Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mayor Mike Rawlings' presentation not posted on board workshop agenda

The conduct of the meeting on Monday greatly concerned me. 

I do not recall when a Mayor of Dallas has appeared on a Dallas ISD Board Workshop Agenda or Board Meeting Agenda in recent or past history.  Maybe there is a reason. 

Board Presidents have understood the independence of the school district, and generally Mayors have respected that independence. 

It was reported that the last Mayor of Dallas was interested in taking over the school district.  He resigned as Mayor to run for a higher state office - United States Senator. 

Click Here: Few See Mayor As Schools Chief 

On Monday February 13, Dallas ISD Board President Lew Blackburn introduced Mayor  Mike Rawlings as his "good buddy" - not as the Mayor of our City.  At the invitation of the Board President, although not on the posted meeting Agenda, the Mayor proceeded to give multi-year marketing advice to the assembled Board and staff. 

The Board Agenda did not provide notice to the public of an appearance by the Mayor of Dallas to give a marketing presentation.  This appeared to have been thought up at the meeting. Perhaps it was planned.

Trustees were not officially informed that the Mayor of Dallas would be invited to attend and participate in the meeting. We were not asked for our opinion. The Board President spoke to DMN reporter Tawnell Hobbs but never provided any official notice to the Board or to the public of a Mayoral Presentation to the Board. 

I believe what was done might violate the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA).  Dallas ISD should not be governed by a "good buddy" system.  Like the Dallas City Council, we are governed by state laws and Board policies.  I believe the Board President abused his authority. 

The Mayor of Dallas is elected by the citizens of Dallas and is accountable to the citizens. 

The Board President of Dallas ISD is accountable to the Board of Trustees. The Board elects the President

We don't have a marketing problem at Dallas ISD. 

We have a governance problem. 

We have a real openness and transparency problem. 

We have a constant cover-up of wrongdoing problem. 

We need to be focused on governance of the district and dealing with important issues that develop almost weekly. 

We have a Board President who regularly abuses his authority. 

We have a Board President who is undermining the independence of Dallas ISD. "Independent" is the most important word in the Dallas ISD name. 

We have a Board President who had another secret meeting with the Mayor on Friday, January 27, 2012 - the day after a majority of the Board voted to close eleven schools.  Nothing about this meeting with the Mayor has been disclosed to the Board of Trustees. 

This meeting was also the day after Board President Lew Blackburn excluded taxpaying citizens from one of the most important public meetings in the history of Dallas ISD. 

Our most important task is to hire a good Superintendent and educational leader of the district. 

Until then, the Interim Superintendent is supposed to run the District and staff - not the Board President. 

The last thing Dallas ISD needs is "good buddy" governance.