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Derelict School Board Wants More of Your Money

Incredible. After the Broward County School Board goes on an unnecessary building frenzy to pad the wallets of its campaign donors and puts us $2 billion in debt, it wants to hit taxpayers up for more money. They are thinking of putting it up for a vote next year.

Any voter who would authorize this deadbeat and arrogant board any more of its money would have to either be insane or in on the scam. Maureen Dinnen, pictured, floated the idea and Stephanie Kraft backed it up, saying there are a lot of construction projects that people want built.

Kraft, once again, shows just how utterly and mind-blowingly irresponsible she can be. She says this despite the knowledge that the board has about 25,000 empty seats right now with another 10,000 expected by 2012. She says this despite the fact that the board is already awash in debt (right now, 60 percent of the capital budget is going to service that $2 billion debt -- and we'll be paying that for the next

20 years or so).

The board members want you to believe the budget problems are due to lower property values and a shifting of state funds, but that's a copout (what did you expect, accountability from this confederacy of dunces?). It was caused by the insane building spree they authorized, all the while knowing the district was underenrolled and losing students by the thousands each year. And they did it by putting off the state-mandated five-year survey for three years. Avoiding the survey not only allowed them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more but also proves they knew exactly what they were doing. It basically shows intent of malfeasance.  

Kraft obviously doesn't believe the taxpayers are really going to catch on to the fact that this School Board has acted in criminal fashion to blow hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars on their lobbyist and contractor friends. She thinks she will be able to skate on the trail of lies and deceit she's left in her wake. When an audit finds that the School Board blew $765,000 on a bad contract that benefited big-time lobbyist Ron Book, Kraft attacks the auditors. When we learn that the board has been driven into near-bankruptcy, she extends the superintendent's contract by three years. When we know the district is grossly overbuilt, she wants more tax money to keep building.

It's bizarro world with this woman and this board. Don't buy any of it, and don't give them another extra dime of your money.

-- Speaking of bizarro world, I just happened across an email written by School Board construction chief Michael Garretson's secretary. I'm not going to get into the content, just his secretary's title. To wit: "Susan A. Teich, Confidential Executive Secretary, Deputy Superintendent, Facilities and Construction Management."

What is this "confidential secretary" nonsense? First, it's redundant; the word secretary doesn't include the word secret for no reason. For another, it sounds like something out of the KGB. This is the School Board, which is supposed to be an open book. It's anything but when it comes to its real agenda, especially in the department in which Teich serves as the Confidential Executive Secretary.  

Speaking of Garretson, he's going to be the next scapegoat. Right now, the scapegoat is Frank Till. When Garretson leaves (I don't expect he'll make it through the end of the year), he'll be turned into a monster by the board, who'll say they had no idea how bad he was or what was really happening. Note to the board and Jim Notter: That's not going to wash. You're on notice. You either call Garretson out while he's still working for you or not at all. 

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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