QUESTION: Reading your recent column regarding the Longview ISD school board has prompted me to ask you a question I have had on my mind for some months. In light of this group’s bad decisions, inconsiderate treatment of teachers, students and parents, and a host of other abuses, can you tell me if there is a “no confidence” process — petition perhaps — for removing the entire school board?
ANSWER: State law does not provide a way for voters in Texas school districts to recall school board members. State law also does not provide for term limits of school board members.
Q: We have been following the story about the former Waffle Shoppe on the corner of Highway 80 and Spur 63. The building became an eyesore several years ago, and we are happy to hear that the property may be redeveloped.
The issue of the three-sided billboard confused us because if the said billboard is located on the restaurant property, the property owners should have the say whether it stays or goes. Our question to Answer Line is who owns the small piece of ground where the billboard is erected?
A: Roberts Olds has owned that entire property, including the spot where the billoard is located, since 1995, according to Gregg Appraisal District records. (Sidenote: The property’s owner is different from the family that operated the Waffle Shoppe for 30 years.)
He is an elderly man who now lives outside of Longview, according to John King Jr., the local real estate broker representing him in a deal that could result in a third Starbucks locating in Longview.
King said the issue is that Lamar leases the property where the billboard is located, and that lease recently was renewed for 10 years.
The only way to break that agreement — if Lamar wanted to — is to buy the lease out, but King said doing so would make the project financially unfeasible.
Q: What’s going on with the money the city raised from the Go-Giver Gala in January?
A: The city is still planning how it will be spent.
City spokesman Shawn Hara said this year’s fundraiser was dedicated to U.S. 80-related projects. City staff members are still working on a proposal to bring to City Council for how to spend the money.
“We have not spent any of the money yet,” he said, and he said there wasn’t a timeline for when options would be presented to the City Council.
Money from the first event went to holding homeless resource fairs and paying for resource officers tasked with working with homeless people and associated issues, for instance.
Funding for those programs will be considered as part of the yearly budget process starting this summer.