B.E.T.T.E.R. bests B.E.S.T. for BISD proposition

B.E.T.T.E.R. bests B.E.S.T. for BISD proposition

Although the municipal elections in Beaumont included mayoral and city council candidates the most watched issue on the ballot Saturday, May 14 had to do with the Beaumont Independent School District and a movement to change the representative system from seven single-member districts to five single-member districts with two at-large positions - a plan similar to what is in place with the Beaumont City Council.

Members of the group B.E.T.T.E.R. first had to get a petition together - a process that began a year ago - and collect enough signature to put the proposition on the May 14 ballot. Once they had the necessary signatures (more than 12,000 in all) they had to convince the public to to out and vote in favor of the new plan. That wouldn't be an easy task because black leaders in the community formed the group B.E.S.T. in opposition and tried make the proposition about race rather than representation. Their racist rants were caught on tape by The Examiner during a rally at the Compro Event Center, where reporters were forbidden from bringing in cameras or audio recording devices. However, that didn't stop The Examiner from capture the entire rally on a hidden digital recorder so the public could hear the racist comments made by leaders of B.E.S.T.

"And let me tell ya, we got a different kind of enemy,” said Paul Jones, a leader of the B.E.S.T. group said of the B.E.T.T.E.R. group and others wanting to change BISD. “We got a different kind of enemy today. Now, I didn’t have any problem with the Ku Klux Klan. Because ya know what they did? They told ya who they were. And they told ya they didn’t like ya. And they told ya to your face. But the enemy today will put they arm around you, and stab you in your back. Stab ya right now. You got a enemy now that will come into your house and eat your food. We lookin’ at it right now tonight."

The comments made during the rally proved what members of the B.E.T.T.E.R. had believed all along but didn't have the evidence to show to the public. The group contended from its beginning that it was a grassroots organization that simply wanted to change BISD's representative system because there were members of the board of trustees that refused to listen to the public. In fact, one trustee Janice Brassard, pointed out that nowhere in the board of trustee's rules was it required for her or any other board member to listen or even acknowledge the public's will or comments.

But members of B.E.T.T.E.R. believe that attitude may change because voters spoke loudly at the polls approving the proposition by a margin of 56 percent or 10,836 votes to 8,479 votes with 20 votes still not counted because an issue with a ballot box at the St. Pious Catholic Church. Those votes will be counted Monday but will have no impact on the outcome of the election.

"This is a great night and I am very excited about what has taken place," said Mike Neil, co-chairman of B.E.T.T.E.R., who was also elected to the Trustee District 5 position with 63 percent of the vote. Neil was being challenged by LaFayette Spivey, who took only 159 votes and Kelli Fowler, who received just 846 votes to Neil's 1,733. "Not all of the candidates that B.E.T.T.E.R. put forward won their respective elections but this is a start and it's a clear message to BISD that the people of this community want change. They want to see their tax dollars spent wisely and they want to have representation on the board of trustees that will listen to what they have to say and will act in the best interest of the entire community, not just a select few."

In fact, Neil was the only candidate of the B.E.T.T.E.R. movement to win a seat on the board but none of the candidates were down about the evening. Donna Forgas, who challenged incumbent Terry Williams said there will be other elections but the greatest thing that happened Saturday night was that voters sent a message.

"The proposition passed and that was the most important thing," Forgas told The Examiner at B.E.T.T.E.R.'s victory party being held at Madison's on Dowlen Road. "This was a good night. Terry received more votes but the community spoke out and I will be right there the next time to challenge him again."

Those sentiments were shared by candidate Marcelino Rodriguez, who took on BISD board president Woodrow Reece in the race for Trustee District 3. Rodriguez said he was not discouraged and that he would continue to be involved in the community, specifically BISD, so that he could bring a voice to the table for all citizens of Beaumont.

"You know I don't have anything to be ashamed of," Rodriguez said. "I fought a clean fight and that is what is important. The proposition that B.E.T.T.E.R. was supporting passed and that means great things to come for BISD because now citizens will have even more of a say about how the school district conducts it business."

Linda Gilmore, who challenged incumbent Gwen Ambres, knew she had a tough fight from the outset but she was not discouraged and maintains she is not giving up on being a voice for citizens wanting change in BISD. She said trustees can expect her to continue speaking out at their public meetings and standing up for what is right.

In the race for Trustee District 2, Paula Blazek took on former BISD trustee Zenobia Bush. Bush received 73 percent of the vote and will return to a role on the board she vacated nearly two decades ago.

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Comments

This generation of people

Honestly I cant wait for this generation of people to all fade away and die out. You do nothing but bicker and argue about who proves a better point and what the other party is doing wrong. You people honestly make me sick to my stomach. You don't consider your kids, only money and who holds this position or that position and who's this race and who's that race. I'm twenty-one and on my second year of college and feel really bad for the kids you all are getting mixed up in all of this who's best and who's better argument. Maybe my generation will come through and fix this terrible mess and put you all in nursing home where you can fight amongst yourselves like the CHILDREN YOU ALL ARE.

I wish that Beaumont’s

I wish that Beaumont’s newspapers would hire someone to proof read their "reports" and articles before printing them and posting them. There are too many misprints in this article. And I am not referring to the "quotes" that the ghetto black men are speaking, and therefore are writ in Ebonics. I am referring to the article itself. Example: "... collect enough signature to put the proposition on the May 14 ballot...” CORRECTION: *signatureS-SHOULD READ: "...collect enough signatures to put the proposition...". Another instance: "...convince the public to to out and vote...” CORRECTION: *to GO. SHUOLD READ: "convince the public to go out and vote"
My name is Danielle Mobley.
My email address is daniellegreer626 [at] hotmail [dot] com
I would be more than happy to work for you. As I am sure that once properly written papers/articles are read, more people might be more interested in purchasing them, not laughing at the fact that THIS is the quality of work Beaumont provides. I receive BOTH the Examiner and Enterprise, and DAILY find errors in both. “Errors” is plural. Meaning more than one. Daily. More than one article in each paper and sometimes more than one error per article.

The Right Vote

The fact that people voted to get rid of the cronyism is good news.
With Beaumont being more than half-Black, many Blacks were needed to vote for this change in order for this proposal to pass.
That many Blacks didn't fall for the racially charged okie-doke is good news.
Maybe we can begin to focus on results not race when it comes to the education of Beaumont's children.

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