by BRAD ROLLINS
Because it was near the top of more than a few peoples’ minds at the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues breakfast on Thursday, it was appropriate for Austin Community College president Stephen B. Kinslow to start by addressing hundreds of questionable signatures on a citzen group’s petition in 2006 to join the college’s taxing district.
An Austin American-Statesman article published the morning of Kinslow’s remarks to business leaders at the San Marcos Activity Center reported the minimalist yield of a three-year probe by state attorney general’s and Hays County district attorney’s investigators. Mark Littlefield, a political consultant hired to coordinate collection of signatures necessary to call an annexation election, was charged in June with a misdemeanor charge of possessing a forged document, a charge that prosecutors dropped last month. The uproar over the petition’s problems led community college trustees to cancel the election.
“There have been an investigation going on several years about petition irregularities during that process. And there are actually more than enough petition signatures to have held that election but ACC chose to withdraw that election in 2006 rather than have an election where there is doubt about the integrity of the process. I actually believe had that not happened you would already be members of the Austin Community College taxing district.”
Referencing the article, Kinslow said, “I’m glad that there is closure at last on the issue. It’s kind of amazing that it took three years to take no action and do nothing but that’s a reminder of how our processes work, I guess.”