It’s been tried before and turned down by the voters.
Is it a bad idea? Not necessarily.
Not unless the Broward Workshop wants it, that is…
If you don’t like reading long articles, here’s the message in a nutshell: If the Broward Workshop wants it, don’t walk, run the other way… Fast!
A little history is in order here.
There’s only one reason that the incompetent Frank Till hung on for seven years as the Superintendent of Schools.
That’s because the Broward Workshop under the leadership of “Education Chair” Alan Levy wanted him to stay right where he was.
These very same folks that claim on their website that their goal is to manage the “business of education.”
Thanks to the grand jury report, we all know how that turned out.
Till’s incompetence, along with his inability to manage his way out of a paper bag, had already been on display year after year in less than adequate and poor evaluations.
Too bad that nobody on the Board had the guts to come right out and fire the guy.
When I publicly challenged Till (and called for his firing) at the beginning of 2004, his Workshop cronies in the form of the Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (led by Alan Levy) came after both Stephanie Kraft and myself, demanding (not requesting) meetings with us.
CORRECTION: I originally wrote that they held their intimidation session with Kraft and she backed down. Stephanie says she didn’t and I believe her.
I didn’t, either.
I went to my meeting with the group to explain my position. It wound up being nothing other than one threat after another from most of the attendees.
The first threat was direct and to the point: “If you don’t back down, we’ll make sure you won’t be re-elected!”
We know how that turned out, too.
To say this group of “respected business people” (as described by the South Florida Business Journal) violated just about every anti-bullying policy ever considered by the Board is an understatement at best.
One of these “respected business leaders” who gave a particularly long winded harangue about “boardsmanship” went on to almost single handedly destroy ChildNet several years later as Chair of their Board of Directors.
Only her stepping down saved the organization from total ruin.
And Alan Levy just sat silently and smiled while the henchmen did his dirty work.
I fired off one pertinent question; “Which of you would hire Frank Till to manage your business?”
The question was met with absolute silence.
Most of these folks had businesses that dealt with the School District.
The Chair of the meeting even acknowledged that it was his recommendation to hire Ken Klink as Chief Operations Officer for the district.
Ken was a good guy placed in a position way out of his league, and I suspect it was done purposely in order to take the heat off Till.
There’s no question that the Workshop had an agenda in keeping Frank Till in position, and there’s no reason not to suspect they’ve got an agenda now.
Here’s one more for you…
Another major player in the Broward Workshop was also a major player (and major donor) to the Boys and Girls Club of Broward.
And just “happened” to drop a big check on the organization at the same moment that the world discovered that Frank Till “mysteriously” became their CEO after being fired from the School District.
Fortunately, one of the Directors was ultimately smart enough to fire Till after the first year, not the six years as it took the School Board.
And since Till was dallying with Charter Schools before the School Board several months prior to that firing, I have to suspect that he was advised to “find the exit” at that time.
The individual that pulled the plug came to me and asked me why I didn’t tell him that Till was that bad. My response? “I did. You weren’t listening.”
If you think these wonderful “business moguls” had nothing to do with screwing up the School District, guess again.
And there was Alan Levy cheering on the “old” School Board right after the release of the grand jury report. Just as he was cheering on ChildNet as his crony, the Chief Haranguer was being made to step down.
And now it seems that since the state hasn’t shredded the county’s capital budget, these meddling fools want to get their grubby hooks into the County Commission.
Maybe they’ll change their mission statement to “managing the business of the county.”
Oh, and Alan Levy? The moment I cast my vote to fire Frank Till, he ran right over and handed a campaign check to the Convicted Criminal who replaced me on the School Board.
If that doesn’t tell you where their heads are, nothing will…