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Bailey declines offer to rescind resignation

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Turmoil remains the order of the day in the Lockhart Independent School District.
Despite a visible show of support and impassioned pleas from more than half a dozen district taxpayers, Tom Bailey asked the LISD Board of Trustees to accept his resignation on Monday evening, and the board, left with few other options, com

plied.
More than 150 of Bailey”s supporters gathered at a special called meeting at Lockhart High School on Monday evening to ask Bailey to reconsider the resignation he tendered last week, and to encourage the board to behave in a manner they felt would be more conducive to Bailey”s continued employment.
“You say that you”re not micromanaging or that you”re not aware that you”re micromanaging,” said resident Carlos Galvan, who said his family chose to move to Lockhart in large part because of the school district. “Let me ask you: one of you approached the superintendent and asked about classroom populations [in a specific classroom]. Why? You asked [what administration was] doing about fencing at one of the schools. Why?”
Galvan and others suggested repeatedly that overzealous attention to detail and perceived interference from the trustees were key reasons for Bailey”s decision to leave the district after spending the last several weeks becoming embedded in the community.
“If you promise this man that, if he will stay, every one of you will stay off every campus for the next six months, I”m sure you will see most of your problems go away,” Oscar Fogle said to the board, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd, many of whom donned t-shirts reading, “Vote No. Keep Bailey.”
Because of the rules set out under the Texas Open Meetings Act, board members could not respond to the allegations and comments raised during the public forum. Some comments, though, drew harsh reaction from trustee John Manning, who was one of the primary targets of the criticism. Manning said many of the concerns raised by board members and later used as examples of “micromanagement” were in truth attempts by board members to gather information regarding possible serious problems within the district.
After hearing the concerns of the public, the trustees asked Bailey to reconsider his resignation. For reasons he declined to discuss in open forum, however, Bailey said his decision was made, and asked the board to move forward with accepting his resignation.
They did so unanimously after an executive session.
Though Bailey will remain in the district until the end of the semester, he made what seemed to be parting comments to those in attendance at the meeting, thanking them for their support and encouraging them to stay involved with the district.
“It”s unfortunate that it takes something like this to bring us together as a community, as parents, as concerned citizens,” he said. “I want you folks to maintain this enthusiasm. Don”t go away from here thinking that everything is fixed – go away from here being involved. This community has a bright future and it”s going to take everyone working together. If we are going in different directions, we aren”t going to be able to experience the kind of growth we could.”
Perhaps in response to Bailey”s comments, an influx of potential candidates picked up applications to file for May”s school board election this week. At press time, 16 would-be candidates have expressed interest in being elected to the board, though only five have filed. Others have committed to recruiting candidates to run in each of the four positions coming up for election.
Filing for the election ends March 10. Check next week”s Post-Register for a full list of candidates seeking office.

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