The ECISD Board of Trustees recently announced the process of filling the District 7 seat vacated by Nelson Minyard with his resignation in January.
The process began on a positive note as the Trustees outlined the process to fill the empty seat by publicly announcing the selection process via local news and social media outlets and sending out candidate solicitation letters throughout District 7.
As part of the process, two public meetings with ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri and three of the Trustees to educate and inform potential candidates about the selection process were announced. Approximately 15 people attended the first hour-long meeting held at Blanton Elementary and a smaller number attended the second meeting at Nimitz Middle School.
It was noted during the selection process meetings that under Texas law the Trustees can but are not required to conduct the candidate interviews and the subsequent discussions surrounding their selection in executive session and that this private, out-of-the-public view process had been used in the past.
We applaud ECISD for taking these very positive steps to inform the public about the vacancy and to seek out potential candidates to fill this important position and we were encouraged to see the large turnout of those expressing interest in being appointed to the vacant District 7 seat.
Open communication and well-defined processes by our public institutions help build trust and confidence in our public leaders and would be a good first step in rebuilding the trust that was shown to be lacking in the push poll the District completed as part of the recently failed bond issue.
Now, it is incumbent upon the Trustees to take full advantage of the appointment process and to complete the selection process in open session. Rebuilding trust is a slow, arduous process that requires steady, consistent steps and conducting candidate interviews in open session – not behind closed doors – would be another positive step that ECISD Trustees could take that would restore public trust. It is important that District 7 residents have the opportunity to participate in the selection process and to hear candidates interact with Trustees and express their ideas and views about the important issues facing our District.
During the appointment process it is incumbent upon each Trustee to remember that their most important task is to select the candidate that best represents the values, priorities and ideas of District 7 and an open interview and discussion process where the public is freely and completely involved is the best way to select the right candidate for District 7.