Round Rock ISD trustee Bobby Seiferman announced April 18 that he would not seek another term on the board of trustees. Originally elected in 2009, his current term will end this November.
Why are you not running again for the RRISD board of trustees?
I think for me right now it’s just a time commitment thing … we’re not three-year terms anymore, we’re four-year terms, that’s a long time … I know that just in the last four months—my daughter plays softball—I’ve missed like half of her games. And as she’ll be doing more in high school, I want to be able to make those extracurricular times. And it’s [gotten] more and more difficult because we’re having more and more meetings. You know, it’s not just the regular called board meeting once a month, and especially of late.
How do you feel the boundary issue was addressed?
I sat through most of those hearings—this was during my campaign … had I been on the board that night in April—as I recall the vote was a 4–3 vote to go with the new boundaries—had I been on the board, it probably would’ve been a 4–3 vote the other way. History might’ve been completely different. But as I’ve found, you can’t go back in time …
And I think the things we’ve dealt with in the last 3 1/2 years—the issues that have come up before us—probably most elected officials wouldn’t deal with that in their whole political careers, what we’ve seen in three years.
What do you feel are the top accomplishments of the board?
The top accomplishment definitely has to be braving the financial storm last year. The Legislature had never cut public funding for schools since World War II … this was the first time, and it was like a $4 [billion]–$5 billion dollar cut. Humongous. So I would say our accomplishment was getting through that and pretty much being able to hire back probably most of the people we had to let go … So we were able to maintain a really healthy fund balance and really not cut all that much … I think we were able to maintain pretty much everything that was in place.
What were the failures of the board?
Nothing big jumps out, but there are no perfect management models. I mean, in a district this size, there’s going to always be give and take, things going on … like Cedar Ridge’s [Academically] Unacceptable rating last year—things like that are going to happen. You’ve got 46,000 students, 5,500 staff and you’re still growing. … It’s just a matter of keeping up with the growth—and that’s a lot of work—keeping up with the growth and maintaining services and our mission.
What advice would you give to someone else running for RRISD board of trustees?
Be vigilant. Be open-minded … Don’t run on a single-planked platform, because four years is a long time, and if you’re just going on for one thing … and then that thing is over and you’ve got three years left on your term. Then what? …
I encourage people to step up, strike the drum and run if they’re so inclined because we’ve seen a lot of passionate people lately with the recent boundaries and some of the personal dynamics going on on the board. You’re going to have those things, too. You’re going to have personalities. That’s just human nature … You’ve got to really want it. And if you don’t feel the fire in your belly, you should maybe reconsider.