In political life there’s always a phrase or set of words that will strike fear in any elected official.

Depending on the office, that phrase is different.

For a City Commission, it’s “we put you in office and we can take you out!”

But it depends on who’s making the threat.

Coming from a large number of condo residents in the commission chamber, it might very well set commissioners quaking in their boots.

From a group of homeowners, the result can be quite different.

I witnessed such an encounter in the Sunrise commission chamber about a dozen years ago.

The issue?  Extending Hiatus Road into Sunrise.  (To this day it hasn’t been started.)

The “Hiatus Road” group packed the commission chamber and when the comments coming from the dais didn’t go their way, sure enough, the group’s spokesman stood up and launched those very words…

“We put you in office and we can take you out!” 

I called a special meeting of  the group for the next day and opened the meeting with a single question:

“How many people in the room voted in the last city election?”

Out of fifty attendees, only three hands went up.  One was mine.

So much for homeowners threatening their city commission.

But for a School Board member it’s very different and the phrase is very simple:

“Don’t you dare move my child to another school!”

It’s a phrase that’s almost always heard at any boundary discussion.

And not uttered by one person, but several hundred.

Parent groups tend to vote in blocs when they have a reason to vote.

Let’s face it.

Unless a parent hates a particular school, nobody wants to even hear that a boundary change is going to move their child to another school.

Falcon Cove middle in Weston is no different.

And the Board heard all about it at the special workshop and by internet comments.

No doubt, by e-mail, too.

One of the themes I’ve read in the internet comments are “get rid of the children who don’t live in the boundary.”

Even if there are 100, (there aren’t) it won’t make a dent in 1,200 over capacity.

That leaves only three possible solutions:

Build a new middle school on the New River Circle property.

But that’s not going to happen any time soon, if ever.

Build a charter middle school on the New River Circle property.

Anybody have $40 million to spare?

The other, more workable solution is a boundary change whether parents like it or not.

To make it fair, the school needs to have a gradual cap put in place, capping only the incoming class of children over three succeeding years until the ideal population is reached.

It’ll take three years to get the school to capacity, but it’ll keep the current parents happy.

And most important, keep them from uttering those seven nerve rattling words.

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