Woman Wins Open-records Ruling, Says School District Still Won’t Release Science Center Info
August 7th, 2009 | by Bob Dunn, Fortbendnow
Even after a Texas Attorney General’s ruling in her favor, A New Territory woman says, Fort Bend Independent School District officials are purposely withholding public records about the proposed Global Science & Technology Center.
The school district said it has provided New Territory resident Nancy Hentschel with the documents ordered released by the AG’s office.
However, Hentschel said Friday, “I have been given nothing.”
An opponent of the district’s proposed $26.4 million science center, Hentschel said the information she is seeking could have been essential to the public before the FBISD Board of Trustees gave its approval for the project to proceed in a limited fashion.
Since the board vote on the science center came and went without the district releasing the information she requested, Hentschel said she hoped the release would come before next Monday’s board meeting, during which board members are expected to discuss the administration’s proposed 3.5-cent property tax increase.
It appears that won’t happen.
Events leading up to the current showdown between Hentschel and the district began this spring, when she made a formal request under the Texas Public Information Act for a variety of information related to the science center. Among records she requested were:
→ All documents under review by a committee the district set up to study the proposal’s feasibility;
→ All comments made about the project publicly on an FBISD web site;
→ A list of “current committed companies and the amounts they have already donated to this project;”
→ All communication between members of the feasibility committee, PBK architects, FBISD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Jenney, and former Sugar Land mayor and developer David Wallace, who headed the feasibility committee;
→ Any available financial disclosure statements since 2007 for Dr. Jenney.
After a records-release deadline expired under TPIA regulations, Hentschel said in a May 19 complaint to the attorney general’s office, FBISD outside counsel David Feldman provided her with a “PowerPoint sales pitch from Mr. Wallace” that “had nothing to do with any request that I had made…”
Get the full piece at:
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)