetings Act to determine a consensus of the district’s board of trustees.
The issue is: On November 8, 2012, the Irving city council will hear a zoning case for the MacArthur Kroger grocery store. Clearly, this is a city matter, not a school board matter.
If you remember, this zoning case would allow the MacArthur Kroger store to sell beer and wine -- similar to all the other Kroger stores in the city. When the case was wrongly denied (due to a school district administrator, Pat Lamb, attempting to pass off a 2009 IISD resolution as being the current thinking of the 2011 board) by the council in 2011, the primary reason for denial -- wrongheaded as it might have been -- was the safety and security of kids walking by the store. (Funny, the CCR has not read any reports -- for any stores in Irving selling beer and wine -- of school kids being hit in a store parking lot by someone buying these items.)
What school board members -- V. Jones, R. Huffstetler (president) and/or J. Christian in all probability -- have apparently done is allow/dictate/request/suggest either directly or indirectly through the Superintendent that an OLD and no longer binding 2009 resolution of the board of trustees be entered into the October 15, 2012 detail of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. This request for inclusion in the current P&Z materials was signed by an administrator of the district, Scott Layne, on October 10, 2012. This document was then forwarded to the city council by the P&Z for information purposes in the packet of council materials.
This action by a school district administrator for the 2012 P&Z meeting makes this a grievous deception by some members of the school board and/or administration since: 1) the 2009 resolution provided to the P&Z DOES NOT represent an expressed current view of the board of trustees; 2) the current school board DID NOT act in a direct manner or discuss in an open meeting that the administration should supply the old 2009 resolution to the P&Z; and 3) the entire board HAS NOT met to consider or discuss whether or not the school district should even take a stand on the improved and REVISED Kroger zoning case in 2012. If one checks the policies of the school district -- as they pertain to service by trustees -- a board member or its president cannot speak for the entire board unless an item/issue has been covered in a duly posted meeting. No such meeting has been held and no resolution passed by the current board has been enacted with regards to the revised 2012 Kroger zoning case!
Only the three school board members -- of the current seven -- mentioned above were a party to the original 2009 resolution! Since two of these three members will probably not be running for re-election (Huffstetler and Christian), is this their final attempt to once again fool the public, con the council and put a gold star on their covert jihad activities? What gives one, two or even three members of the school board the right, authority or rationale to pass off this sham of an action and have it appear that the 2012 school board supports the 2009 resolution provided to the P&Z? Perhaps, these three board members have forgotten the rules of a democracy and reverted to elusive gorilla warfare to get their feeble personal and myopic opinions across to the council.
Another important question that should be asked is: Where is the Irving Chamber of Commerce on this issue? Since the chamber is always interested in business growth and serving chamber partners, will they be at the council meeting to register their support for Kroger receiving the required zoning? After all, Kroger has done so much for the school district and community over the years. Will the $50,000 that the school district pays the chamber have any influence on their position if they thought the current board was in opposition due to the hoodwinking of the 2009 resolution by scurrilous district officials?
Now should be the time for someone to take responsibility for this gross misuse of authority by some IISD board members and/or administrators involved in this clandestine action. Any school board member who participated, instructed or caused the administration to resubmit the 2009 resolution -- that DOES NOT bind the current board without their being a school board meeting to reflect the collective agreement of the board -- should resign their seat. And any IISD administrator who, through their actions, participated in having this 2009 school board resolution conveyed to the 2012 P&Z Commission should either resign or be terminated. After all, administrators should know, understand, and realize that they do not take actions of this nature that are not approved by a majority of the entire school board in a meeting open to the public.
While we are listening to the crickets chirp on any of the above personnel measures taking place by school officials, contact your council representative and ask them to do the right thing this time -- approve the revised Kroger zoning case. Tell them not to be duped by nefarious school board members. Tell them not to succumb to the whims of a small vocal minority appearing before them and attempting to reflect -- incorrectly -- that the school board is now in opposition to the 2012 Kroger zoning case. Tell them that there are much larger issues facing the city and that their approval of the 2012 Kroger zoning case does not enter into the realm of this being a defining political vote.
The P&Z and city administration has approved the Kroger zoning case. Isn’t it appropriate for the council to approve and vote for what is right this time and not what seems to be politically expedient?