Within minutes after results of the May 4 bond election had been canvassed, the Conroe Independent School District board of trustees was already discussing how to nullify the will of the voters by holding a second election.
“There is no doubt we will present the voters with another bond in November,” said CISD Board President Datren Williams at a workshop held immediately after the canvass.
According to Williams, “It’s not a question of if we’re going to have another bond, it’s just how much.”
During the workshop, most trustees seemed oblivious to the fact that the voters defeated the recent $807 million bond 54 percent to 46 percent. Citizen comment was not allowed.
Williams attempted to delegitimize the results of the election, saying that if more people had voted, the bond would have passed. He believes the people who did show up and vote are not representative of the community and that the board should represent the majority who did not vote.
Ironically, the reason voter turnout was low is that Williams and his fellow board members scheduled the election for an off-year May election date when nothing else major was on the ballot.
Since the election, Williams has engaged in a campaign of threats and fear-mongering, saying the board needs to inform voters of the “consequences” of voting the bond down a second time. Williams has told teachers there will be a salary and hiring freeze if the bond doesn’t pass. He has also threatened cuts to bus services and rezoning.
However, board members have previously said there was already going to be rezoning regardless of whether a bond was passed, so Williams’ threat is empty.
Despite the trustees’ claim that CISD is in desperate need of funding and is running out of classroom space, the board also discussed massively expanding full-day pre-K at the workshop.
While a couple of the trustees have acknowledged that the will of the voters should be respected, the words and actions of the board majority indicate that they are completely ignoring the taxpayers. Multiple activists have told Texas Scorecard that the only way to get the board to listen will be to replace some of them in the 2020 election.