Southeast Bexar County Awareness: SISD board using position and district funds for campaigning
More underhanded campaigning on tax payers dime
The members of the Southside ISD school board called a meeting of the Board of Trustees on May 5, 2015. On the agenda were several items. They singled out Frank Cannon, Secretary for his service to the Southside ISD board, as he will not be returning after Saturday's election, having chosen not to run for re-election. They had to remind the community that Alma Guzman was named board member of the year in 2014, however, they forgot to mention that she also took $120,000 from the district that year. And presented Mr. Wood with the Board member of the year for 2015.
Other items were budgets, curriculum and instruction, approval of board minutes, wage rates & authorization as pertaining to construction and repairs, payments, resignations, etc. In closed session the topics were:
- Discuss and consider employment of employees
- Board members roles and responsibilities
- **Receive advice from legal council **no transparency on that item.
- Discuss termination of teaching contract for cause.
Nothing was mentioned about pay raises.
Bribery in the first degree...
Do you feel this board has overstepped it's boundaries and is bribing it's employees?
Open Meetings Violation--bad legal advice?
The photo above is a "high" priority email that was distributed among all the staff on Wednesday, May 6, 2015; 5:28 pm. This item was not on the agenda of May 5, 2015. For the board to propose such a thing, they would have had to met and vote on it. When did they meet? Was this the item they consulted with their attorney with? If so, this shows bad judgement from the law firm to allow the district to do so with election day so close. If the board met after the meeting closed on May 5th, they were violating the open meetings act. By using district funds, both in materials and labor to convince their employees to vote for them because they "propose", meaning that they could get a pay raise. This is nothing more than a bribe for a vote. Early voting ended on Tuesday and this appeared to be their final push for votes when the polls opened on Saturday.
The email clearly stated that on May 5th they made the decision in a demonstration of "appreciation" they are giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay more money to their voters as they promised when they were elected the first time. As some will recall, it was the first thing they did once they were sworn in. Campaign promises paid and hoping that it will get them elected again.
Where are the Texas Rangers, the Attorney General? After three years with the "team" on the board, the community members voted them out, hoping for government intervention proved futile, even after filing formal complaints, nothing was done. It took the Southside ISD community to come together and get it done.
The "team" at Southside ISD had free reign for almost three years, with elections just a day away, they were using school funds to campaign. Community members stated that the district vehicle and employees were delivering school newspaper house to house. These are usually mailed in bulk, but with the elections so close, they were manually distributed. In the booklet was a page with the current members and candidates listing their vision for the district. Candidate Sandoval who sits on the board, but is running against Norberto "Robert" Chavez, board VP's son Norberto Chavez IV aka. Roby Cannon Chavez, simply had a photo and was not aware that this was being distributed.
This was a misuse of school funds for campaigning, not just for the material, but the employees time, the fuel and use of school vehicles.
Election day started at 7 am. on Saturday and ran through 7 pm. The candidates had an early morning run of showers that kept some voters from the polls, but on the whole, the majority of the voters had early voted. As numbers were released just after the closing of the polls, it was easy to see that the Southside ISD community was fed up and the "team" could not come back from a landslide early voting win by their opponents.
Two "team" members remain on the Southside ISD school board, but will be up for re-election next. Members of the community will need to stay on top of this election, as it would only take complacency on the behave of the community to get the "team" re-elected in the future.