Wednesday, April 01, 2009

FBW: Cain Holds Different View Of FBISD!


Position 2 trustee candidates hold different views of FBISD
By ZEN T.C. ZHENG HOUSTON CHRONICLE
April 1, 2009

Fort Bend school board president Sonal Bhuchar’s re-election bid is challenged by an opponent critical of what he describes as the district’s wasteful financial practices.

Bhuchar, a 48-year-old Sugar Land physical therapist, was elected to Position 2 in May 2006 and assumed the board’s presidency last year. She said she sees a changed school district over the past three years with achievements including new leadership, a comprehensive plan and a successful bond referendum. She said she played a role in the changes.

Opponent Carlos Cain, a 51-year-old self-employed oil field services consultant of Sugar Land, said changes in the school board following recent elections have not resulted in fundamental improvement in the district’s academic standing and the way school officials conduct business that he claims lacks transparency and accountability.

A recent highlight in their differences is the district’s proposed “global center for science and technology,” decried by Cain as a “pork barrel” waste but supported by Bhuchar, who is on a district-appointed committee to study the financial feasibility of the project.


Early voting runs April 27 through May 5. Election Day is May 9. . .

Get the full piece at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/6353471.html

Or http://www.fortbendweb.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1130&Itemid=101#jreactions

Or visit: http://www.carloscain.com

35 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recent comments:

Anonymous said...
The link to the confidential investigation is a gold mine. Is this how most vendors act?

March 31, 2009 6:10 AM


Anonymous said...
"They address the process for hiring an architectural firm, how hard it was for the law firm (Feldman) to get copies of emails from administrators and how they violated the law by not keeping them, and how it is against the law for them to use bond funds for anything other than what they said they were going to use it for in the bond language of the bond proposal that everyone voted on."

This is very telling and I bet when you all make an information request the you will see the same behavior here.

March 31, 2009 8:58 AM

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More:

Anonymous said...
Comments coming in from area blogs on this topic:

fbisdwatch wrote:
"She said she sees a changed school district over the past three years with achievements including new leadership, a comprehensive plan and a successful bond referendum. She said she played a role in the changes."
If passing a RECORD bond election that directly impacts the budget and incurred this first ever 10 million dollar budget deficit, then Sonal is a great success. If higher taxes each and every year over the past 3-4 years is successful, then Sonal is a success. If record bond debt and placing it on the backs of our children is successful, then Sonal has been a success.
3, 4 and 5 year plans sounds great until you figure out who is paying for it in a county where property taxes per medium home value ranked us as 11th in the country according to the tax foundation.
How about instead of building a 30 to 50 million dollar monument we can't afford and wasn't in the last bond package, we use that money on the current growth and school campuses?
Stop the waist in order to feed the district vendors!
4/1/2009 1:20:26 PM
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(0)
hentschol wrote:
The district's vendors, as well as the home owner association vendors, are the tail that wags the dog, and the rocket that takes our taxes and dues in one fast direction!!
4/1/2009 1:40:45 PM
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(0)
marymcgarr wrote:
Americans everywhere are looking with dismay on the current state of national and international issues. Those corrupt politicians who are responsible that seem so far away in Washington, all began their careers at the local level and many of them were school board members initially. It's time citizens everywhere stopped to look at just who these people are that control our local schools. Documented evidence has revealed that the liberalized education now being delivered in our public schools is key to the current takeover by socialists. When minds are full of mush and people cannot be analytical and perceptive, the wool gets pulled over their eyes very easily. Academics have fallen by the wayside. The government does not want an intellectually astute populace. Go look at columns by George Scott (www.georgescottreports.com) and see how public education is shortchanging our children. Read about the false accountability and purposes of the TAKS test. See how your children are being cheated. It's time to demand the ouster of the liberals who are running (and ruining) our schools. Look instead for those candidates who espouse conservative fiscal values and an interest in returning academics to our schools. I don't live in your district, but it's not different from the one where I DO live. People owe their children the responsibility of looking carefully at candidates and not voting for the ones that the school district is pushing on you.
4/1/2009 4:19:29 PM
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(0)
transparencyingovt wrote:
"People owe their children the responsibility of looking carefully at candidates and not voting for the ones that the school district is pushing on you."
A truer statement has never been made. When we see non-local select vendor corps picking our boards, council and commission candidates for us we often get what we deserve, yes men and projects we can't afford.
Is this one of those cases? http://blogs.chron.com/fortbend/archives/2009/03/is_jenney_seeki.html
"Garland wasn't the only person present to raise questions about the center. Nancy Hentschel, who identified herself as a district taxpayer and former teacher, also used her three minutes to question the school leadership's judgment of using PBK, a Houston architect firm under investigation for a scandal in the Judson school district, to market the "global center" idea.
"What processes are in place to make sure that state law is being followed in this project case?" she asked. "I'd appreciate any response from any of the board members how they feel about this project in the light of the information regarding the investigation by the FBI into the building project in the Judson ISD involving this same vendor contractor. What is being done to keep the process open and transparent to the voters and taxpayers of this district?"
She then told officials that she was concerned that the leaders are "approaching this science center as if you were purchasing education." chron blogs
4/1/2009 4:41:29 PM
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April 1, 2009 2:46 PM

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
More:

Comments

"Marilyn Glover, who didn't speak either, shook hands with Jenney and the trustees after the meeting. I asked her about her stance on the issue. With some hesitancy, she said she wanted to "talk to more people to get all the facts."

