Monday, April 16, 2007

Fort Bend ISD School Board Elections Gain Momentum

Well, as much momentum as school board elections gain in Fort Bend ISD.

It’s sad, really. School board elections are about as local as you can get in a given election. Even county commissioner and JP, which are at the county precinct level, cover a larger area than a school district – even one as sprawling as Fort Bend ISD. This is as grassroots as you can get. But typical school board elections have very low voter turnout.

The school board vote in May 2006 was a veritable stampede to the polls in comparison to past years. A full 7.09% of all registered voters in the school district voted in that election.

Two positions are being decided in this race. Position 3 has two candidates, the incumbent, Lisa Rickert, and a challenger Bob Broxson. Broxson has no campaign website that I could find.

Position 7 has 5 candidates, the incumbent Ken Bryant, who was recently defeated by Dora Olivo in his run for her seat in the state house, has four challengers, Daniel Menendez (maybe), David Reitz, Ann Hopkins, and Noel Pinnock.

Four of the seven were recently at a candidates forum sponsored by the Fort Bend Employees Federation, a teacher’s union that represents roughly 1300 Fort Bend ISD teachers. Bryant was a no-show and Ann Hopkins never answered her phone messages. Menendez may have withdrawn from the race. He wasn’t at the forum and no explanation was given in the article by Bob Dunn at FortBendNow. The union subsequently endorsed the candidacies of Broxson and Pinnock.

Both incumbents failed to receive the union endorsement.

And that’s what Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustee elections have been about for the past couple of years. Bryant and Rickert represent the last of a “new majority” that caused chaos and uncertainty in Fort Bend ISD. The group that I used to call the “Gang of Four” was directly responsible for the loss of experienced board members, district administrators and teachers to other districts or to retirement.

So the FBEF had their say on who a likely 7 out of 100 FBISD voters should choose. Now it is Half Empty’s turn.

Politically, in Position 3 we are talking toss up. As far as I can see there is no difference between Rickert and Broxson. Rickert is Republican through and through. Bob Broxson, who is actually John Robert Broxson, is, as well. So I can’t choose this race based on idealogy as I share diddly squat with neither one. So we are going to have to have another criterion in which to judge them. I choose the “Anyone but Lisa” criterion.

Oh, you say Board of Trustees is a non-partisan race? In your dreams.

In Position 7 we have Ken Bryant who ran as a Republican against Dora Olivo. So I can conclude that he leans toward the Dark Side. So he’s out. Daniel Menendez, is, I think, a Democrat. But so is Ann Hopkins, and very probably Noel Pinnock, judging from his galaxy of endorsements by Democrats. David Reitz may also be Republican. So we have a list of three to choose from.

Ann Hopkins won’t return her phone messages so I think we can rule her out. We don’t want trustees who are unreachable. She also had the gall to put on her campaign website (it’s gone now) that she was “endorsed” by the Fort Bend County Democratic Party, exposing her as a naïf. Ann’s out.

So it’s between Daniel Menendez and Noel Pinnock. I like Pinnock because he is well-spoken and has a campaign blog. I also tend to support those who have served some time in the trenches. He’s also got a scientific bent, which is a plus in my book. Daniel Menendez? Is he still running? He has no website and did not show up at the candidate’s forum. So since it’s Pinnock against, apparently no one, it’s Pinnock.

So there you have it, the Half Empty endorsement for Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees: “Anyone but Lisa” and Noel Pinnock.


Anonymous said...

Daniel Menendez withdrew from the race of FBISD position 7 at a school board meeting on Monday, March 26. This allowed him to be six days too late to have his name offically removed from the ballots. As a result, Menendez appears in the top slot on ballots for this position. Surely, this is an attempt to divide the vote. Voters should now be forewarned that Daniel Menendez is not (and probably never was) a true candidate. Don't waste your vote!

Hal said...

Yes, I hear that Menendez and Reitz had such similar viewpoints that he bailed out so as not to dilute the vote. On the one hand people who show up to vote in these elections are unusually informed so a Menendez vote is not likely. On the other hand, I have only heard in emails and forum announcements that he bailed. The word is not getting out.

Susan Waldron said...

Not sure why you could not find a web site for Bob Broxson

Not that hard.....

Check it out!!

Susan Waldron

Hal said...

I know Susan. I try not to promote Republican's websites because they are against the things that I cherish. Broxson gets a pass because his name is not Lisa and that is the extent of it.

Make no mistake. I have a cousin named Lisa. I like the name. It just doesn't wear well on a FBISD Board of Trustee's ballot selection. I thank THAT Lisa for her public service. But now she needs to find someplace else to toss into utter chaos and low morale.