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, December 11, 2009
FBW:Fort Bend County District Attorneys Office Initiates Preliminary Investigation Into Potential Violations Of TPIA & TOMA Acts By FBISD Leadership!
FBW Exclusive: FORT BEND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE INITIATES A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF FBISD FOR POSSIBLE TPIA/TOMA VIOLATIONS (FOLLOWING THE APPARENT FAILURE OF THE DISTRICT TO COMPLY WITH THE TEXAS AG ORDER EARLIER THIS YEAR INVOLVING THE HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL PLAN TO BUILD WHAT HAS BEEN DEEMED, by some, THE "GLOBAL TAJ MAHAL")!
A citizens-watch group, lead by Sugar Land resident Nancy Henschel, attended a meeting with Fort Bend County DIstrict Attorney John Healey today to present documents related to the apparent failure of Fort Bend ISD to comply with the Texas Public Information Act and possibly the Texas Open Meetings Act (TX gov't code chapter 552) when requests were made by several different FBISD taxpayers over the course of the last 10 to 11 months.
Last spring the FBISD superintendent, Tim Jenney and former SL mayor (and commercial developer) Dave Wallace, announced plans to push forward on a near $30 million dollar duplicate spending/building project called the Global Science & Technology Center in the midst of a then near $10 million dollar budget deficit and record bond debt (now approaching $20 million). At the time they made representations that there was wide-spread support for the project as evidenced through a survey the district had completed. Several citizens groups, including FBISDWatch, became involved and attempted, without much success, to gain access to all related communications and documents involved in this ongoing project.
At first the superintendent publically agreed to turn over all the requested documents at a board meeting, but later referred the case to the district legal vendor David Feldman. After repeated attempts by the district to block access and after the school trustees had already voted to support the duplicate museum project, the Texas Attorney General ordered the release of almost all requested files. A month passed, according to sources, and most of the documents had not been released with the exception of the FBISD "feasibility" study survey. This is the same report that leaders earlier claimed demonstrated "overwhelming" support from the public for the project. Once this information was finally released, most local media in the area reviewed the survey findings and found just the opposite to be true (about 60% opposed this funding use during a budget crisis).
Several news agencies became involved and also initiated TPIA requests of their own, only to be stalled by the districts legal vendor and communications office once again. Just a few weeks ago the central office announced that the district will be moving forward with the GSTC ground breaking soon, but still would not release requested information surrounding possible donations or amounts for the project. A precondition for approval.
This afternoon, after meeting with the district attorney, Ms. Henschel and the citizens group were assured that the case would be assigned to an investigator and reviewed for possible further action.
We will update this information as it comes in....