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County Judge urges FBISD board to allow voters to decide now-vacant trustee position

January 21, 2019

Former Fort Bend ISD trustee KP George, who resigned his position last November after winning election as Fort Bend County Judge, recently urged school board members to appoint a replacement to his former trustee seat and allow voters to choose a new board member in the upcoming May election. George outlined his concerns on social media, posted along with a copy of a May 20 letter to trustees.

“As we celebrate the legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. tomorrow, let’s recall that he said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Let’s affirm his teachings and make sure the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees allow full justice and democracy to follow through on the Position 5 seat,” George wrote on his Facebook page.

Last November, George, a Democrat, defeated longtime incumbent Bob Hebert, a Republican, who had held the position for 15 years.

In his letter, George shared his disappointment trustees had not appointed a replacement to fill his now-vacant Position 5 trustee seat or announced plans to allow voters to decide who would serve the remainer of his term in the upcoming May trustee election.

“The night before MLK Day, I write to you with a heavy heart,” George wrote.

“It has recently come to my attention that Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees Position 5, the seat I served on to represent the community, may remain vacant for months on end - diluting the strength pf community input and representation,” George wrote and went on to urge trustees to appoint a replacement as soon as possible. He also said trustees should allow “voters full say in May to elect the representative to this seat” by adding the position to the ballot for the upcoming trustee election.

George also pointed out a precedent was set when former Position 7 trustee Jim Babb resigned due to medical reasons in July 2011. That August, trustees appointed Cynthia Lenton-Gary as replacement and in May 2012 the current Position 7 trustee Dave Rosenthal was elected to a one-year unexpired term.

“I encourage you to follow this precedent,” George wrote to trustees.

When contacted, George said he remains hopeful trustees will move forward quickly.

“I urge trustees to do the right thing and let the people of Fort Bend County decide,” he said.

At the upcoming May 22 board meeting, trustees are expected to vote to call the May election to decide Position 7 and Position 2. Agenda documents do not include any mention of the Position 5 vacancy and trustees have not made public their plans. District officials and Fort Bend ISD board president Jason Burdine did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

George was elected trustee in 20033 and again in 2017. The term for the now-vacant Position 5 trustee seat expires in 2020.

According to board policy, board members may fill any vacant position with more than one year left in its term by appointment or by calling a special election. If more than one year is left in the position’s term, trustees must fill the position within 180 days.

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