BISD election postponed

BISD election postponed
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Jefferson County Judge Donald Floyd postponed Beaumont Independent School District’s May 2015 election, approving an agreement late this past week between the school district and plaintiffs who fought for the scheduling of the 2015 election in the first place.

In a prepared statement Friday, Dec. 19, Michael Getz, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said, “Late yesterday, attorneys for the Beaumont Independent School District filed a Joint Motion to Set Aside an Agreed Order with attorneys representing plaintiffs Donna Forgas, Marcellino Rodriguez and Linda Gilmore. The attorneys representing the plaintiffs are Michael Getz, David Vann deCordova, Jr., Michael Truncale and Hubert Oxford IV. Forgas, Rodriguez and Gilmore had sued BISD over various issues concerning the previously scheduled May 2013 election, which ended up being canceled.

“In February of 2014, attorneys for BISD and the plaintiffs named above reached an agreement to have an election in May of 2015 under a 5/2 plan with all seven trustee positions being up for election.

“However, in July of 2014, the Texas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, removed the former BISD Board of Trustees for incompetence and replaced them with a Board of Managers.

“The effect of that action allows the Board of Managers to stay in place for up to two years before a new trustee election has to be called. In view of that development, the necessity of having a May 2015 election, which would be the next regularly scheduled BISD trustee election, became moot and accordingly, Judge Donald Floyd signed an order Friday morning setting aside the Agreed Order for a May 2015 election.

“The next regularly scheduled election for the BISD trustees following May 2015 will be in May of 2017. At that election, all trustee positions will be up for election, and the election will be for five single member trustee positions with two at-large positions.”

Judge Floyd’s decision to allow the agreement, in part, he states, was due to the current climate at BISD in that, “Since the agreed order (ordering a May 2015 election), circumstances at Beaumont ISD have substantially changed.”

Floyd goes on say that, although the Texas Education Agency Commissioner could have ordered an election to take place in 2015, his time to order that election has expired.

“Under the timeframes in Texas Education Code 39.112 coupled with statutory requirements for school districts to hold joint elections on uniform election dates, the date has passed by which the commissioner could have directed the (BISD) Board of Managers to order a May 2015 election,” Floyd determined. “Additionally, the need for such an election in May 2015 has become unnecessary or moot because the Board of Managers have assumed the duties of the school trustees until the commissioner directs an election under Texas Education Code 39.112.”

Floyd does not specify on what date the next election will be held for BISD trustees.