There are two contested races for Round Rock School Board this year, Place 1 and Place 3. The Place 1 incumbent is Brian Sellers, a Republican voter who supported Larry Gonzales for the Texas House of Representatives last year. His opponent is newcomer Matt Stillwell, who proclaims to be a political Independent, but has only voted in the Democrat Primary in Williamson County.
I am endorsing Brian Sellers for Place 1, and David Dziadziola for Place 3.
David Dziadziola is challenging incumbent Diane Cox for Place 3. I have met Mr. Dziadziola on several occasions, and found him to be quite knowledgeable about the district and its challenges. A life insurance agent, he has also been involved with the financial organization of several successful start-up companies, and has extensive knowledge and experience with financial management. (On a side note, Dziadziola has been granted numerous U.S. Government patents for computer protection programs.) Comforting to those who fear a 'numbers cruncher,' his two children are students at Round Rock schools, so he has a vested interest in making sure the district offers a quality education. Mr. Dziadziola is not content to look only at short-term fixes, but anxious to make sure RRISD has plans for long-term fiscal solvency. Intelligent, knowledgeable, and conservative, he's also just one of those down-to-earth-non-politicians one can't help but like.
Diane Cox is pretty familiar to voters since she was the only person from Williamson County willing to appear in liberal-Democrat Diana Maldonado's television commercials in 2010. (Maldonado was soundly defeated by Republican Larry Gonzales.) Ms. Cox is also the President of Central Texas School Board Association. Round Rock Independent School District and other area districts pay annual dues to the Central Texas School Board Association. The association engages in lobbying efforts, and according to CTSBA literature, supports allowing school districts to raise property taxes without voter approval. (I have not yet discovered the amounts RRISD pays to the association.) Allegedly, Ms. Cox initiated the illegal bonus paid to the RRISD Superintendent last year, as well as the Superintendent's contract extension with salary and benefits totaling more than $300,000.
There are several upcoming opportunities to meet the school board candidates; here are the candidate forums of which I am aware:
Tuesday, April 19, at 7pm, at Grace Lutheran Church
Wednesday, April 20, at 7 pm at Round Rock High School Lecture Hall
Tuesday, April 26, at 7 pm at Westwood High School Library
There is a great deal of momentum behind David Dziadziola, but with the dismal turnout typical of school board elections, every bit of help and every vote will make a difference. Two Round Rock women, Donna Parker and Maria Garza Brown are holding a fundraising reception for Mr. Dziadziola on Thursday April 21. For more information and to RSVP, please visit http://williamsoncountyrepublicanwomen.com/2011/04/reception-for-david-dziadziola/
Early Voting is May 2-May 10, and Election Day is Saturday May 14.