2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)

Friday, February 27, 2009

FBN: Top Administrator COO Mike Seale Resigns From District

Fort Bend ISD Chief Operating Officer Mike Seale Suddenly Departs The School District
February 26th, 2009 | by Bob Dunn, Fortbendnow

Chief Operating Officer Mike Seale has suddenly exited Fort Bend Independent School District, but school officials are providing no information about what led to his departure.

“Mike Seale is no longer an employee with Fort Bend ISD,” Chief Communications Officer Mary Ann Simpson said Thursday evening. “He has left the district to pursue other opportunities, and his last day with the district was Wednesday, Feb. 25.”

Seale could not be reached for comment, and district administrators provided no further official information about his leaving.

While no Fort Bend ISD board member spoke for the record, sources familiar with Seales’ departure said Superintendent Dr. Timothy Jenney made board members aware the district’s COO was leaving. Jenney also could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Seale played a key role in the district administration, having served as its chief financial officer before expanding his duties to become top business official for Fort Bend County’s largest employer.

His departure comes as the district has been wrestling with its first-ever deficit budget. At the same time, the district administration just proposed building a major project, described as a “global science center,” adjacent to the Fort Bend ISD administrative offices, as part of a plan to boost student science scores.

One source close to Seale described his exit as “a parting of the ways” with the school district.

“I don’t have a feeling it will slow anyting down,” another source familiar with Seale’s departure said Thursday. “I think it will be fine. We’re going to rock right along.” . . . (get the full story at http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/26/35994 )

Thursday, February 26, 2009



Feb. 28 Education Foundation Gala

Mar. 9 Regular School Board Meeting (end of filing period for 2 board positions)

Mar. 9-13 Texas Public Schools Week

Mar. 16-20 Spring Break

Mar. 28 Education Foundation Education Expedition

Mar. 30 Regular School Board Meeting

Saturday, February 21, 2009

FB Sun: More Reform Candidates File For MC Council!

From HCN (FB Sun):

Five file in Missouri City for four open council seats

Updated: 02.16.09

The upcoming May election for four open city of Missouri City council seats has drawn the interest of several candidates, both incumbents and challengers.

According to the city secretary, as of 12 noon Feb. 16, five persons have filed as candidates for various city council seats.

In District A, Rodney Griffin, a local business owner, has filed for a second run for the District A council seat currently held by incumbent Eunice Reiter, who has held the seat since 1994.

The two faced off in the May 2007 city election in which Reiter won by a slim 3-vote margin of 277 to 274 votes.

During the election Griffin cited voting machine irregularities that resulted in his full name not being reflected on the ballot summary sheet.

Then Fort Bend County election administrator, J.R. Perez, called the problem a glitch in election machine equipment that caused long names to be truncated on the summary sheet page, but displayed in their entirety on the ballot.

In District B. incumbent Cynthia Lenton-Gary, the first African-American female to be elected to council, filed her intent to run for re-election around mid-day. At press time, Gary is unopposed, with three weeks remaining for candidates to file for the post.

Councilwoman Barbara Gibson, elected to council in May 2007, has filed for re-election and drawn a challenger for her current District C council seat.

Robin Elackatt, a member of the Missouri City Parks and Recreation board, filed as a candidate for the District C post around 9 a.m. on Feb. 16. . . (get the full piece at: http://hcnonline.com/articles/2009/02/17/fort_bend_sun/news/sws_-_mc_council_candidates_216.txt)

Disparity Strikes Media Nerve (Read this chronicle piece on just what our bonds and taxes aren't paying for)


"Driving down Blue Ridge Road to Briargate Elementary, the polluted air hit me like some rotten eggs and unnamed chemicals. And the neighborhood is aged with narrow streets and sidewalks.

At the Briargate meeting, a little black girl named Kamara Villery who lives in the Chasewood subdivision told me she was afraid to lose school bus service with the rezoning plan because she doesn't want to walk on unsafe streets. Then she twice went to the microphone firing questions at school officials. One of them was:

Do you really care about the students or you just care about getting paid?

