Image: Only Trustee Dale Inman voted against the appointment of incumbent Board President Skeeter Hubert to fill the unexpired term of resigning Scott Moore on November 14, 2022, when Moore set his date for resignation since he has moved away from the Conroe Independent School District to Trinity County.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, September 21 – After a somewhat ugly discussion among the Board members of the Conroe Independent School District (CISD) during the evening of Tuesday, September 20, 2022, the Board voted four (4) to one (1), with Dale Inman dissenting, to appoint incumbent Board President Skeeter Hubert to fill the unexpired term of resigning Trustee Scott Moore who has moved from CISD’s geographic jurisdiction, other than an apartment he recently rented, to Trinity County. Inman accused the Board that “the fix is in,” as he first attempted to delay the vote, until after the Board would receive applications for the position from the public, and, on that failing for lack of a second, voted against the appointment.
The Board had the option of calling a special election, but Superintendent Curtis Null recommended against that action, because it would cost between $180,000 and $200,000 by his estimate. The Board could also have waited until after the election of new Board members in the November 8, 2022, General Election, but that option would have threatened the Board’s electoral majority with a more than $1 billion bond package looming for them to put before voters in 2023.
Both Hubert and Moore claimed that they “recused” themselves from the discussion but actually failed to do so in accordance with the requirements of Robert’s Rules of Order or proper meeting procedure. A recusal would have required that neither Hubert nor Moore participate in the discussion at all and that they would physically leave the meeting during the discussion.
Both Hubert and Moore remained seated in their Board positions during the discussion. Hubert, in fact, began the discussion on his appointment by saying, “I’d like to recuse myself. But before I do I’d like to state my name is not on the ballot the year, and it wasn’t supposed to be that way. I had an oversight on my application, my residency in the State of Texas. I was deemed an invalid applicant. Whatever course the district decides, I would like to be a part of it, so I recuse myself.” That, of course, is wholly improper and, as the presiding officer of the meeting, Hubert should have called himself out of order.
Inman made the first motion, which was for the Board to receive applications and then vote on the appointment on December 13, 2022. That motion died for lack of a second.
Datren Williams then jumped in without recognition and said, “I move Skeeter Hubert to fill unexpired term.” Ray Sanders immediately seconded the motion.
Stacey Chase then claimed the Board, prior to the meeting, had not discussed what they would do. Somehow, she was fully prepared to discuss detailed statistics concerning Hubert’s two victories in the past two elections he participated in as a candidate. Chase argued against any delay in the appointment.
If the Board were to delay the appointment until after November 8’s General Election, it is possible the Board could have a deadlock of three to three, if all three of the conservative insurgents – Misty Odenweller, Melissa Dungan, and Tiffany Nelson – were to win their respective elections. Odenweller has won by default, as Hubert failed to qualify for the ballot position for which she is running, so she’s unopposed.
Sanders said, “I’ve had no discussions with any other board members until right now.”
Inman spoke against the appointment of Hubert. Inman said, “I’m a big fan of yours. But in 34 days, could we at least extend this vote until the new board members are seated? I consider you a good friend and Ms. Chase made some good points… It should be the incoming board and not the outgoing board. We’re telling the next board here’s what you’re going to do the next few years…It seems like it’s common knowledge…that the fix is in.”
Williams interrupted Inman several times. Williams refused to answer Inman’s question whether Williams discussed the appointment of Hubert with other board members.
Chase also refused to answer Inman’s question and rhetorically asked “how does that issue benefit if we know the answer?”
Sanders then interrupted Inman and “called the question” which the Board immediately voted upon, even though Inman still had the floor under meeting rule procedures. After shutting down debate, the Board voted to appoint Hubert with Inman as the sole dissenter.
Regardless of the outcome of the November elections, CISD may now rest assured that it has a slim majority, at least, to vote to put its massive bond package on the ballot for voters to approve next year.