Monday, December 29, 2008

Dallas Morning News 2008 Texan of the Year - District Attorney Craig Watkins









I was shocked that the Dallas Morning News would have the courage to pick District Attorney Craig Watkins as the Texan of the Year. It is my opinion that Craig Watkins took his election to the District Attorney's office serious and immediately began to make significant change. While he did not do it alone, it was his leadership that moved forward with a partnership with the Innocence Project and allowed people that had been wrongly convicted to be released from prison. I can not imagine how those innocent people must have felt being locked up in prison for something that they did not do.

I say "convict the criminals and throw the key away, and free the wrongly convicted NOW".

Good choice Dallas Morning News.

Thought for the Week

PSALM 24

1. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3. Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4. The the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5. Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped
8. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Love You Carla Ranger

This board has been so busy trying to muzzle Trustee Carla Ranger that they have now stifled their own oppotunity to speak at the meetings. With their actions,they have only sent her from her board seat to open forums that address the problems at the board level and the administraton. She clearly understands that the leadership of Dallas ISD (the board) is in trouble. How can you lead when you are worried about your own personal gains? You can't.



Thank you Adam Medrano for being brave enough to second some of Mrs. Rangers motions.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Jesus is the reason for the season.

God Bless
Joyce Foreman

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

African American Business Participation at The City of Dallas


While gathering information on minority participation on contracts, and particularly African American business participation with public agencies, it was striking that Councilman Dwaine Caraway, Tennell Adkins and Mayor Tom Leppert are interested in how well other agencies are utilizing African American contractors and businesses. They appear to want to tell other agencies that they should do a better job at utilizing African American businesses ,but when you look at the city of Dallas's record, you can only wonder why aren't they trying to make sure that equity is spreading within the arena that they have some control over instead of going to other agencies making demands. The city's African American business participation:



FY 2005-2006

African American $14,828,786.............. 5.1%

Expenditures $289,385,589

FY 2006-2007

African American $22,443,183............... 5.9%

Expenditures $377,702,706


FY 2007-2008

African Americans $25,287,511................ 5.4%

Total Expenditures $468,578,222



Total 3 years African American Participation ............. $62,559,480
Total 3 year Expenditures ................................$1.135 Billion
Total 3 year percentage ..................................... 5.5%


Mayor Leppert,Dwaine Caraway, and Tennell Adkins need to make sure that the city of Dallas is doing everything it can to ensure that their is inclusion on the city's contracts instead of going to other agencies telling them what to do. Make sure that your house is in order before going to others to tell them what to do.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Wishes


MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY NEW YEAR

DISD Budget Crisis



What is most amazing about the budget crisis is that we now know that the slide started in 2005-under Dr. Hinojosa's watch-but all we hear from the auditors is about the unbudgeted teachers and poor accounting. We still have not been given a detail report on where the money went. Did the district give departments higher budgets or did departments overspend their budget? Was purchasing of goods and services increased? Did maintenance cost go up? Was there also an increase in non teaching jobs? Did the under $50,000 contracts go up (those are the contracts that the board do no approve)? How much in mis-managed federal grants, and how much did the district have to return to the federal government? Did Dr. Hinojosa's Executive team salaries increase from the previous superintendent? Did administrative cost increase?

At the last board meeting when discussions came up over the district paying 116 teachers $397,00 in bonuses that they had earned out of general funds the board had questions. The reason that the bonuses had not been paid was that some principals had not followed the federal guidelines for payment. The trustees had some concern over which line item in the budget the money would come out of. The board was told that the money would come from a line item that was for utilities and stipends. That really did not make any sense. Finally it was agreed that the money would come out of the budgets of the Executive Team and board. I wonder if the budget process is fixed? Why would stipends and utilities be together in the budget? Utilities are operational and stipends are salary related.

We also hear that the fund balance is down from $120 million dollars to $20 million dollars in a short three year period. Just a couple of months ago we were told that because of the 2007-2008 budget shortfall that the fund balance would be at $60 million dollars. What is going on? What happened to that additional $40 million dollars in just a couple of months? Where is the board in all of this, and where are those business executives who have just declared that Dallas most pay more money to the people that they hire in the financial area? I think that currently for 3 positions in accounting they are paying over $500,000 (half a million) in salaries and that does not include benefits. Maybe they think that taxpayers money should be spent the same way that the banking industry's bailout money is spent on private jets,large bonuses, stock option and contract buyouts at the taxpayers expense. If the corporate executives are so concerned, why don't they try helping Dallas ISD by allowing some of their top financial executives to be executives on loan to Dallas ISD?

Why can't we spend money on quality teachers and give our children the best chance for learning ?



TAXPAYERS STILL NEED TO KNOW WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

S.M. Wright Foundation - Christmas Celebration




This event was breath taking. It was estimated that over 20,000 people came to the automobile building in Fair Park to get toys, cloths and food. Rev. S. M. Wright II has done a wonderful job in continuing the foundation in his father's name and helping the less fortunate. To see the smiles on children's faces as they choose the toy or to watch the parents look on with smiles made this a better Christmas season for many of us that were there volunteering.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to volunteer for this event. Not only did I volunteer but I also took my 12 year old nephew,Taylor,so that he would have an opportunity to give back to the community. When he returned home he told his mother that he had learned something and what he had learned was many people are in need and sometimes when he ask for things he should be thankful that she is able to get them for him and that he has so much to be thankful for. Thank God for Taylor's lesson.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DISD- Carla Ranger

The board meeting on Thursday night was interesting. It was amazing to watch Chairman Jack Lowe attempt to keep Trustee Ranger from making a point of order. She simply wanted to explain for the record why she was not voting on the consent agenda, but President Lowe did not want her speaking and it looks like President Lowe, the parliamentarian and the lawyer have all decided that they would not allow Mrs Ranger to express herself by trying to contain her comments. When Mrs Ranger tries to speak, President Lowe calls on the parliamentarian or the lawyer to rule in his favor.

Tonight was good. Mrs. Ranger appealed the ruling of the President to the entire board and got a second from Trustee Adam Medrano (Thank You Adam) and won the vote. I just can not understand why you would attempt to tie the hands of a fellow trustee. When Mrs Rangers hands are tied you are locking out her constituents and certainly they are taxpayers also and elected Mrs. Ranger to be our voice.

WE LOVE YOU CARLA!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why DART?

At the last DART Board meeting Chairman Randall Chrisman had community activist Lee Alcorn thrown out of the board meeting because Mr. Alcorn was asking for a meeting with him about the whispers going around that the Executive Vice President of DART, Ben Gomez had issued an order to hire Hispanics for a certain position.

Mr. Alcorn and other community activist like Rev. Ronald Wright went to DART out of concerns of discrimination. This should not be happening in this day and time. What happened to the best person for the job?

DART should not want to throw the public speakers out because they are asking question. Remember DART you are funded by the public.