With newly elected board members sworn in at previous ceremony, one of the first orders of business for the Rio Grande City CISD school board was the election of officers.
On Friday, December 7th during the first meeting for the group, the election of officers finalized with local attorney, Eduardo “Eddie” Ramirez as President; former educator, Leticia “Letty” Lopez as Vice President and local businessman, Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal as Secretary.
The meeting was opened by now former School Board President, Daniel “Danny” Garcia who first apologized for the delay in setting a meeting citing scheduling difficulties and assuring those present that it was not done intentional. He then welcomed Mr. Villarreal and Mr. Castillo to the board and acknowledged, Mr. Ramirez’ re-election win.
Garcia addressed the audience and group by saying, “Also I know there has been a lot of controversy throughout the community. I just want to say in no way has this agenda been an attempt to attack or put anyone in a bad situation or making anyone look bad politically wise or anything. On this agenda, the items have been discussed, have been presented to us. There have been opportunities for people to ask questions. I know some of the new board members took the time to go get themselves informed, which I commend, and we’ll see how it goes. Everyone is entitled to vote how they please.”
Next, he explained that the group would take the first items on the agenda and elect officers and then take a break before continuing. As is customary the members continued with the pledge of allegiance.
This was proceeded by the election of officers. Garcia asked for a motion to determine Board President. Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal said, “I move that Eddie Ramirez be put as President. Letty Lopez as Vice President and Basilio Villarreal as Secretary.”
The beginning of his motion was somewhat hard to hear as Board Member, Daria “Dr. B” Babineaux was also voicing a motion, “I move to nominate Letty Lopez.” Immediately after Villarreal finished his motion, Castillo gave a second. Garcia attempted to clarify that he had only called for the Board President. If we could take them one at a time. Once again, Garcia asked for a motion for Board President.
This time Babineaux could be heard clearly, “I nominated Letty Lopez.” Almost simultaneously Villareal attempted to make a motion. A second was made by Board Member Eleazar Velasquez.
Garcia interrupted Villarreal and said, “I have a motion for Mrs. Letty Lopez and a second by Mr. Eleazar Velasquez. He then called for a vote. In favor were Babineaux, Garcia and Velasquez.
Lopez responded, “I decline the nomination due to my health.”
Bainbeaux requested to speak and voiced, “I just want to say you have been such a beacon of light. Seeing you here today is testimony to how much you are dedicated to this district. This as an effort to let you know we really need leadership, tenacity and determination in this district. What you’re going through is harder and you still make it awesome. So are you sure you want to decline?”
An answer was not audible, but Lopez moved her hand in what appeared to be a signal that she was in fact declining.
Villarreal addressed attorney, George Farrah stating he had made a motion and there was a second. Farrah explained that Garcia had opted to take each officer position individually. There was a brief discussion among the members in disagreement of Villarreal’s motion that included nomination for all three officer positions.
Again Garcia, attempted to call for a motion to individually elect each position but the attorney explained that with Lopez declining the previous nomination a vote should be taken on Villarreal’s motion.
In the end the vote was unanimous when none of the seven Board Members voting against electing; Eduardo “Eddie” Ramirez as President, Leticia “Letty” Lopez as Vice President and Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal as Secretary.
Garcia acknowledged the vote allowing for cheers from the audience and calling for a break before continuing with the agenda.