In a 3-0-1 vote, the Robstown ISD board of trustees voted to approve naming the new elementary school after Robstown educator Irma V. Romero.
Romero, the deceased wife of current RISD Board President Osvaldo Romero, was one of 10 names of the list for consideration by a facility committee, generated by input from the community. In the end, three names were selected as finalists, with Romero named as the one selected by the committee. The special meeting was held Saturday.
Board members Eva Orona, Richard Gonzalez and Aldolfo Lopez were not present at the meeting when the vote was taken. On Monday, Orona said she found it disturbing that the board decided to proceed with a vote on Saturday.
“I had a funeral on Saturday and could not be there at the meeting, and I asked them to move this item to Tuesday,” Orona said. Tuesday was the scheduled date for the regular board meeting, which has since rescheduled to next week. Orona also said she had asked to be appointed to the committee, but instead, fellow board member Pablo Avila was selected.
Calls for comment to both Romero's cell phone and home phone went unanswered on Monday. Gonzalez, who serves as Robstown's Fire Chief, was present at Monday's Robstown City Council meeting and said afterward that Romero's name was selected and presented by the committee to the board, and as such, that decision should be respected. Gonzalez was also absent from Saturday's meeting. Romero abstained from the final vote on the selection of his wife's name.
Orona said there were several other names on the list, “original community people, born and raised here,” she said, who had longer standing the community and would have been a suitable choice to have a school named after them.
The new elementary campus was originally scheduled to be completed by this summer, but has since been moved to a completion date of next year, according to board members.
Also voted upon at the special meeting, board members approved 4-0 the appointment of Dr. Leobardo Cano as their new interim superintendent for RISD. Cano, before the previous school year, served four years as superintendent for the Premont Independent School District. Cano served six years as superintendent at RISD, with his resignation from the district in 2001.
“The district (PISD) pretty much almost shut down because of him,” Orona said. “We've been losing enrollment for the last several years. Nothing has been going in a positive direction. To me, this has raised a red flag.”
Cano could not be reached for comment on Monday.