What guts for this little girl!" Chronicle

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reform Minded Candidate Announces Run For Missouri City Council Seat!

Elackatt Announces Run For City Council District C
Robin Elackatt Announces He’ll Run For District C Seat On Missouri City Council

February 20th, 2009 | by Bob Dunn, FortBendNow

Robin Elackatt, a healthcare administrator who serves as vice chairman of the Missouri City Parks and Recreation Board, has announced he’ll seek a seat on Missouri City Council in the May 9 election.

Elackatt, who also is president of the Colony Lakes Homeowners Association, will face incumbent District C Councilwoman Barbara Gibson, assuming she seeks reelection. . .

Full story available at: http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/20/35827

Thursday, February 19, 2009

FBISD Zoning Battle Produces Concerns Over Lack Of Funding For East-side Schools

Get the full chronicle piece at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/6270522.html

“There are rapists out here. There are killers out here. And you have no bus for my child to come (to school). It’s unacceptable to me as a parent,” she said. “And as a teacher, I’m appalled, because you hold us responsible to keep them safe at school, and you fail to do that as school officials. Y’all do not care about these kids. I’m very upset with this rezoning.” -Chronicle

Update: http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/02/20/fort_bend_sun/news/sws_sl-_school_rezoning_218.txt

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Update: Several Shared Vendors Of FBISD Involved In San Antonio School District Investigation!


Here's the latest on some very familiar corporate faces to FBISD board and central office administrators currently engaged in promoting another very expensive central office building project:


Stay tuned for updates on this evolving news!

Friday, February 13, 2009

FBISD Vendor In The News In San Antonio (Reports Say FBI Is Investigating)

Review this link sent to us by a watchdog member today regarding the vendor (PBK) involved with the "Global Science Center" proposed by Dr. Jenney recently with NO apparent price tag: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/01/pbk_architects_judson_isd.php

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More FBISD Zoning Changes!

Click the link for more: http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/12/35628

Chron: Local Elections Are Approaching Again!

Chron: Local Elections Are Approaching Again!

After such information over-load, during the recent national elections, many of us are sitting back unaware that some of the most influential local campaigns are approaching again. Our school boards and municipal council races are upon us this Spring. Filing has already begun and runs through early March 9th with the elections in early May.

These elections often have more of an impact than most realize, given the direct involvement of ‘out of area’ special interest corporations and their efforts to seek out tax exemptions or abatements, which commonly, but indirectly, shift the property tax burden back on the local homeowners and small businesses living and working in our community. As a matter of fact a recent Tax Foundation study listed our county property taxes per median home value as #1 in our state and 11th nation-wide. Our local elected officials on our boards, councils and commissions make the appointments for the county appraisal board which has been hearing record numbers of appeals over the last few years. Not only that, some of our larger cities and the county have been hiring lobbyist to go to Austin and oppose property tax rate and appraisal cap reforms, while misrepresenting another viewpoint to the public (done to fatten the local entities budgets at our expense).

When you review many of our local elected officials campaign finance reports, which are available often free of charge to the taxpayers and voters of the county (or for a nominal fee for copying), you find many large none local companies seeking tax breaks or abatements. If we elect the wrong individuals to office we end up with what we have and that is some of the highest property taxes in the U.S. and the highly undesirable #1 spot for our county in Texas.

Please do your homework this election cycle, make sure you are registered and get to the polls for early voting April 27th through May 5th or election day May 9th.

Can we afford more politics as usual with tough economic times upon us? If you want help doing your homework, then please contact us at fbisdwatch@yahoo.com . We are not a highly financed or powerful PAC, but your neighbors and local taxpayers like you.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

During Budget Crisis, Record Bond Debt, Tough Economic Times, Higher Property Taxes, The School District Proposes New "Taj Mahal" Global Center!

