Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trustee Blackburn plots to take 8 schools and facilities from District 6 by force

The Board workshop on last Thursday, August 18 ended on a totally mishandled note when Board President Lew Blackburn instructed police officers to evict community leader Rev. Holsey Hickman from the meeting primarily because Rev. Hickman was accusing the Board President of unfair conduct of the meeting.

Unfair conduct of the meeting continued last night at another Board redistricting workshop when a meeting that was posted as a general discussion of redistricting maps and plans was instead turned into a discussion of only the map that the Board President favored.

That might be called  "unfairly stacking the deck."

At the beginning of the meeting Board President Blackburn instructed Trustees to decide on one map to vote on at the Thursday Board meeting.  Of course, that map was being set up to be the map based on his plan.

The problem with that is the meeting was announced as an open discussion of any map.  That was changed by the Board President to a discussion of one map - the one that allows him to take by force eight schools and facilities from District 6 without ever asking or disclosing the dirty plan.

The meeting agenda posting said we would discuss any maps or plans.  However, the Board President stated the Board would discuss one map and make a decision last night.

Of course, that would be a clear violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  The decision would already be made before the official board meeting on Thursday.

District 6 schools and facilities Trustee Blackburn wants to take by force include:

  • Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary School located in the city of Dallas
  • Wilmer-Hutchins High School located in the city of Dallas
  • Nolan Estes Plaza
  • Clinton P. Russell Elementary
  • Boude Storey Middle School
  • John Leslie Patton Academic Center
  • Elementary DAEP
  • Barbara Mann High School

The Board President wants to rush the vote through on Thursday in order to complete the dirty deed.

Trustee Blackburn has unethically interfered in District 6 for some time in his effort to take  Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary School and Wilmer-Hutchins High School. 

Neither the public nor Trustees will have any adequate opportunity to understand, or provide input on newly created maps which will not be seen by Trustees or the public until the Thursday Board meeting.

This very important redistricting process is being hijacked by the Board President Lew Blackburn's agenda to rip off schools from District 6.

There is no need to rush.

The Board attorneys have already confirmed that  the redistricting vote can be held at the September Board meeting with no problem.

The public has seen only sample, illustrative maps - not the new maps now being presented by different Trustees for Board action.

Citizens and voters are being denied the right to see and comment on any new maps the Board will consider before a final decision is made. 

This is very bad faith and might be a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.