Fight over BISD voting map continues

Fight over BISD voting map continues

Petitioners have been allowed to intervene in a lawsuit that argues over whether the next Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees election will be comprised of a voting map that calls for seven single member districts (7/0) or whether a voter referendum instituting five single member districts with two at-large districts (5/2) will be put forth.

Wednesday, June 11, federal judge Ron Clark signed an order allowing petitioners Donna Forgas, Marcelino Rodriguez and Linda Gilmore to intervene in the court proceedings, ruling that the claimants “have timely filed a request to intervene, have an interest in the outcome of this case which may be impeded by the disposition of this case, and that the interveners’’ interests are not adequately represented by the existing parties of this suit.”

According to Clark’s ruling, no objection was made by either side represented in the original lawsuit. The initial action was brought by several Beaumont residents including Gary Cantue and Alice Ramsey against the Beaumont Independent School District. Cantue and his plaintiff cohort are accusing BISD of disenfranchising them as voters by agreeing to institute the voter-approved change in districting maps to represent a 5/2 plan.

The next election scheduled for BISD will be in May 2015.


— Jennifer Johnson