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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 28 years."


 

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 democracy.

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 tests.

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 level, please).

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 Democracy.

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: tpj@tpj.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.

 

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006