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Three PGISD Board seats available with Monday deadline: District website wrongly claimed the positions were filled until 2025

Aug 18, 2022

A major website error was discovered on Wednesday afternoon that could have suppressed candidate applications for three of the seven positions on the Pleasant Grove ISD Board of Trustees that will be filled in November.  

The information was corrected immediately following an inquiry by Texarkana News on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Three Board of Trustees positions are set to be filled on November 8. But the Board of Trustees information page on the PGISD website gave inaccurate information, which said the Board positions were already filled until 2025.

With a candidate deadline of 5 pm on Monday, August 22, there are just three business days left to become a candidate for PGISD School Board. 

A huge mistake

It is shocking that the election dates listed for each member on the district's Board of Trustees information page were wrong until this afternoon. This could have confused potential candidates and suppressed them from seeking these positions.

Places 1, 2, and 3 on the PGISD School Board are up for grabs in November 2022. But the website made it appear that these positions were filled until 2025. Other mistakes were also found on the page but seem to have been corrected.

This is a screenshot of the false information. We have added circles showing that Place 1, Place 2, and Place 3 were wrongly listed as filled until 2025. This mistake on the PGISD website was corrected following an inquiry by Texarkana News on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 - with only three business days left until candidates can sign up to run for Pleasant Grove ISD School Board.

Who is seeking re-election

Place 1 Board member Mark Addington is not running for re-election, but two people have submitted candidate papers. Place 2 Board member Chris Barker is running for re-election and is currently unopposed, and Place 3 Board member Lorie Son is also running for re-election and presently unopposed.

The incorrect election date information has been on the PGISD website since at least April 18, 2022, when a screenshot was taken of the page. See the photo of the inaccurate information above. 

How to run for PGISD School Board

To become a candidate for School Board, a potential candidate must contact the Central Office and ask Haley Turner or Gaye Holbrook for an election packet. It can be emailed or picked up at the office. However, the forms have to be returned in person by Monday, August 22, by the end of the business day (5 pm). A candidate has to come into the office so the forms can be notarized.

For at least four months, the PGISD website wrongly showed that the three places which will be decided in November were already filled until 2025. And candidates must rush to complete the needed paperwork if they seek to become a candidate.

More problems: Required election notification buried in a list of last year's election notices

Another problem for Pleasant Grove ISD is that the legally required 2022 election posting was all but hidden between 2021 election information. Combined with the incorrect information on the Board members' election dates mentioned above, it could appear to citizens that the Board of Trustees' election information was being purposefully hidden. See the photo below.

Pleasant Grove ISD held a successful $39 million bond election in May 2022. The election was not especially contentious, but some Board members might rightly feel vulnerable following much discussion about the Board during the bond election.
Required information about the Pleasant Grove ISD Board of Trustees election in 2022 was hidden between information about the 2021 election. This is even more concerning because of the incorrect dates listed for Places 1, 2, and 3, which were wrongly listed on the PGISD website as being filled until 2025.

There isn't much time

Pleasant Grove voters who know anyone who might be a potential candidate for the PGISD School Board should make sure they call or go to the administration office to get the forms to run for Place 1, Place 2 or Place 3 - which must be returned in person by the candidate by the end of business on Monday, August 22, 2022

There is no evidence that the false Board of Trustees' election dates listed on the PGISD site were anything more than a series of egregious mistakes. Even so, additional effort should be made by the district to ensure that potential new candidates are informed that Places 1, 2, and 3 are up for election before the Monday deadline. 

The Board positions will be decided on November 8, 2022 - with early voting beginning on October 24. Requirements to run for PGISD School Board are 1) State of Texas resident for 1 year; 2) Pleasant Grove resident for 6 months; 3) Age of at least 18, and 4) Registered voter in the territory you are seeking to represent before the filing deadline.

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