In the Round Rock Independent School District election, there is a bit of an Austin vs. Round Rock dynamic at play. Residents have long celebrated the difference in values between Round Rock and Austin, or, as neighboring Pflugerville states it, between the “Rock” and the “Weird place.” Many Austinites sneer at our middle-class, traditional values, and would like to impose Austin/Travis County policies here. Consequently, the Austin American Statesman is pushing Austin-leaning candidates Linelle Clark-Brown and Catherine Hanna for RRISD Board, and according to those present, during candidate interviews this week Statesman editorial board member Alberta Phillips even called Round Rock an “ugly little city.”
In Place 5, the Statesman is promoting Austin Attorney Catherine Hanna over Round Rock Mom Jennifer Shockley-Daniels. An Austin resident, Hanna's business is a “civil litigation law firm located in Austin, Texas." The Texas Ethics Commission reports that Hanna made financial contributions to several Democrats, including Rep. Mark Strama, and to ActBlue Texas, an organization promoting Democrat candidates in the state. While the Statesman's editorial board says both Hanna and Shockley-Daniels are “good choices,” they choose Hanna because she is “a lawyer.”
Jennifer Shockley-Daniels is an educated, former career woman who, horrors!, is now a stay-at-home Mom! (Insert audible gasp from self-righteous feminists here.) She lives in Round Rock, volunteers with the district, is involved in the PTA, has chaired the Cultural Arts committee, and served on boundary committees. Prior to having a family, Shockley-Daniels worked as a Texas Senate staffer and as a human resources professional. Sounds like her values are much more Round Rock oriented.
For Place 4, the Statesman Board wants 'incumbent' Linelle Clark-Brown. Clark-Brown 'signed up' for the RRISD Board in 2007, when no one else ran for the seat. An Austin resident who spent much of her career working in the Austin Independent School District, she has voted in the Democrat Primary for the last 5 cycles. Clark-Brown's vantage point is more education administrator than parent. She came under fire recently for her votes regarding school boundaries, and many parents are furious with her and other board members whom they claim are using the boundaries to implement social engineering. Allegedly Clark-Brown 'misled' parents on the boundaries, and they were unpleasantly surprised by her final vote. As the incumbent member of a board notorious for a lack of transparency, I'd hardly say she has earned (re)election, and she is certainly not entitled to it.
Place 4 candidate Terri Romere is also an Austin resident, but is much more oriented to Round Rock values. As a successful Round Rock real estate agent, she works to 'sell' Round Rock every day, and is committed to making the district the best it can be. With her own children in the district, Romere has been involved with the RRISD since 1999 in various capacities, and has been RRISD Volunteer of the Year and Partner of the Year. Additionally, she realizes the importance of a fiscally responsible approach to district finances, and is a proponent of transparency and accountability to both taxpayers and parents. Romere represents parents and the community, and is interested in making the district beneficial for all concerned parties, rather than participating in some social engineering project crafted by Austin educational elitists.
Contrary to the opinion of the Statesman editorial board, Terri Romere and Jennifer Shockley-Daniels have ROUND ROCK values at heart, and are the right choices for the ROUND ROCK Independent School District.
And hey, Alberta, it's a really cute town too.
VOTE SATURDAY, MAY 8!