Dallas ISD Trustee Ranger Not Pleased Interim Super Talks Took Place Behind Closed Doors

This back-and-forth between Blackburn and Ranger Tuesday led to this morning's item on Ranger's blog.
This back-and-forth between Blackburn and Ranger Tuesday led to this morning's item on Ranger's blog.
Photo by Patrick Michels

A fellow Dallas Independent School District parent, who recalls Tuesday's sparring match between Carla Ranger and newly installed board president Lew Blackburn, suggests I take another look at the prolific Ranger's blog. That's because, moments ago, she posted yet another item about the interim superintendent debate -- this one suggesting that when the board went behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to do about choosing a temporary replacement for Michael Hinojosa, who was in Cobb County again yesterday for another community chitchat, it violated at least "the spirit" of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

As Patrick reported earlier this week, Blackburn began the called board meeting, where the lone agenda item was the interim super, by saying the board would immediately go into a closed-door executive session to pare down the list of 10 maybes to a handful of finalists. At which point Ranger said: That's what you think. Or, more accurately: "Whatever we do, the process should be open, should be transparent and should be one that the public is fully privy to." Only, not so much. Ranger writes this morning that, unfortunately, that's par for the course:

Since becoming a Trustee I have seen first hand the almost automatic desire of certain Trustees to conduct important public business in private so the public will not know what Trustees said and what they did.

Example, on Tuesday I left the closed executive session because I felt the Texas Open Meetings Act might be violated. There were discussions about process being held outside of the public view. Trustees were expressing their opinions. Nothing that could not have been discussed in full public view.

The Board President appears after the closed session and and open session and later announces the 'decisions' of the Trustees to certain members of the press. The question is: When and where were those decisions made? I am a Trustee; and I do not recall any votes being taken on process in open session. There were certainly discussions and opinions in the secret session but no official action was taken as required by state law.

If no official Board action was taken, by what authority does the President announce decisions that the Board has not officially made in open session?

Of course, as we noted last week, there's no love lost between Ranger and Blackburn.

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