The Richardson ISD Board of Trustees decided at a Monday workshop how to split its members into a 5-2 board, with five single-member seats and two at-large seats, ahead of the Nov. 5 election.
In the work session, the board voted to adopt a plan that would change the seats of trustees Justin Bono and Kim Caston into at-large seats. Neither trustee is up for reelection this November.
The single-member district seats were also announced:
- Trustee Jean Bono will represent District 1
- Trustee Eron Linn will represent District 2
- Trustee Kristin Kuhne will represent District 3
- Trustee Katie Patterson will represent District 4
- Trustee Karen Clardy will represent District 5
The November election will determine the new representatives of districts 5, 4, and 2. District 5 encompasses most of Lake Highlands; District 4 is a minority-majority district housing Hamilton Park; and District 2 covers the Northeast portion of RISD’s attendance zone.
Voters will be able to cast ballots for a trustee to represent their district as well as the two at-large seats.
Both Karen Clardy and Eron Linn announced they would seek reelection this year, while Katie Patterson announced she would not.
Trustees agreed that placing the at-large seats in different election cycles would increase the voter turnout and participation for every election. Voters will decide on District 3 and at-large place 6 seats in May 2020 and District 1 and at-large place 7 seats in May 2021, according to the board’s election cycles.
RISD’s creation of districts comes after settling a lawsuit filed by former trustee David Tyson Jr. that claimed the school board’s at-large voting system created an all-white school board. Tyson is the only minority to ever serve as a trustee.
In the at-large voting systems, board members were elected to serve the entire district regardless of where they lived. That resulted in three current trustees – Justin Bono, Jean Bono, and Karen Clardy – serving at the same time while living within a mile of each other in Lake Highlands.
With the new district layout, there will be two minority-majority districts. District 4, which includes Hamilton Park, will likely have a majority of African American voters while District 3 will likely African American, Hispanic and Asian voters creating the majority.
The candidate filing period for November’s election starts July 20.