AISD Trustee Yasmin Wagner’s Two Bosses
District 7 trustee did Board work on city time, says city auditor
Who would be an Austin ISD trustee? District 7 Trustee Yasmin Wagner has been dinged on her day job in the city's communications and public information office for doing work related to her AISD responsibilities on city time. The audit, filed last week, says Wagner visited the AISD Board's website and used her district social media account during office hours, received two district-related emails to her work account, and used a city printer 30 times for district documents. Wagner told the auditors that she had only used her city computer for district business during breaks and lunches, and that she had departmental permission to work "unconventional hours" due to her board commitments. Her department head, Doug Matthews, also told the investigators that she has made "good-faith efforts" to abide by city policy.
AISD's opponents have gleefully jumped on social media to berate Wagner, as if she has been committing some form of grand larceny. But that ignores the increasing impossibility of being an AISD trustee while holding down a full-time job. Historically, trustees have either been independently wealthy, supported by a spouse, or self-employed, as the position is unpaid. The average trustee will put in a full working week on district duties, including but not limited to multiple meetings per week, which often stretch beyond midnight. Former District 6 trustee Paul Saldaña quit the board earlier this year, in no small part because of the strains the board put on his personal and professional life. Now Wagner has been dinged for letting one job merge into the other, making the position seem even less desirable.