Round Rock ISD trustees censure Romere for alleged policy violations

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees voted Nov. 27 after a 2 1/2–hour discussion to censure trustee Terri Romere three times for allegedly refusing to comply with board policy.

The board voted 5-1, with trustee Pauline Law as the lone dissenter on each vote. Censure is a formal statement of disapproval with no further consequences.

Trustees censured Romere on allegations of violating sections of board policy related to ethics and compliance with board operating procedures.

The board previously voted to censure Romere in April for conduct unbecoming of a trustee.

Romere said she received documents regarding attendance numbers for the district's alternative high school, Success High School, anonymously and asked Superintendent Jess Chvez to provide her with attendance numbers for comparison.

In August, the board voted to spend $25 million to build a new Success High School because the school currently meets in portable buildings at Westwood and Stony Point high schools. Romere was the only trustee to vote against construction of the new school.

Romere said Chvez has not provided her the numbers and that she filed a public information request to obtain them.

"All I did was ask for attendance numbers, and no one has been willing to give it to me, and now you're going to censure me for doing my fiduciary duty," Romere said.

Chvez said he felt that Romere had crossed a line and that she was conducting her own analysis. Romere said she is not conducting any investigation.

"When a board member asks for information, and it is information that is not related to a pending decision that has to be made, or that if a board member asks for too specific information and gets into the weeds into the administration of the district, I can raise my hand and say, 'Wait a minute, board, that's too much detailed information,'" Chvez said. "The board member does not need that [information] and that we can bring ... to the board as a whole."

Law and Romere both said they felt the issue behind the censure was the district's refusal to share attendance numbers with a board member. Other board members said the issue was that Romere violated board policy by refusing to give the documents she received anonymously to the board for investigation. Romere said her attorney told her that she is under no such obligation.

"All I did was ask for the attendance numbers," Romere said after the meeting. "That's all I did, and that's what they deem worthy of censureship. That's all I can say, really. If asking hard questions gets a trustee censured, then I'll be before the board again, because I'm going to continue to ask the hard questions, because I'm going to stand up [for] the constituents."

Trustee Glen Colby said the board is legally bound to take action against Romere and that the censureship is not a personal vendetta.

"We are not here tonight because we disagree with a board member," he said. "We are here because legal and local board policies have been allegedly violated, and we stand as a board to say that is not acceptable."

Board President Catherine Hanna said Nov. 28 that whenever the board receives a complaint or comment, it must be forwarded to the superintendent. She said Chvez is willing to pursue an investigation but needs the documents Romere received to do so.

"I think the actions really speak fort themselves," Hanna said. "The board clearly feels that Ms. Romere has violated both the superintendent's contract and board's policy in refusing to turn over the report that she received."

By Lyndsey Taylor
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lyndsey began working as a reporter for the Northwest Austin edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2012. During her time as a reporter, she has covered Round Rock ISD, health care in the Austin metro area and Austin Community College. She was promoted to editor of the Cedar Park| Leander edition in 2015 and covers city and education news, including Leander ISD.


MOST RECENT

The beer garden The Good Lot will be located at 2500 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park, near Veterans Memorial Park. (Courtesy Unsplash)
Beer garden The Good Lot coming soon to Cedar Park and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Photo of a vote sign
Here is where Travis County voters can cast their ballots on Election Day

Travis County voters can stop by one of 54 polling locations Nov. 3.

The early releases will begin Nov. 11 and includes 17 days through the rest of the school year. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Leander ISD adds early-release days and more top Central Texas news from this week

Read the top stories from the past week in the Austin area.

The Central Texas Mobility Authority's board of directors paused a scheduled 5-cent increase per segment on the MoPac Express toll lanes. (Community Impact staff)
Tolls on Central Texas roads will increase Jan. 1; MoPac base rate will stay the same

The Central Texas Mobility Authority's board of directors paused a scheduled 5-cent increase per segment on the MoPac Express toll lanes.

The Austin School of Fashion Design, or ASFD, relocated from North Austin to Georgetown in October. (Courtesy The Austin School of Fashion Design)
Austin School of Fashion Design moves to Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Here is how Williamson County has been impacted by the coronavirus. (Community Impact staff)
Twenty confirmed cases of coronavirus, 2 deaths added to Williamson County daily total Oct. 29

Stay up to date on how the novel coronavirus is impacting Williamson County.

Ahead of Election Day, Nov. 3, four Austin City Council members have asked Austin Police Chief Brian Manley for more information on the police department's plans to respond to possible protests. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council members ask police to detail response to possible Election Day protests

The four council members said protests from the spring represented "a failure to keep people safe" and asked Chief Brian Manley for more information to how police would respond to potential protests around Nov. 3.

After a significant drop soon after the onset of COVID-19, home sales nationally have risen in the past few months. Austin has followed the same trend, but in a more pronounced manner. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's economy is crawling slowly back to recovery. So why is the housing market booming?

Low interest rates, constricted supply and continued population growth have accelerated the sellers' market in Central Texas, leaving 26% fewer homes on the market this September than there were at the same time last year.

Local violinist Shawn LeSure
HAAM gets funding boost from Central Health to enroll musicians of color in health coverage

Days ahead of open enrollment beginning in the health care marketplace, Travis County’s health care district and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians struck a deal to secure increased health care coverage for the city’s musicians of color.

Free meals will be available to in-person and virtual learning students, per a RRISD news release. Children age 18 or younger are also permitted to pick up free breakfasts and lunches at curbside meal distribution locations. (Community Impact staff)
All Round Rock ISD students eligible for free meals for duration of 2020-21 school year

Free meals will be available to in-person and virtual learning students, per a RRISD news release. Children age 18 or younger are also permitted to pick up free breakfasts and lunches at curbside meal distribution locations.

Less than a week ahead of the Nov. 3 Election Day, Cihan Varol, an associate professor with Sam Houston State University's Cyber Forensics Intelligence Center, shared insight on foreign election hacking and what it means for voters. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Sam Houston State University cyber forensics intelligence expert talks foreign election hacking ahead of Nov. 3

"There is a very slim chance that the hackers can change vote count, but they can definitely influence people to believe that they did manipulate it," Cihan Varol said. "If election fraud is going to happen, it'll be because of disinformation."