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Trustee Ford, Your Rule is Out of Order

An open letter to Casey Ford and the GCISD Trustees

Trustee Ford:

The community has been watching – some with delight, most with disgust – as you exercise your newfound power to prosecute the extremist agenda you were elected to deliver by the majority of the minority who showed up to vote.  Unfortunately, the agenda is so extreme, and the prosecution is so malevolent that the majority of the community who did not show up to vote in the last few elections is starting to take notice.  If they show up in May, this will not be a good thing for you and the agenda.  Please recall that the job of the trustee is fiduciary, not representative.  Your job is to ensure the delivery of services to students under the Texas Education Code – not to represent the vocal minority.

The most prevalent and ongoing source of disgust is your open disrespect toward the Trustees in the minority, and most particularly Trustee St. John.  In a recent meeting when Trustee St. John had additional questions, you shut her down and called for the vote.  Presumably, you were relying on the “Rules of Order” section of Policy BE Local which states that board proceedings shall follow Roberts Rules of Order.  Those rules state that they exist to apply where no other assembly rules apply.  You are no doubt enforcing the “each member may speak only twice” on a particular matter rule.  Fair enough.  Except…

Policy BE Local goes on to state: 

Discussions and Limitation

Discussions shall be addressed to the Board President and then the entire membership. Discussion shall be directed solely to the business currently under deliberation, and the Board President shall halt discussion that does not apply to the business before the Board.

The Board President shall also halt discussion if the Board has agreed to a time limitation for discussion of an item, and that time limit has expired. Aside from these limitations, the Board President shall not interfere with debate so long as members wish to address themselves to an item under consideration.

Clearly, the final sentence of Policy BE Local is meant to supersede Roberts Rules and ensure full transparency for trustees and the community.  Your disdainful interruption and shutting down of Trustee St. John goes directly against both policy and decades of precedent.  If for nothing other than the sake of your agenda, please fake a bit more respect for the minority and respect for the rules under which the trustees have operated for decades.  

After all, “Transparency Builds Trust (Shannon Braun, 2021).”  Shutting down questions is not only a violation of policy but an affront to transparency. The majority could now move to strike the final sentence or impose time limitations on discussions never seen before. They could, but what would that say about transparency?

In another example, at the June regular meeting, Trustee Nakamura laments respecting the vote of the majority.  The problem was how the majority rode roughshod over Roberts Rules in May to assert their majority in the TASB vote.  The question was called and closed by you in complete violation of Roberts Rules.  By all means, assert your majority, but do so with respect for the other Trustees and at least the appearance of following your own rules.

Transparency DOES build Trust.  Please stop being so obvious in your prevention of full exposure of the majority agenda, and follow your own policies.  If the agenda is good, it will withstand any attempt at exposure from the minority.

On the positive side, we commend your uniform enforcement of the “speak to the chair, not each other” provisions of Roberts Rules.  Thank you for that.


True Texas Values PAC
Chris Kinsey, Treasurer

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