Marrs: Board needs to do some soul-searching
Jun 18, 2012 (Breckenridge American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Former Breckenridge ISD employee James Marrs addressed the BISD Board of Trustees at Monday's meeting with a report that he had been bullied into not running for a place in the May 29 election.
Marrs, who resigned as the Breckenridge ISD Financial Manager in January 2011, said he picked up a packet to run for the election but was intimidated into not running with bullying phone calls and conversations.
"The community is not real thrilled with what is taking place," he said. "The town has no confidence in this board or the superintendent."
In emails obtained from the school district, BISD Superintendent Jennings Teel sent information to BISD school board members that Rickey Edwards and Thomas Tennison had both filed for places on the board.
Teel also sent emails to the board that Marrs had picked up a filing packet.
School board members Bryan Wood, Bryan Woodward and Sandy (Morris) Walker did not respond to the March 2 email from Teel.
Board member Koby Killion responded "OMG..." and board member Julie Erb responded to Teel's email "No way! This is going to be a challenging election to say the least!"
"He was visibly upset, which was surprising because I've never seen him like that before," Erb said on Marrs' presentation at the meeting. "It was good that he came to speak to us. As a school board, we're supposed to listen."
Erb said Marrs should have turned in his packet and put his hat in the ring for a place on the board.
"If he felt that strong about running for the school board, then I think he should have gone ahead and run," she said. "I don't feel any animosity toward him. We've had some interesting elections lately and, if he would have run, it wouldn't have been any different."
Newly-elected board president Skip Griffith responded "I will have a conversation with James this afternoon."
Marrs said he later received a threatening phone call from Griffith and then had another run-in with Griffith at a school function.
Marrs said he has filed information with the Texas Attorney General and the Secretary of State.
"They are just waiting on me to send in my complaint," he said. "A lot of people in town and some employees of the district are fed up with the actions of this board and the direction of our district. You guys need to give this some thought. You need to do some soul-searching."
Marrs said, if he would have had an opportunity to run for a seat, he could have brought experience to the board, if he would have been elected.
"I've got experience in school finance, working with TEA (Texas Education Agency) and I'm familiar with school administration," he said. "Those are tools that could have been used to help get our district and our board."
"I wish he would have come to my office and sat down and visited with me but he has a right to voice his opinion," he said. "He did have a grievance against the board and he exercised his right to address them."
"We encourage all parents and citizens to come talk to us and the board. They have that right."
Killion offered no comment on Marrs' statements and voicemails to Griffith were unanswered.
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