Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dallas ISD Trustees to extend terms for up to 18 months

Martin Luther King Jr. 
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."                          - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And politics asks the question, 'Is it legal.'

But a public servant - a servant leader - would ask Dr. King's question, 'Is it right?'

Former Dallas ISD Trustee Ron Price was sitting in the audience at the public hearing held Tuesday, November 30 2010 at 5:30 PM.  At one point, former Trustee Price spoke out from the audience, "You should have done it two years ago.  Vote Yes."  Or something close to those words. 

It appears Dallas ISD Trustees will again vote to extend Trustee terms of office - this time for as long as 18 months for single member districts (SMD) 2, 6 and 8.  

Since I represent District 6, my term will be extended under the current proposal for the full 18 months of additional public service with no voter approval.

At the December Board Briefing Trustee Lew Blackburn indicated that two years ago he requested  the change to four-year terms.  He then asked if the current effort to make the change is legal.

Of course, it is legal this time - until December 31, 2010.  There is a deadline now, just as there was a deadline two years ago.

However, the most important question is  not just about legality.  It is about doing the right thing.

It is also important that the Dallas County Elections Office has now confirmed that it will be even more costly to Dallas ISD to move the May election date (Saturday) to the often partisan and crowded November election date (Tuesday).

Extending Terms Will Cost More - Bruce Sherbert - Click Here
"You have a lot more supplies, a lot more personnel -- it's a huge production," Sherbet said of the November election. "There's no question, it's going to cost them more."

If you want to get a preview of where all of this is headed, take a look at the special election recently held in Houston to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a Trustee who happened to represent an Hispanic District.

Stipechie wins Houston ISD school board runoff - Click Here 

There were about six candidates for the vacant position.  Two candidates participated in the run-off held on Tuesday, November 30, 2010  - one an attorney and one a homemaker (former Teach For America teacher) - raised almost $200,000.00.  

The runoff vote total was 2,052.

The attorney won the runoff by 44 votes (1,048 to 1,004 = 2,052 vote total) - this was the result in a school Trustee runoff election in Houston between two candidates who together had to raise $200,000.00. 

The homemaker and former Teach for America candidate was heavily backed by the Houston Business Education Coalition.  The attorney who won was backed by teachers and community.

The winning candidate Juliet Stipechie stated: "My agenda is based on what the community wants and needs as opposed to somebody telling us what our community needs."

Is this what is ahead for Dallas ISD - $200,000.00 school Trustee elections where money will dominate?

Please note - this important item is now buried as the very last item to be discussed on the Thursday evening Board agenda.