“it’s too early to know what the price tag will be.” Jenney (FBISD Superintendent)

Fort Bend ISD Administration Proposes ‘Global Science Center’ In Bid To Boost Science Scores
February 10th, 2009 | by Bob Dunn, FORTBENDNOW.com

Administrators topped off plans to boost student science scores at Fort Bend Independent School District with a proposal for a major science facility including a planetarium, “Sci-Max” theater, interactive labs and a giant globe rotating in the lobby.

The plans were unveiled for the FBISD board of trustees Monday night during a presentation that ended with a video by Houston’s PBK Architects showing a 3-D rendering of the “Global Center for Science and Technology” while rock music blared in the board room.

Presented by FBISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. John Frossard, Chief Accountability Officer Olwen Herron and Secondary Science Coordinator Melissa Stadfeld, proposal offered the science center as a method of “bridging the divide between theory and practice.”

Accompanying construction of the facility would be a “standards-based” science program for elementary and middle school students whose components would dovetail with interactive labs that could be used throughout the school year on a classroom by classroom basis. . . (get the full story at http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/10/35567/comment-page-1#comment-1234)

FBW Comment/Questions:

If the district can get 90-95% of this building funded with outside sources then FBW could support such a project, but until funding is decided, too many questions are left unanswered like how many teachers could be hired or classrooms built or training for instructors financed. If the district is going to initiate a new bond/debt effort for this or raise taxes again then it will be strongly opposed!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Meetings Approaching-

Upcoming Meetings

Feb. 9 Regular School Board Meeting

Feb. 23 Regular School Board Meeting

Feb. 28 Education Foundation Gala

Thursday, February 5, 2009

District Communications Office Is At It Again?

UPDATED (FRI): http://www.fortbendnow.com/2009/02/06/35512

Just in from FortBendNow.com the latest twist on a very old communications pattern at the central office.

Click here for the full story on the facilities director using the district resources to service his personal vehicle.


Snip-it from the article:

“She’s pi**ed-off at you; so’s Jenney. You’ve been asking too many embarrassing questions and stirring up too many people,” one source said. “That’s why the Chronicle got the information and you didn’t.”

Another source, who also works in the Fort Bend ISD administration building, gave a similar story.

“There’s been a ton of buzz about FortBendNow making the district look bad. Jenney and Simpson want to control everything that comes out of this place, and you’ve gotten to be a thorn in their side because you’re getting stuff out that they don’t want made public,” the second source said.

The individual added that tensions are running particularly high among the district’s maintenance managers, with one calling those providing information to the media “a cancer.”

“One of (the administrators) said whoever was releasing information to that (expletive) at FortBendNow was a ‘(expletive) cancer’ and openly told a bunch of maintenance staff that they were gong to ‘cut the cancer out,’” the source said. “People are so scared they’re afraid to even be seen talking with each other.”

FBW comment: Is this what we're paying our property taxes for???

See related media:


Monday, February 2, 2009

Texans are deep in government debt

Texans are deep in government debt

"Texas ranks 3rd among the 10 most populous states in terms of local debt per capita. In fiscal year 2004, 84.3% of Texas’ total state and local debt burden was at the local level. We are leaving our children a legacy of debt. That’s not the legacy we want to leave future generations.

This year, more than 100 school districts are asking for property tax hikes. According to a recent Associated Press article, despite higher property values, more than 100 Texas school districts say they're being squeezed by higher energy costs and increased state standards. They have asked voters strapped by the national financial crisis to raise property tax rates this fall." source AFP

Get bond debt ratings for FBISD through 2007 at http://www.brb.state.tx.us/lgs_search.aspx?action=isd

-This may not include the RECORD bond debt that was passed at the end of 2007.

Upcoming Meetings-

Upcoming Meetings

Feb. 9 Regular School Board Meeting

Feb. 23 Regular School Board Meeting

Feb. 28 Education Foundation Gala