Mainly because I have never, in my short history of school board candidate forum attendance, come away from one of these things so conflicted.
Can we have another box to check on the ballot?
One that says “None of the above?”
First, two of the five candidates did not show up. Nor did they submit answers to the nine questions formulated by the Fort Bend Employee Federation (aka “The Teacher’s
Or submitting written answers to the 9 questions.
As president of the BOT, maybe she should have taken this a little more seriously. But given the election results last time she was up for election, where she took the field with 39.8% of the vote, leading her closest competitor (there were 3 of them) by 1147 votes (a full 10% of the total vote) maybe she feels safe as an incumbent, board president, and, as Carlos Cain referred to her (time and time again), as the official seal of approval on the Fort Bend ISD Bend ISD Board of Trustees (that is, he called her a “rubber stamp”).
All of that, and her public indecisiveness on the funding and construction of the proposed Global Science and Technology Center, aka “The Taj Mahal” should help voters decide her case right promptly.
I was a little surprised that Rodrigo Carreon was a no-show. He always shows up to anything. But given the explanation seen here, I can see his point. Less than 24 hours notice to construct positions on these 9 questions is a little bit much to take. Not that he doesn’t have positions on all of these points. From past elections, if I’m not wrong, he has answered some of these questions before. Not that it garnered him a teacher’s union endorsement. It didn’t. My thinking is that given the choice between sitting down at home the night before last and writing his answers down . . . again . . . and maybe having some food and beverages at his buddy’s Texas Hold ‘Em party, maybe he opted for the latter.
But three candidates did show up.
Marilyn Glover came off as a bit of a surprise. Ms. Glover had to sit up straight in order to be seen sitting at the candidates’ table. She characterized herself as “small, but a bulldog.” The other surprise, one that gave me pause, was that Ms. Glover’s husband, who was sitting in the front row at the meeting, piped up and offered his take on a question posed to his wife.
One final surprise is that she didn’t seem to have as good a grasp of the duties of a BOT member as I thought she would. As a Republican precinct chair, we know her politics. And as an HR manager we know her background. And it was she, of the three candidates, who seemed to know what it was behind the Union-generated question referencing to whether she would vote to allow FBISD employees to “meet and confer” with administration on matters of policy and procedures.
This question was “The Union Test.” She failed.
“I have always met with management directly because I felt I was best at explaining and asking questions about my situation.”
Black ball to Glover.
Not to mention the fact that Glover declined to express an opinion on construction of the
Bringing me to the Dueling Duo, Cain and Albright.
Cain, having no one to fence with, did so anyway, calling his absent opponent a “rubber stamp” on the board. His final comment, the comment of the evening, was a comment on his qualifications as a trustee. “The person I am running against is the most qualified,” declared Cain. Qualified as the board’s “rubber stamp.”
Cain was folksy, tended to lapse into anecdotes, and his quiet demeanor belied his tendency to SPEAK IN ALL CAPS, at least when he writes things down. Albright spoke lots, but when he did, all you had to do was glance down at his answers to the 9 union questions distributed to the members of the audience – he read from that. When asked the more impromptu questions from the floor, you got a better feel for his grasp of the topics. Basically, I guess you could say it was hit or miss. Sometimes dead on, sometimes he missed the point of the questioner.
Cain came off as the scrappy one. In reference to the board’s 90 million dollar “Fund Balance,” Cain responded, “I am the one that actually discovered this ‘Slush Fund’ while facing off with FBISD in during the 2007 Bond Referendum. This fund balance is actually money from the 2003 Bond Referendum that was never used.”
No one bothered to take issue with this. The fact that some of the 2003 bond issue projects have yet to be completed, or paid for, did not come up. It didn’t have to. Clearly, if the voters want to elect a scrappy guy to the Board of Trustees, Cain is their man.
As a candidate, Albright was alright. And of the three on the stage, I lean toward this guy the most as someone I’d like to see on the board. I think, however, that personally speaking, the jury is still out. There is no incumbent on the current board that I would really and truly like to see sent packing. Not like last time or the time before last.
Of the three, I do have one un-recommendation. Give Glover a pass. She opposes union reps at campuses, and won’t even divulge her concerns on the burning issue of the day.
Besides, the last thing we need is another HR manager in high places.
Oh, and Dunn, "vye" is spelled "vie."