Dear future trustee

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 Students want transparency, honesty and authority.

 The board of trustees will soon appoint a replacement for the late District 9 trustee Jim Rindfuss. While this appointee won’t be democratically elected, next May the trustee will have a chance to be voted in by the public.

Until then, the board will entrust the individual with the responsibility of representing a section of Bexar County in governing a sprawling college district.

Future trustee — whoever you are — there are a few things you must know:

The first order of business is your job description: You and your fellow trustees are the supreme authorities of the Alamo Colleges; ensure the chancellor knows that. At times, Dr. Leslie has a tendency to push and prod the board toward hollow ideas.

You must keep in mind a word you’ll hear a lot from your co-workers but see practiced precious little — transparency. Not empty claims of transparency, but honest communication with your constituents about decisions the board is making.

That means open discussion instead of in executive session.

Taxpayers of your district deserve all the information they need to vote appropriately. Hiding that information from them to further the board’s agendas is unacceptable.

Most important, future trustee, you must listen.

Students, faculty and constituents are your most important guiding light. “Students first” is a cute slogan often ignored by your fellow trustees, but you are expected to make those words your creed and canon.

You cannot hear your constituents if your ears are plugged by bureaucracy and nonsense.

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