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BCISD Board of Trustees President releases statement

Editorial by Jerry McInnis

 

As President of the Bridge City ISD Board of Trustees, I feel it is my duty to respond to the question raised by a Ms. Angela Kay of Beaumont, Texas in her April 27, 2016, advertisement in the Record. Ms. Kay asked “Does BCISD school board follow the “Open Meetings Act?” My answer is YES, the BCISD complies with the Open Meetings Act. You do not have to take my word for it, meetings of the Bridge City ISD Board of Trustees are open to the public and we welcome your attendance. Moreover, the agendas and minutes of what occurred at these meetings is available for your review.

Would you like to know what will be discussed or considered at the meeting? You may find the agenda for each meeting published on the Bridge City ISD website at least 72 hours before each meeting. Past agendas are also available on the District’s website for your perusal. For example, the agenda from the February 3, 2016 shows that the Board was going to discuss and consider the employment of Todd Lintzen as Superintendent.

Are you not able to attend a meeting but what to know what occurred? Meeting minutes are posted on the District website as well. For example, the minutes from the February 3, 2016, meeting show that the Board voted to offer Todd Lintzen a contract, including salary, to serve as Superintendent. If you review that document you may notice that the Board did meet in “closed session” during the course of the meeting. The Texas Open Meeting Act provides for several reasons when a government body, such as a school board, may meet in closed session. On February 3rd, there were two reasons for the board to move into closed session. First, the Board needed to consult with legal counsel which is permitted by section 551.074 of the Texas Government Code. Second, the board needed to discuss the employment of Mr. Lintzen, including his salary and other contract terms, which is permitted by section 551.074 of the Texas Government Code. You may also find that all action of the Board was taken in open session, in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

As informed, educated citizens, I believe that you will find that the allegations made by Ms. Kay are false. Once again, you do not have to take my word for it. Review the agenda and minutes from the June 22, 2015, meeting regarding the allegations that taxes were raised in closed session; review the February 3, 2015, agenda and minutes regarding the allegation that the Superintendent’s salary was not discussed at a public meeting and with proper notice, and review the agenda and minutes of March 7, 2016, regarding board training.

In closing, I want to stress that the Bridge City ISD Board of Trustees are transparent and our meetings are held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming board meeting. Remember to get out and vote.

(Editor’s note: Jerry McInnis is currently running as an incumbent for the Bridge City ISD Board of Trustees. Other incumbents in the election are Rebecca Rutledge and Thad Hill. Bryan Gremillion, Bryant Champagne, and Brandy Slaughter are also seeking a seat on the school board. There are three positions to be decided during the current election.)