-- I'm floored. On my back and absolutely stunned. You see, the school board might actually do something that is ... sensible.
The Sun-Sentinel's Kathy Bushouse and Susannah Bryan report this morning that Broward County Schools Superintendent Jim Notter has put the brakes on a project to build a school in western Broward County dubbed MMM. (School enrollment is actually decreasing, after all, and money is drying up everywhere). From the paper:
With asking prices significantly higher than the appraised value for the sites in Davie and Weston, Notter recommends the board hold off buying land for the proposed high school, temporarily dubbed MMM.
Land developer Ron Bergeron wants $19.8 million for his 30-acre site in Weston, double the average appraisal value of $9.5 million. And the asking price of $13 million for the roughly 30 acres in Davie — owned by brothers Daniel, Troy and Wayne Weekley — is nearly 73 percent more than its average appraised value of $7.6 million.
Notter isn't asking the board to take MMM out of the district's construction plans. Rather, he recommends the district look at which schools have empty seats, do a comprehensive analysis of the district's school boundaries, continue capping enrollment through the 2008-2009 school year at overcrowded Cypress Bay High School, and determine whether the district will have the money or the student-enrollment growth to build a new school.
I've been down on Notter in the past, but he must be heartily commended for this move. I don't know why he's done it, but this is radical, a sign that the hammerlock lobbyists and builders have had on the board is loosening up at least a bit. And it fits into my prediction that the school board is in for big changes in the coming months. Notter, today the Pulp salutes you.
But now the ball is in the court of that motley bunch of board members, several of whom are shills for the building crowd. If they reject Notter's sensible proposal, we'll know just how truly corrupt they are.
-- There have been some good (and very bad) discussions on this thing, but there has never been a thread (defined as "an ongoing message-based conversation on a single subject") like the one that followed the post on the arrest of 790-The Ticket owner Joel Feinberg eight months ago. Click there to read the steady stream of comments, which are still coming in on a weekly basis. This thing just won't die -- people keep coming on to comment about the wealthy Feinberg, who is apparently a very colorful character (and race car driver). Feinberg has made some enemies and, thankfully, he has his defenders, too. It's really rather grotesque, but that's what this Internets stuff is -- it's like taking the clothes off of polite discourse. Ah hell, it's like ripping the skin off and showing the gory insides. Enjoy.