"There are people who always say no to things, especially when there are new things, it's not uncommon for people to be apprehensive," she said. "But I don't know enough about it. I want to take the time to understand all the pros and cons."

Why would Glover go against something like this when she is the insider? This is the type of BOT over-sight we don't need....more rubber stamping. She reminds me of Allen Owen and Bob Hebert, they never met a building project they didn't like.

Posted by: NMT at March 31, 2009 07:30 PM

"What processes are in place to make sure that state law is being followed in this project case?" she asked. "I'd appreciate any response from any of the board members how they feel about this project in the light of the information regarding the investigation by the FBI into the building project in the Judson ISD involving this same vendor contractor. What is being done to keep the process open and transparent to the voters and taxpayers of this district?"

She then told officials that she was concerned that the leaders are "approaching this science center as if you were purchasing education."

This just about says it all. Why not build two school campuses for the price of this thing?

Posted by: anonymous at March 31, 2009 08:06 PM

Just a couple of observations. First I noticed the superintendent making what appears to be erroneous statements while trying to make Mr. Garland look like he didn't know what he was talking about. We've seen this before in their attempts to smoke-screen.

These are, "Jenney said the truancy fines are assessed by the court and kept by the municipalities." when it was a district senior administrator that was quoted in a recent article that the district splits the fines with the courts and that it had brought in significant amounts, not to mention the increase in ADA contribution per student from the state.

He also seemed to make another incomplete statement such as, "On bond money, Jenney said the district doesn't shift it for uses other than what was approved by voters."

This claim is far from true. The fund balance is the accumulation of past "bond surpluses" that have been moved to a special account and currently is around the 100 million dollar mark (above the state suggested 70 million max). The public is NOT asked if we wanted the surplus used this way so it would appear that Mr. Jenney is incorrect again. Maybe Mr. Garland was right on with all his questions and comments and why did Jenney and the board president Bhuchar defend the vendor that is under investigation by the FBI?

"According to a report by the San Antonio-based television station, WOAI, and an audit disclosed by the station, the Judson district handed out the job of implementing a 2006 $236 million bond package, which includes a $100 million high school, to companies without going through legally required bidding process. One of the companies is PBK, which the audit found to have paid certain district employees to golf at resorts including Torrey Pines in San Diego and Spyglass in Pebble Beach.

I asked Jenney for a response to Hentschel's reference to media reports about PBK's involvement in the Judson school district scandal.

JENNEY DEFENDED THE FIRM."

I wonder if we can TPIA/FOIA Jenneys campaign finance reports the way they did in Katy ISD with their last superintendent to see if the vendor or the PACs vendors are involved with are making "contributions"?

Posted by: not-much-new-here at April 1, 2009 06:58 AM

I agree with Hentschel. During times like these pushing such a proposal is idiotic.

Posted by: fbisdparent at April 1, 2009 09:27 AM

The selling of this wildly expensive "science" education project seems to demand that taxpayers close their eyes and pray(prey?)that if we spend enough money, that our children will become more science minded.

In my humble opinion, FBISD needs to figure out what science is and is not, before we pretend to buy some Global Center pretense at science education.

It would also help if we understood that science is never about having faith that our elected officials and the economic development council have our best interests in mind.

Posted by: Joe Murphy at April 1, 2009 01:07 PM

I just wanted to offer everyone the option of looking at people willing to try and change the modus operandi of the district such as Bruce Albright. Visit http://www.brucealbright.com for more and let's break out of the debt pattern academically and fiscally for a change.

Posted by: goBRUCE at April 1, 2009 01:39 PM

I agree with not-much-new-here. What's really disturbing is that Jenney claims this firm under investigation by the FBI is not just building the global center, but has also built several schools in FBISD. How many leisure trips have Jenney and his croonies taken with PKO fitting the bill?

Posted by: Kris M at April 1, 2009 01:49 PM

April 1, 2009 2:47 PM


Comment deleted
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April 1, 2009 2:48 PM


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POLLHOST POLL RESULTS:

POLLHOST POLL RESULTS:

 

Question: Do you trust Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City, TX, to represent you rather than his Houston corporate backers?

 

Results:

 

3%  participating said yes  (n20)

 

91%  participating said no  (n573)

 

6%  participating responded not sure  (n39)

 

(N) sample =  632

 

Stay tuned as more surveys for coming elections are posted!

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