"Committee of 40"

Hand-picked by Carol Ray, Lovejoy Superintendent and
Lovejoy School Board

The Committee voted 32 - 5 to build secondary schools (pro)


The Commitee of 40 was hand-selected by Lovejoy superintendent, Carol Ray, and (2002-2003) school board members:
Rich Hickman, John Walsh, Sue Hoffman, Scott Drablos, Gary Rodenbaugh, John Helm, Bettye Petree

A TASB representative ran the meeting.
Seat placement for Committee members was prearranged with name plates.

Only two committee members who were known to be against Lovejoy building secondary schools were appointed. They were not initially appointed, but contacted board members and insisted on being placed on the committee.

In contrast, the majority of appointees were pro Lovejoy building - twenty-six were known vocal supporters.
Sixteen known vocal supporters (pro) of Lovejoy building were selected and an additional 10 supporters who signed the back of a flyer distributed by current school board members, Elena Westbrook and Ann Casey.
Of the twenty five percent (10) of the committee who signed this flyer:


Three of these committee members are related, (brother, sister and her mother-in-law who is the mother of Lovejoy's new athletic director).
This family sold the 70 acres to Lovejoy for the high school site and also own 150+ acres directly across the street.

The land across the street from the new Lovejoy High School site had it's usage changed on the Lucas Comprehensive Plan to "mixed use" (commercial, high-density, apartments) during this time, while Lovejoy ISD school board member John Helm, Lovejoy School Board member, also served as Chairman of Planning and Zoning for Lucas, Texas . The new high school site was located in Lucas ETJ. (John Helm was on the school board when the board voted to have a land bond and purchased the high school site land. Mr. Helm voted FOR Lovejoy to build secondary schools, yet his child will not be returning as other classmates are.)

Unlike Lovejoy ISD, Lucas city meetings are tape recorded and are fairly detailed minutes AND ARE STILL ON THEIR WEB SITE. Discussion of "mixed use".


Group activity was carefully controlled. There was no opportunity discuss issues in depth, especially finances.
The Delphi technique was effectively utilized to control the final vote of this committee.

(more on the delphi technique - attendees will recognize this classic Delphi technique)

In defense of some committee members, they probably had no idea the Delphi technique was being utilized..
"The method works. It is very effective with parents, teachers, school children, and any community group. The "targets" rarely, if ever, know that they are being manipulated. If they do suspect this is happening, they do not know how to end the process."

Lovejoy's Election Judge was also on the Committee of 40.

Comments from Lovejoy community:



Commentary received from a citizen:

Forum Comments: Will the Committee of 40 Process be fair?

Short answer: No -
At this point watchful citizens realized something was not right and started collecting the signatures
to FORCE an election and buy time to get financial information out of the Lovejoy School Board.
The Lovejoy School Board opened Lovejoy High School without ever provideing a LINE-ITEM SECONDARY OPERATIONS BUDGET,
that citizens petitioned the Legislative Budget Board to require Lovejoy to provide..