ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Seven candidates each had 20 minutes to tell the Round Rock Independent School District’s Board of Trustees, why they should be the new trustee. After the public interview, Stuart Selvaggi beat out six other candidates to fill the Place 6 Trustee vacancy earlier this month.
“It seemed to appear that nobody knew who he was or where he came from, so he was somewhat of a mystery man,” explains Edmund Buckley, who lives in the school district. “We wanted to know really who he is, how long has he lived in Round Rock ISD, and where his relationship was in the Round Rock ISD community.”
Once he started digging, Buckley found much more than that. Public records for Selvaggi show three bankruptcies, and more than a dozen evictions, foreclosures, judgements and liens. Buckley also says it’s not clear if Selvaggi lived in the district long enough to be eligible to be a trustee.
Since part of the board’s job is to make financial decisions that affect taxpayers, Buckley says Selvaggi as a trustee doesn’t make sense. “You expect every trustee would have a sound financial management background.”
The school district says the board did not do a background check on Selvaggi. Buckley sent a letter to the board of trustees requesting Selvaggi’s resignation, he wants members of the board held accountable too. “The president of this board should step down,” says Buckley.
Round Rock ISD Board President Diane Cox released this statement:
“After meeting all of the legal requirements to submit an application for Trustee candidacy and undergoing the interview process, Stuart was selected to serve as a Trustee because of his passion for students, his advocacy for children at many of our schools, his commitment to our District and his desire to connect with community members to move our District forward. We feel that Stuart will serve well as a Trustee during his year of service before the next Trustee election. We will reflect on and review our appointment process, as previously discussed during our August 14 called meeting, and make changes as deemed appropriate to ensure that our community continues to have the best representation possible in the Board of Trustees.”
The board had a choice to either appoint a trustee or call for an election to have voters decide who would fill out the remainder of the term.
Selvaggi was not free for an on-camera interview Thursday, but he released a statement:
“I chose to apply as a member of the Board to serve the kids and families of the Round Rock ISD because I love the school district that I attended in middle and high school, and that my kids are now attending. The 2007 mortgage crisis and subsequent recession had a national and global impact, with major US banks receiving bailouts, and many financial institutions closing their doors forever. Unfortunately, I and my family were also deeply affected financially by the same recession. I have experienced hardships in my past because of my choices. I and my family lived through and learned from these, and can now better serve ALL kids and families of the district because of this. I’m grateful to the Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity to serve our community. I am determined to help our schools succeed and hope I can make positive contributions during my service.”