Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fort Bend ISD BOT has 5 Candidates for 2 Positions

As mentioned here, last Monday was the last day to file to run in any city or school district office that is up for election this coming May 9th.

In Fort Bend ISD, the Position 6 seat that was open on news from the announcement by Trustee Steve Smelley that he will not seek another term has three, count ‘em, three candidates. And not surprisingly, incumbent Sonal Bhuchar, occupying the Position 2 seat on the board will face opposition in this contentious school district.

The open Position 6 seat is being sought by Republican Precinct Chair Marilyn Glover, Consultant Bruce Albright, and Electrician and perennial candidate, Rodrigo Carreon.

Sonal Bhuchar is being opposed by Carlos Cain, a local school activist who has been, in the past, a very vocal opponent of recent school bond issues.

So who are these people, but more importantly, who is the “anointed one” that the board majority wants to be their new colleague on Position 6?

Well Rodrigo Carreon needs no introduction. He ran for the last open seat on the Fort Bend BOT, opposing David Menendez, getting 25% of the 10,354 votes cast (yes, voter turnout in school board elections are notoriously low). Carreon is a fixture at the Fort Bend ISD Monday evening board meetings, and always has a word of advice or a matter of interest to bring to the Board’s attention.

He is a community activist writ large.

So, no, he’s not the one that the BOT wants to join them.

Bruce Albright, lists himself as a Consultant. He is listed in the district’s “Ebriefs” newsletter as having addressed the Board with his concern with the process that is used in assigning parking spaces to students at Dulles High School. Albright felt that the process was not fair. [See Update below]

Marilyn Glover is all over the map when it comes to Fort Bend educational things. Not only is she an elected Precinct Chair for Precinct 2025 (Missouri City), she is currently a Director of the Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse. She joins a bi-partisan crew who support Mayor Allen Owen of Missouri City. She is (was?) on the Advisory Board of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County. She is listed as an 8-year member of the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce (under Vanguard Insurance Brokers), and on the 2004 Council of Resources for the Fort Bend County Women’s Center. She is listed as an Advisor on the CAC Advisory Council for the Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

She is also proudly listed as a Republican Precinct Chair that supported the candidacy of former Sugar Land Mayor Dean Hrbacek for U.S. Congress. You remember The Dean? The one who had his head photoshopped onto the body of (allegedly) David Wallace.

So, what, I ask, are the chances that the “One” we are looking for, is the latter of these three?

Position 2 Trustee Sonal Bhuchar faces opponent Carlos Cain.

Now that’s a name and a half.

Not only is it alliterative, but both “C” sounds are “hard.” The name speaks like a nuclear chain reaction.

Like the devil himself has come to call.

So who is this guy, Carlos Cain, and what does he bring to the table? Well, he also lists himself as a Consultant living in Sugar Land (honestly, is there anyone but Rodrigo with an honest to goodness job title? What are all these consultants doing running for a non-paying job?).

Carlos Cain, it would appear, is the local county seer. Way back in 2007 Cain went on record as opposing the Fort Bend ISD bond issue to raise funds to build new high school, middle school and elementary school campuses. Growth projections in the district showed that at the current rate of growth, FBISD would be bulging at the seams, and would need these new facilities within 10 years in order to stay ahead of the population curve. Here is what he wrote in FortBendNow:

"If We Build It, Will They Come?”

“What if they don’t come?”

“As a concerned parent and voter I have been reviewing the FBISD bond issue on the November ballot. I believe they are overstating the future needs of Fort Bend ISD and the cost of this “potential” growth. Who will pay for this? WE WILL! Every tax payer in FBISD. If passed, the new bond issue would push FBISD debt to approximately 1.5 Billion dollars. That is ($1,500,000,000.00). Think about it, and call 832-859-5783 for more information.”

That is, clear back in October of 2007 Carlos Cain foresaw the housing crisis and the downturn in real estate sales everywhere, including Fort Bend County.

Cain has also come to the conclusion that the Board of Trustees propose inflated bond issues so that unspent bond money can be used “for purposes other than what was initially approved by voters.” Former FBISD Chief Operations Officer Mike Seale as well as Superintendent Timothy Jenney have labeled these accusations as “false.”

Fort Bend ISD voters were not swayed by Cain’s arguments, however, despite his singular effort in organizing robo calls to 2,200 homes in the district. In November 2007 voters approved the massive $428 billion bond issue by 65% to 35%, with over 16,000 votes cast.

Now, come to find out, Cain was spot-on correct. Not about the financial gyrations that he was accusing the Board of going through. About the “will they come” thing.

According to Fort Bend County projections, “they” stopped coming.

Now, I have to ask this: will Carlos Cain take credit for the downturn in real estate sales in Fort Bend? Or is he just the unwelcome bringer of bad, bad news? Or is this guy’s far-sighted vision just the beneficiary of pure dumb luck?

UPDATE: A campaign website has appeared for Position 6 candidate Bruce Albright (thanks to an anonymous tipster). It is here.


Anonymous said...

actually carlos did much more than that and with a great deal of help. he asked questions of the high and mighty that no one was asking and he took a great deal of co-ordinated attacks for it along with retaliation against those that supported asking these questions. for those that know the recession had already begun in 2007 and was just being denied by officials (this is conventional wisdom). of course I'm sure he will be opposed by many in the "D" club because he is an independent.

too bad we don't have more that speak up just like him. everytime they do the official powers that be and cliques hammer them. too bad though, that is the modern paradigm of slash and burn politics.

btw, seale is gone now and jenney and co. are pushing glover & sonal in the backrooms. this time carlos was drafted to run and he really didn't want to after the public beating he took for doing his civic responsibility, which more of us should be doing, rather than just playing "point the finger" as is the norm.

take care hal....

Anonymous said...

I noticed Bruce Albright running for Smelly's old seat seems to be an outsider running on ethics, transparency and accountability too. Who knows, maybe we can depants those insider vendor picks.

responsible_dvlpmnt said...

It looks to me like this "Taj Mahal" global center or whatever they are calling it has become the big distraction for this election.

You really should be nicer to someone as involved in the community as Mr. Carreon is. We need more like him!

Anonymous said...

Now, come to find out, Cain was spot-on correct. Not about the financial gyrations that he was accusing the Board of going through. About the “will they come” thing.

Time will tell about the financial gyrations. Wonder where they intend to get the funding for "Jenny Hall" the cast in bronze "Science Center"? Since we're losing taxpayers at the rate of 450 per month according to FB Courthouse foreclosure filings, that just leaves us to pick up the tab. That's my two cents, you can "KEEP THE CHANGE"

Carlos Cain

Hal said...

Sorry Carlos, I am a little hazy on your last remark. Are you a promoter of the Bank of America "Keep the change" saving program, or are you one of the former supporters of Governor Sarah Palin? As in this bumper sticker?

Anonymous said...

You have to forgive hal Carlos, he is a jaded die-hard democrat and nothing they do is wrong. This is the kind of partisan rancor on both ends that needs to get buried.

I guess we can always keep the insiders in along with those trustworthy vendors and contractors. Isn't it nice when the fox is not only guarding the hen house, but in it and has already eaten all the chickens.

Anonymous said...

Just found this site:

(apparently he is working closely with the teachers association)