As Election Day nears, eight candidates running for two seats on the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees are making their final appeals to voters.
The Herald asked the candidates several question on how they would view their job as a school board member if they are elected Tuesday.
Here is what they said:
How would you view your duty as a Killeen school board member if you are elected?
Riakos Adams: First and foremost, it will be an honor to serve if elected. I understand it is my duty as a member of the board to jointly govern and oversee the management of the School District.
Lan Carter: The duty of a School Board Trustee is to provide oversight of the Superintendent and provide a checks and balance system. School Board Trustees should represent the community, listen to their concerns, and act accordingly.
Stanley Golaboff: There are five basic duties of a Trustee. They are to set priorities, approve policy, adopt a budget, hold superintendents’ accountable and to communicate with the public. I will do all five, especially the last two.
David Michael Jones: I would be honored to serve on the board. I would make every effort to acclimate myself to the rules and regulations of the board in order to best serve the students.
David Mell: There are many requirements for KISD school board members. I would follow the Killeen ISD Mission Statement, “Teach so that students learn to their maximum potential.” and the Killeen ISD Vision statement, “Through the implementation of a full, innovative, rigorous, comprehensive education program, Killeen ISD will provide superior learning opportunities so that upon graduation, students are prepared for success in the workforce and/or in higher education.”
Brockley Moore: I will be open minded, available, accessible, and calm & objectivity independent thinker. Our district is growing and very diverse; human connection (relationship) how you solve issues and situations. I have adopted that in my way of life.
Marvin Rainwater: Our biggest challenge will be keeping student performance growing in a critical situation, with COVID challenges and budget cuts. My duty, if elected, would be to support our district in making these critical decisions. My 46 years experience as a school administrator will help me make sound decisions.
Brett Williams: To represent the overall best interest of our community. And to provide a voice to those that feel as though their voice is not heard.
Would you be willing to go against district administration if you feel the correct decision is opposite of them?
Riakos Adams: First if it is a decision the board must approve, then I would ask for different courses of action with the administration’s recommendation. If it is a decision that is inherent in the administration’s duties and I disagree, I will articulate that in order to foster positive discourse to make the best decision or outcome for all stakeholders.
Lan Carter: Of course, it’s not about being Miss Congeniality, there will be disagreements. I will always make decisions based on the educational needs and resources of students and staff.
Stanley Golaboff: My willingness to speak truth to power is well documented by your paper and in the official minutes of KISD Board meeting for the last three years. Getting elected will not change my willingness to speak the truth, other than the fact that I will no longer be restricted to three minutes every two weeks to speak the truth.
David Michael Jones: In order to answer that question I would have to have the facts, each situation is different. I will say there may be times that I could be standing alone.
David Mell: I believe in doing things correctly. Yes, I would fight back against administration and offer other solutions. I feel the ability to stand alone and have an “out of the box” thinking is critical.
Brockley Moore: Yes, in a calm correct manner; as active trustees in mature. Everything a trustees says or said in the past our children have heard it or good or bad. Accessible, available, calm assessment with objective in conducted not always conducted in public to attack our children leadership team.
Marvin Rainwater: I will support the decision I think best for KISD’s students. I voted against tuff for the high schools as an example of trying to make decisions which are best for our district and taxpayers.
Brett Williams: Yes. I am not elected to be a rubber stamp. My job is to affirm or challenge decisions based on reaching the best interests of the community.
How would you describe the school board’s relationship with KISD Superintendent John Craft, and if elected, how would you approach that relationship?
Riakos Adams: It appears that the Board is in more of an advisory role versus one of oversight. I would argue and push that we maintain ourselves in that oversight role, holding the Superintendent accountable, ensuring he is meeting objectives, and acting if he does not. If I have concerns, individually, I will first address them with him, then the full board, if the issues are not resolved.
Lan Carter: The current School Board Trustees behave as if they are Dr. Craft’s personal cheerleaders, rather than his superiors. I would provide oversight of Dr. Craft and ensure the community members issues are not only heard, but addressed appropriately.
