A former North Texas school board member is getting a school named after him, even though he admitted promoting a nasty political smear campaign against a school board candidate who challenged the district’s plans to raise taxes.

At their board meeting on Monday, Frisco Independent School District trustees agreed to name a new elementary school in honor of Buddy and Joni Minett, based on the recommendation of a facility naming committee.

According to the district’s press release, “Minett Elementary is named for two exemplary servant leaders who have left an indelible stamp on the Frisco community.”

Buddy Minett was a Frisco ISD school board trustee for eight years, from 2003 to 2011, and spent six years before that on the Frisco City Council:

While serving as Board president for three years, he was dedicated to maximizing collaboration and resources to meet community goals. He knew that a strong City and District partnership would shape the future of the District for all children…

 

After leaving the Board, Buddy continued to advocate for the District in numerous ways including as co-chair of the 2014 Citizens Bond Committee for FISD.

But by his own admission, Buddy Minett spread false claims about a school board candidate who questioned the district’s tax-and-spend policies favored by Minett and his political allies.

As part of a 2019 settlement in a defamation lawsuit filed against him, Minett was forced to apologize and retract false statements he made about then-candidate Jeff Snowden.

The retraction came two years after Minett targeted Snowden with defamatory mailers during Snowden’s campaign for school board in May 2017. Snowden was challenging an incumbent and had also opposed the district’s plan to raise property taxes, making him unpopular with district insiders like Minett.

“It is concerning that the district has chosen to name a school after someone whose past ethical standards have been questioned,” former Frisco resident Toni Fabry told Texas Scorecard.

The conservative activist and her husband left the city last year, fed up with the political shenanigans within the local government.

The district has yet to respond to questions about who nominated Minett for consideration by the committee, but the recommendation was approved by the board 5-0 (with two members absent).

After the vote, Trustee René Archambault posted on Facebook:

The naming committee has met for the last 2 years to deliberate the naming of these two new campuses and I am thrilled with the outcome. Having served as the chair of the naming committee this year, and as a member last year; it is always such a humbling experience to be in the room with campus namesakes and community leaders as they discuss so many incredible Frisco families and names to celebrate with this unique honor.

Frisco ISD residents can contact school board members with any questions.

Two school board seats are up for election on May 1. Both incumbents are running for re-election. As of February 10, Trustee John Classe is unopposed; Archambault faces challenger Evelyn Brooks. The filing deadline for local elections is February 12.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.

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