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ECISD Precinct 2 - Odessa American: Education

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ECISD Precinct 2

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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 12:00 am

A majority of Ector County Independent School District trustees seem cautious as to how they may fill the Precinct 2 seat recently vacated by Renda Berryhill.

Berryhill acknowledged she’d vacated her seat Friday in a letter to Precinct 2 voters.

Board president Carol Gregg said unless a trustee requests a special meeting beforehand, the board would most likely address the board opening at its regular August meeting.

“At this point, that’s my inclination,” she said.

As of this morning, Gregg said, no trustee had requested a special meeting.

The board of trustees has three options in regards to the vacated seat — appoint a replacement, hold a special election or leave it vacant until the May election.

As to a possible appointment, according to board legal policy, “A board that chooses this optional appointment consideration shall adopt procedures for its implementation.”

ECISD attorney Mike Atkins said he took the policy to mean anyone wanting to fill the position would need to meet residency requirements for that precinct.

“The person appointed will have to be a resident of that district (Precinct 2),” he said.

Atkins said the legal policy seemed to acknowledge no specific law or policy as far as a process in appointing someone.

Some trustees said they’d like to review all potential outcomes before making a decision.

Gregg and trustee Ray Beaty said they both planned on checking into the cost of a special election and when one could be held.

“Because if we go with a special election, it’s going to be expensive,” Beaty said, noting the decision needs to be in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Board vice president L.V. “Butch” Foreman agreed the cost of a special election would need to be researched and said he’d ideally want the Precinct 2 voters to decide who should lead that area.

“I just don’t feel worthy picking somebody that’s representing somebody else,” he said, noting the board tried to appoint someone to former trustee Bill Rutherford’s seat when he left in November 2005.

Trustee Doyle Woodall said that at that time those interested in the open slot made presentations to trustees in a board meeting.

Woodall said with the current position at hand, he hopes those who live in Precinct 2 have representation.

“The people in Precinct 2 definitely need to have a voice on the school board,” Woodall said, noting he hoped the board could decide on who to approve. He’d like to see someone appointed to the open position and encouraged interested Precinct 2 residents to contact ECISD administration at 802 N. Sam Houston Ave.

Trustee Donna Smith said she also didn’t think the position should be left vacant because 10 months would be a long time for Precinct 2 to go without representation.

“As to how to fill the vacancy, I'm just not sure,” she said.

Smith said she anticipated the board discussing what should be done, noting trustees need to make as much effort as possible when trying to fill the position.

When contacted this morning, trustee Randy Rives said he would return the OA's call after a morning meeting.

Efforts to reach Rives this afternoon were unsuccessful.

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