Stanley Golaboff: I believe my incumbent opponent and his fellow board members defer too much of their authority and power to Dr. Craft. When I am elected, I will continue to interact professionally with Dr. Craft just as I always have. The difference will be that he will understand I am one of his seven bosses and that I don’t work for him. I work for the public.
David Michael Jones: This is a question that needs to be answered if and when I’ve been elected to the board, I don’t like to assume anything.
David Mell: Presently, I personally do not feel there are too many board members of KISD willing to stand alone and be the leaders. There have been many times the board agrees with Mr. Craft and later renege on their original decision after they voted for it. An example was the last request for voting for more schools.
Brockley Moore: I am a rational thinking person who will build esprit de corps (relationship) at the same time be available, active enough like our children, parents, grandparents, stakeholders would see seven servants with a labor of love in best interest of the entire KISD.
Marvin Rainwater: I think the board supports Dr. Craft, this is not blanket approval for his decisions. Also this is my view, I do not want to comment for other board members.
Brett Williams: It is a good relationship. However, it is one that should continue to evolve. I would continue to work to evolve the relationship between the two of us.
When residents make comments at Killeen school board meetings, will you respond to them publicly during the meeting? Why or why not?
Riakos Adams: I will conduct myself in accordance with the law and district policy. I could not find any policy that states board members could not respond to comments. However, if there is one, I would push to change it or ask that we conduct workshops, townhalls, or committee meetings in order to have the necessary dialogue.
Lan Carter: Yes, I will respond to residents publicly at KISD Board meetings, if only to say that I will be contacting them about their issue. I believe it’s rude not to acknowledge someone’s concerns after they’ve been expressed.
Stanley Golaboff: As the only candidate who has advocated for expanding public forum, I will absolutely respond to residents. When residents take the time to come to speak to their elected officials, it is our duty to respond to them. One my priorities is to change public forum into more of a conversation, if possible, or at least allow more than three minutes for individuals to comment.
David Michael Jones: If the information is available at the time the question is asked. I wouldn’t want to give wrong information.
David Mell: I would always respond! The concerned people addressing the board have taken their time an energy to present their solution, opinions, or thoughts. They are owed a response.
Brockley Moore: I would welcome open discussions in good taste. I would make myself aware of the district protocol and get an explanation first. The relationship that I would modeled would be pleasing to all as a whole.
Marvin Rainwater: Responding to Public Forum comments is a matter of law. The Open Meetings Act requires all topics discuss be posted 48 hours in advance of board meetings. Additionally, if board members were to respond we would have to change the structure of the meetings.
Brett Williams: The current policy does not allow for us to respond. With a change in policy, I would respond to citizens. I would support a change to allow members of the board to engage with citizens.
If elected, will you individually answer questions from the Herald or others about KISD actions, policy or other issues, or will you defer those types of questions to the school board president?
Riakos Adams: If elected, I would not have an issue with responding to questions about KISD actions, policy, or other issues, within the law. I understand that unless authorized I would not be representing the views of the Board or the District, only my own.
Lan Carter: If elected, I will continue being transparent and forthright by answering questions posed from community members as well as the press regarding KISD issues.
Stanley Golaboff: My actions over the past three years with the school board, both as a concern citizen and as a candidate, clearly demonstrate that I am not afraid to answer questions about KISD actions, policies or issues. The public are a Trustee’s boss, so I will absolutely answer their questions. They may not always like my answers, but I will not ignore the public.
David Michael Jones: I’m a team player, if I’m able to answer the question I will.
David Mell: The KISD board members are employees of the public. I will not be afraid to answer any questions unless it is illegal to do so! People need a voice.
Brockley Moore: Yes I would be an independent while respecting protocol, TEA, and myself. I would need to read the trustees protocol and line it up with legal guidelines.
Marvin Rainwater: I have always answered KDH’s questions.
Brett Williams: I do believe the press and other forms of social media are key parts of communicating with our community. I owe it to the electorate to provide them with my stance on issues. We take action as a body, however, each member has their own opinion that they are entitled to communicate