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Archive for January 14th, 2016

HISD on Stage

The folks on the HISD Board of Education are all grown-ups. They know what they are doing. If they want to be ridiculed, that is OK with me. They meet today and they have some things on the agenda that the Chron and Houston Press are writing about. Here is from the Chron E-Board today:

Most worrisome is the proposal to end an ethics policy concerning campaign finance. The policy in place now prohibits trustees from voting on contracts involving donors who have contributed $500 or more to their campaigns in the past year. HISD is in the midst of a major construction project, stemming from the 2012 $1.89 billion bond to replace and repair 40 schools across the district, with many contracts yet to be inked. Skillern-Jones told Mellon that each of the items she added had support from at least three trustees.

Approval of this policy change would send a signal to the community that this new board is less concerned with ethics than its predecessor, and raise suspicions about quid pro quo arrangements.

In the end, even as the concerns we’ve outlined are important to watch, they are needless distractions – for the public and particularly for trustees. The incoming school board’s main focus should be on finding a new superintendent to innovate public education in our city. There are not many people with the right experience, and those who do have the right stuff will shy away from a board that does not act in the best interests of the district or students.

Here it the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/All-eyes-on-HISD-6757337.php.

Then this from Ericka Mellon:

Manuel Rodriguez Jr., the HISD board’s first vice president, said Wednesday that he supports changing the policy, especially after coming off a tight re-election campaign late last year. He said some candidates feel handicapped in fundraising under the current rules – which still allow trustees to accept donations greater than $500 but require recusal from voting.

“If anybody’s going to sell their soul for $2,000, then shame on them,” said Rodriguez, who is expected to become the new board president Thursday. “But there’s nothing wrong with receiving a $2,000 contribution and still voting on a particular issue or contract. I have never sold my vote to anyone.”

New board president? Yep, that’s the same Manuel Rodriguez. If this needs ‘splaining then I can’t help it if you have been on another planet the last few years.

In honor of this, I am skipping today’s MLB question.

And here is the Houston Press take on HISD: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/lets-remember-why-hisd-needed-an-ethics-policy-to-begin-with-8069202.

Like I said. They are grown-ups. They know what they are doing. They certainly know that they will be designated the most tone deaf local elected body in the region if they continue to head in this direction. Nice job.

One of my favorite movie villains is no longer with us. I am talking about Alan Rickman of “Die Hard.”

St. Louis lost their football team. That’s life with the NFL. They look out for their owners and hold cities hostage. In this case, the city couldn’t come up with the ransom.

I don’t have anything from The Yard.

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