School board election.....Whew, am I
glad that’s over! And I imagine the candidates are also.
First, a word about the candidates. I
applaud you. For whatever reason, you had the desire and
guts to put yourself up for election, spend money for not
only a non-paying job, but a thankless job in many cases,
brave numerous candidate forums, and print and distribute
literature about your candidacy (putting out signs is a
full-time job). Not only did you work, you probably
recruited family and friends to help you (and now you owe
them some gruesome task, maybe helping them do something
really hard, like moving!). So thank you from the bottom of
all our hearts. You, and other brave candidates for all
sorts of offices, are the reason we still live in a
Many people have asked me what I think
about this election. I think it was a clear repudiation of
the current leadership of the board of trustees. More than
double the number of votes were cast than at the last
election in May, 2005 when Stan Magee and Laurie Caldwell
were elected and Cynthia Knox was re-elected. The small 2005
turnout resulted in Magee and Caldwell being elected and
thinking they had a mandate and teamed up with Board
President Lisa Rickert and trustee Ken Bryant.
The first rattle out of the box is they
“early retired” a popular and effective superintendent who
had the bad luck to be superintendent when the district
changed rapidly and TEA changed the grading for standardized
To date, current board president Lisa
Rickert hasn’t even learned Roberts Rules of Order about
running a board meeting, and the other new members haven’t
been much help. They’ve run off many good administrators and
teachers, spent an inordinate amount of money looking for
wrong-doing on the part of the past administration and
haven’t even been able to make the first step to putting a
new administration in place.
It was time for the voters to get mad and
elect candidates who opted for restoring order and peace.
Every once in a wshile, the voters regain my confidence and
the system seems to work.
The next big test with this new board
will be the election of a board president. Previous board
policy had called for the board president to have two years
experience on the board before being elected president, but
Lisa Rickert forged a change in that policy and had herself
elected president. Many of the mistakes can be blamed on her
inexperience and head strong refusal to take counsel from
others. Come to find out, there is a reason for requiring
experience in presidents. (No comparisons to the national
So it is hoped that the new president,
who will be elected at the next meeting, will be someone
with some experience in, if nothing else, at least the
knowledge about what the board can do legally and the desire
to conduct a meeting, not run roughshod over everyone else.
For those of you who like the politically
arcane and like to pat yourselves on the back for turning
out the votes, here’s some numbers for you: five areas voted
over 15% in the school board race. They were three boxes in
Quail Valley/Missouri City (Precincts 2028 (16.70%), 2030
(19.67%) and 2090 (15.99%). Sugar Creek (3009) voted 17.34%,
and Commonwealth (First Colony- Pct. 4129) voted 17.62%.
Fourteen other precincts voted in the
double digits (10% or over). There were two boxes in Fresno
(1003 and 1058), Sienna (1118), another Quail Valley box
(2092), then Colony Bend (4011), Walker Station Elem.
(4026), Sugar Land (Burney Rd.-4029), old Sugar Land (4042),
Colony Meadows (4047) Missouri City-Palmer Elem. (4062),
Sugar Lakes (4107), Clements H.S. (4119), First Colony Conf.
Center (4131) and New Territory (4135). By the way, the
numbers in the parenthesis are the precinct numbers, not the
number of votes!
About 7% of the registered voters in
FBISD voted in this election.
Oh, and I hate doing this because no
matter how careful I am, I usually leave one precinct out
and then I get letters and phone calls.
If you want to see how your candidates
did, you can look them up on the county’s web site (newly
re-designed, probably another way to spend money) and also
find the polling sites which will give you a general idea
from whence the votes came.
Maybe I’ll still be a star.....You
probably remember my gripes about how I was going to be in a
movie about Tom DeLay, then he went and resigned. Well, the
movie has been re-edited and will open this Friday at
Houston’s Angelica Theater. It is the world premiere of the
new documentary “The Big Buy: Tom Delay’s Stolen Congress”
and will benefit two Texas non-profit organizations working
for political reform, Texans for Public Justice and Drive
I was sent a working copy of it earlier
and my scene is in the opening shots, driving around in my
car, talking to a friend about Tom while shots of Sugar Land
flash by the window. I was practically the star!
In fact, the two filmmakers, Mark
Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck, arrived at my office in a
mini-Cooper, loaded down with filmmaking paraphernalia. They
lashed a camera to the hood of my Tahoe and as the Star
staff lined up on the sidewalk in front of my office with
dire predictions about the safety of the camera and the
passengers, I drove off with three scared passengers and one
shaky camera. It looked like “Taxi Cab Confessions.”
Since the re-editing, I was probably
taken out of the “final cut,” which won’t disappoint me too
much as it was not a good hair day. Documentary filmmakers
don’t carry a make-up and wardrobe retinue around with them.
In fact, in an e-mail, Jim Schermbeck said I wouldn’t
recognize this new version.
The show starts at 7 p.m. and
reservations to the screening and a pre-screening reception
can be made at www.tomdelaymovie.com/houston. For more
information, contact Texans for Public Justice,
(512-472-9770 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The race to replace......Andy Meyers
has stepped up his bid to be placed on the ballot instead of
Tom DeLay. He bought a new suit!
He sent out a letter announcing his
candidacy with a disclaimer containing the name of his
campaign treasurer--Teresa Raia. So much for not being
committed as an elector.
Teresa is vying for the elector position
and has told me she wasn’t committed to anyone (Liar, liar,
pants on fire!) and that she thought we should trust whoever
the precinct chairs vote as an elector to represent Fort
Bend County. Teresa also said she was not sure how the
eventual meeting of the four electors would be carried out
as she would have to go with the majority of other electors.
While true, I did not get from Raia that
she was committed to argue for an open process.
Pat Hebert, on the other hand, has stated
openly and several times that she will vote for the
candidate which the majority of Fort Bend precinct chairs
favor and that she will lobby for an open-to-the-public
meeting when all the four electors finally get together.
Since I haven’t seen Pat’s name on any
candidate’s literature lately, I think her options are the
best for avoiding the claim that the candidate will be a
“back room” deal.