Tuesday, December 13, 2016


By Juan Montoya
They tried it once, and now they're trying it again.
At the last meeting of the Brownsville Independent School District board of trustees, Superintendent Esperanza placed an item on the board's agenda to appoint hearing officers to hear Level 3 Personnel grievances.
At the time, new board members Dr. Sylvia Atkinson and Philip Cowen objected and had the item tabled saying that the responsibility of the board is to cast the final decision on the grievances filed against the district and/or board members by district employees.

Well, this time there's a new wrinkle. In tonight's agenda for the monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m., there is yet another item having to do with this level of grievances.
This time, we understand that a board member (Carlos Elizondo?) is asking that the board hire yet another lawyer to act as another filter between the board and their fiduciary responsibilities. Item 55 reads: 55 Discussion, consideration and possible action regarding the hiring of a Hearing Officer for all Level III grievances. The Hearing Officer will represent School Board on all Level III grievances effective February 2017. The recommendation includes the school board appointing the Hearing Officer during its January 2017 meeting. (Board Member Request)

Once a grievance reaches Level III, it is the responsibility of the elected board members to make a decision for or against the administration or for or against the employee. To abdicate this responsibility to an lawyer hired by the board to represent them or the administration makes the impartiality of the process suspect.
Surely an attorney who gets his paycheck from the district is not going to bite the hand that feeds him.

Similarly, if an employee is not represented by a union or has to hire a lawyer to go against the BISD paid representative is already at a decided disadvantage. When the members of the board filed to run for office, they knew that ultimately the decision to hire and fire or to approve or disapprove the administration's disciplining or demotion of any BISD employee fall on their shoulders. It comes with the territory.

To shirk this duty and abdicate their responsibilities to a paid lawyer means that they weren't serious when they took their oaths of service. Does Elizondo have someone in mind for this position? We hear that perhaps he may have someone associated with city government in mind. Perhaps one of his bosses. While he's at it, perhaps he should ask this lawyer on why the city has permitted him to remain on the BISD board when its personnel policies state that city employees should not serve on an elected board whose jurisdiction overlaps with the school board.
It would be instructive to see what Level III grievances are scheduled to be heard by the board. Do any involve board members?  

That is not all.
There is yet another item on the agenda having to do with personnel grievances,
This time the administration is recommending that the board approve the hiring of yet another attorney for its legal eagle team.

Item 14 reads: Discussion, consideration and action to engage attorney Ivan Perez to investigate and possibly defend administration in pending grievances.
Now, why would the BISD, who already has a well-paid school district attorney on board to represent the district on these matters have to hire another?

Could it be that Miguel Salinas, the BISD lawyer, has a grievance against himself and wants the board to hire a lawyer to represent him? With a BISD-paid lawyer like Ivan Perez, from Weslaco, Salinas won't have to pay for his defense and the person filing the grievance – if he or she is not a union member 2 will ave to pit his or her resources against not Salinas, but the resources of the BISD.


Anonymous said...

Too much misuse of funds and corruption !!

what's next !

another hitman killing bisd employee !!

if you dig you will find to much misuse of funds and corruption starting with board members and central Administration.

Anonymous said...

Why hire a lawyer to do something for a very high price that most managers can easily accomplish. If a grievance is viewed by a lawyer, how is that more effective than having a non-lawyer? Makes us think what the BISD attorney does? More lawyers just mean more tax dollars and more bureaucracy/bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Waisting tax payers money do your job on the board or step aside

Anonymous said...

Imagine the kickbacks 2 more lawyers can give the board members. If balta is lining their pockets imagine 2 more lawyers.... good thinking fester. Cesar, come on! more free alcohol and taxi cabs...

Anonymous said...

What is Carlos Elizondo after!! After all word is that he owe's a lot of favors.. Remember you do not become the chief of Brownsville Firefighters for nothing, cheating on exams, kissing Jessica's and Cesar's ass really got you some where. But in reality people really do not like you. And that says a lot.. And it's sad, because Mr. Elizondo you were once liked in our community and now your one of the most hated creatures in Brownsville and that include: s your wife...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What the board and baltazar are doing hiring attorneys to hear level III grievances is illegal. Of course baltazar and the board members don't care about violating their own policies or are too stupid to know what they are doing.

They are placing the district in a major liability doing this and screwing with the employee's livilihood. Dr, atkinson I thought you were suppose to be there for the employees? You of all people should know this is illegal!

CARLOS said...