The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Board member’s attendance issue sparks concern

Brenda+Medici%2FThe+Collegian++Board+of+trustees+member+Robyn+Winnett%2C+at+right%2C+was+present+at+this+month%E2%80%99s+board+meeting+April+17.+This+marks+the+first+meeting+she+has+attended+since+October+2013%2C+raising+concern+among+other+board+members.
Brenda Medici/The Collegian Board of trustees member Robyn Winnett, at right, was present at this month’s board meeting April 17. This marks the first meeting she has attended since October 2013, raising concern among other board members.

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

Brenda Medici/The Collegian  Board of trustees member Robyn Winnett, at right, was present at this month’s board meeting April 17. This marks the first meeting she has attended since October 2013, raising concern among other board members.
Brenda Medici/The Collegian Board of trustees member Robyn Winnett, at right, was present at this month’s board meeting April 17. This marks the first meeting she has attended since October 2013, raising concern among other board members.

TCC board of trustees member Robyn Winnett has missed seven of the last 11 board meetings since May 2013, which could run up against Texas state law.

Winnett’s attendance at the April 17 meeting was the first since October 2013 — a five-month absence. She was also present for the May and June 2013 meetings.

Winnett did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment.

Texas Education Code statute 130.0845 says if a member is absent for more than half the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year, not counting an absence for which the member is excused by a majority vote of the board, that member may be removed from office.

Currently, no action has been taken by the board.

President Louise Appleman said the board didn’t excuse the absences, but Winnett did inform the board of some of them.

“She told us about one or two of the absences, but sometimes she would say she is coming and not show up,” Appleman said. “This has been a concern.”

Being elected to any board comes with certain responsibilities, said secretary O.K. Carter, the main one being participation.

“Although I’m not in the head and I don’t know who she spoke to, there were supposed to be some health concerns. But whatever it is, I’d have to say it’s been unacceptable,” Carter said. “You are elected to represent not only your constituency but also the institution, and that was not being met.”

During her absences, the board didn’t run into any dire situations or 3-3 votes, Carter said, but the absences could have stalled a number of items during any of the meetings.

“That’s why we have an odd number of members because there can’t be a tie for anything to move ahead,” he said. “We would have been at a stalemate.”

Winnett was present for the most recent board meeting, and Appleman said she hopes the problems are now in the past.

“We’re glad she came last night [April 17] and look forward to her future participation,” she said. “She told us last night she plans to be more involved from here.”

No TCC board member has ever been removed for nonattendance.

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