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Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee Appointments

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/11 0:30:00 (2374 reads)

Open in new windowWe've heard a bit about this after the last board meeting, when our three new Trustees were sworn in, but now the board committee assignments are publicly available and will be announced in Monday night's LISD Board meeting:

Communications Committee
Julie Foughty - Chair
Amber Fulton
Carol Kyer

Policy Committee
Brenda Latham - Chair
Carol Kyer
Julie Foughty

Audit Committee
Jeff Knapp - Chair
Vernell Gregg
Tom Ferguson

Construction
Amber Fulton - Chair
Tom Ferguson
Jeff Knapp

Athletic
Vernell Gregg - Chair
Amber Fulton
Brenda Latham

Congratulations on the appointments. They all look good to me, and I look forward to strong leadership from each of these chairs. I'm especially excited to see what will come out of the Communications committee, seeing how Foughty has hit the ground running with that. We'll have to polish up the wish list and make sure she gets it.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/14 1:41  Updated: 2010/6/14 8:15
 Re: Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee App...
Didn't Amber Fulton recuse herself from a vote back in March regarding an LHS rebuilding contract because her son works for SHW? Why would she be named head of the construction committee when SHW does lots of work for LISD? Does she plan to recuse herself any time that SHW may be involved in LISD construction? If so, it seems horribly inefficient to have her as chair. If she does not plan to recuse herself, will LISD consider using companies other than SHW? Is there competitive bidding for the services that SHW performs? It has always angered me that an SHW representative was on the LISD Secondary Task Force that suggested building a third campus for LHS, while no LHS teacher, administrator, student, or parent of an LHS student was on that Task Force. I don't know whether the SHW representative got a vote in the final decision, but it doesn't seem right to me to have a company that profits from new construction on a Task Force that may recommend new construction.
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Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/6/14 9:35  Updated: 2010/6/14 9:35
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3910
 Re: Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee App...
That's interesting; I hadn't thought of that.

It is awfully inconvenient to have that conflict - small though it may be, given the virtual monopoly that this one firm has with construction in the district.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/14 1:47  Updated: 2010/6/14 8:16
 Re: Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee App...
I need to correct my previous post. I just looked at the Lewisville Task Force website (www.lewisvilletaskforce.com) and found that there were TWO SHW representatives on the LISD Secondary Task Force. One of them was on the "Grade Configuration" subcommittee, and the other was on the "Schools of the Future" subcommittee.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/15 9:47  Updated: 2010/6/15 10:22
 Re: Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee App...
As expected, Amber Fulton recused herself from the construction issue vote last night. Of course, that was after the committee she chairs (throught Trustee Ferguson) made a motion to approve the construction issue (thus no second needed to bring the motion to a vote). I wonder if Amber Fulton recused herself in committee discussions regarding this issue.
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Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/6/15 13:43  Updated: 2010/6/15 13:43
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3910
 Amber Fulton and SHW Group
I spent some time on the phone this morning with Ms. Fulton because I wanted to make sure I could accurately represent the extent of the conflict-of-interest with regards to SHW Group, LISD's exclusive architectural services vendor. Here's the scoop:

Trustee Amber Fulton's son Michael is a 21 year old liberal arts major at University of North Texas. (Yes, apparently Ms. Fulton is old enough to have a son that age - surprised me too.) After interning for SHW for a couple of summers, Michael now works for SHW in the capacity of "Office Facilitator", which is basically a very low-level clerical position, somewhat akin to working in a mail room. In this role Michael doesn't specifically benefit from his relation to his mother, or the district's business, other than just having stable employment. He is not an engineer or architect, and does not participate in any decisions.

Fulton expects that this job will not last forever, and that eventually when her son goes back to school, some time period will pass and there will no longer be the possibility of a conflict.

For the time being, Fulton recuses herself on any decision that would impact the amount of pay that SHW receives for its work with LISD. For example, last night when the board voted to approve Charter Builders for the improvements at LHS, Fulton recused herself because the choice of construction manager impacts the amount of pay that SHW would receive.

SHW is contracted on a percentage basis, doing LISD's architectural work in exchange for a flat percentage of the actual built cost. While such an arrangement could have the effect of encouraging a firm to "over-design", (and at $300 per square foot, I can see how people would think that), Fulton believes the district has personnel and procedures in place to prevent that kind of abuse.

As to Fulton's role on the construction committee, she says she does remain silent on issues like whether to do a project, and what vendor to choose, but she can participate in items like project updates and the naming of facilities.

Fulton says that on a case-by-case basis, she will consult with the district's attorney, Mr. Luna, about whether she should recuse or participate in a given discussion. Fulton does not want to subject herself to any criminal charges or get in trouble over what is essentially a volunteer position. Fulton still thinks she can adequately facilitate committee meetings and provide leadership and guidance on general philosophical issues about construction, even if she does have to recuse from certain specific conversations.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/15 20:59  Updated: 2010/6/15 21:16
 Re: Amber Fulton and SHW Group
It appears that Ms. Fulton has provided full disclosure on this issue. Thanks, Steve, for getting the details.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/15 23:51  Updated: 2010/6/16 8:11
 Re: Amber Fulton and SHW Group
So the chair of the committe can participate in discussions regarding fairly unimportant construction issues, but will have to recuse herself for the important ones that involve ACTUAL construction? I think that is ridiculous. No one else on the Board has any family members working for SHW (I hope), so why not choose someone else for the chairman of the construction committee? LISD never ceases to amaze me with the poorly-thought-out decisions.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/16 18:10  Updated: 2010/6/16 19:04
 Re: Amber Fulton and SHW Group
Thanks for taking the time to gather the details of this story. Amber thanks for taking the time to clarify your position. I am glad you do recuse yourself.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/6/15 22:13  Updated: 2010/6/15 22:40
 Re: Lewisville ISD Trustees To Announce New Committee App...
I am glad to see that with the addition of the new school board trustees, there is more transparency, open discussions, honesty and fairness being exhibited on the board now. This was long overdue for LISD. God answers prayers! Thank you Jesus!!!
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